The Pogues, “A Rainy Night In Soho”

“'A Rainy Night In Soho’ was automatic writing," Shane MacGowan said. "I had no idea what it was about."

The Pogues were one of the most intriguing bands to come to the fore in the 1980s, primarily because they could always surprise listeners. Just when you thought you had them pegged as rabble-rousing purveyors of a beguiling combination of Celtic melodies and sneering, punkish attitude, they could drop a heartfelt ballad that would leave you crying in your Guinness, even if it was sometimes difficult to tell, on songs like 1986’s “A Rainy Night In Soho”, if they were singing about the women that broke their hearts or the drink they used to forget those women. Sometimes the band’s chief songwriter, Shane MacGowan, couldn’t even pinpoint the origin of his own creations. When asked by The Quietus about “A Rainy Night In Soho” in a 2012 interview, MacGowan waxed mystical. “I've seen ghosts behind me in period costume dictating songs on a couple of occasions,” he said. “'A Rainy Night In Soho’ was automatic writing. I had no idea what it was about. I had a vague idea by the time I got to the fourth verse but until then I hadn't got a clue what was going on.” Whoever was responsible for it, “A Rainy Night In Soho”…

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