"The Broad Majestic Shannon" as written by and Shane Patrick Lysaght Macgowan....
The last time I saw you was down at the Greeks
There was whiskey on Sunday and tears on our cheeks
You sang me a song as pure as the breeze
Blowing up the road to glenaveigh
I sat for a while at the cross at finnoe
Where young lovers would meet when the flowers were in bloom
Heard the men coming home from the fair at shinrone
Their hearts in tipperary wherever they go

Take my hand, and dry your tears babe
Take my hand, forget your fears babe
There's no pain, there's no more sorrow
They're all gone, gone in the years babe

I sat for a while by the gap in the wall
Found a rusty tin can and an old hurley ball
Heard the cards being dealt, and the rosary called
And a fiddle playing sean dun na ngall
And the next time I see you we'll be down at the Greeks
There'll be whiskey on Sunday and tears on our cheeks
For it's stupid to laugh and it's useless to bawl
About a rusty tin can and an old hurley ball

So I walked as day was dawning
Where small birds sang and leaves were falling
Where we once watched the row boats landing
By the broad majestic shannon

Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death, edited by epiwoosh

"The Broad Majestic Shannon" as written by Shane Patrick Lysaght Macgowan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Broad Majestic Shannon song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentpretty straightforward song...great feeling and emotion to it...

    anyway, it's obviously about a love lost...the rusty tin can and hurley ball being a metaphor for the love that the couple once had
    ukcufon September 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this was actually done by the Popes, MacGowan's band after the Pogues.
    AirCav1stOfThe9thon April 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNope, it was a Pogues number - on If I Should Fall From Grace With God. The book "The LOst Decade" records that Shane wrote it for Maken & Clancy, before recording it himself.
    Luigi Vampaon June 27, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah, it was on if i should fall from grace with god, but the popes also did it. they still play a lot of old pogues songs including that one. it's on their live CD.
    MrGoodBaron April 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRight, but if the Pogues did it first, then it's a Pogues song, not a Popes song. Paul McCartney could sing a Beatles song with Wings, but it's still a Beatles song...

    At any rate, it's an awesome song ...
    FeistyIrishGirlon May 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLet go of pain, I think he was saying. Merry Christmas! Shane
    sdz896542on December 25, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe more I listen to this song, the more it sounds like he's talking to a loved one who's just died, and he's reassuring her in his mind that there's no more pain or sorrow for her anymore now that she's dead. For some reason it also makes me think of Andrew Ranken's harrowing non-Shane era Pogues song "Four O'Clock in the Morning" where he says:

    "They took her to the hospital
    In the darkest hour of the night

    It was silent as the grave
    As my baby lay beneath the light

    They turned on the gas and cut her open
    She didn't feel no pain
    They turned on the gas and cut her open
    She didn't feel no more pain

    Daylight was breaking
    And down came the rain"

    In Ranken's song, there's the implication that his girl died from the emergency surgery and therefore felt no more pain, and then the daylight breaks just like in this song and we can liken the rain coming down to Shane seeming to walk home at dawn alone while reminiscing about their past. So now I can't help but feel really sad even as Shane sounds like he's trying to cheer someone up. :/
    epiwooshon April 15, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat a chorus
    sdz896542on August 11, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song that Shane obviously borrowed some of the opening bars for Fairytale that he wrote with Jem Finer. Jem had written Fairytale a long time before its release but Shane changed the lyrics to make them a lot better. He must have also added that infectious hook from Shannon to it as well.

    The middle bit relates to places near his family's home in Borrisokane, Tipperary where Martin Sheen's family also hail from.

    Glenaveigh is the nearest village on the Shannon to Borrisokane; Finnoe is just outside of Borrisokane and the cross means a crossroad. Shinrone is the nearest larger town but is across the border in Offaly hence the men going to the fair there but their hearts being in Tipperary.
    Bigblue1894on July 05, 2017   Link

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