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Irish Blood English Heart

Second Generation Irish Musicians in England

Sean Campbell

Publication Year: 2011

Second-generation Irish musicians have played a vital role in the history of popular music in England. This book explores the role of Irish ethnicity in the lives and work of these musicians, focusing on three high-profile projects: Kevin Rowland and Dexys Midnight Runners, Shane MacGowan and The Pogues, and Morrissey/Marr and The Smiths. The book locates these musicians in a hyphenated ‘Irish-Englishness’ marked by ‘in-between-ness’ and explores the different ways that they engaged with this in-betweenness through their creative work and their engagements with audiences, the media and the music industry.

Published by: Cork University Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. ii-iv


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p. vii

List of Illustrations

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p. ix

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pp. xi-xii

I have benefited enormously from the support and advice of many people while researching and writing this book. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the musicians who gave so generously of their time in interviews: Shane MacGowan, Johnny Marr, Kevin Rowland...

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‘Dwellers on the Threshold’: A Prologue to the Book

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pp. 1-10

The dominant forms of popular music in most contemporary societies have emerged, notes Simon Frith, ‘at the social margins – among the poor, the migrant, the rootless’.4 Th is has certainly been the case in Britain, where, as one high-profile magazine put it, a ‘potent shebeen of...

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1. ‘Here is a Protest’: Intervention and Recovery in Dexys Midnight Runners

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pp. 11-58

In the closing moments of ‘The Waltz’, the final track on Dexys Midnight Runners’ third and final album, Don’t Stand Me Down (1985), the group’s lead singer, Kevin Rowland, emits a striking gesture of unambiguous dissent. Mixed to the fore of the track’s sparse sound (comprising guitar...

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2. The Importance of Being (London) Irish: Hybridity, Essentialism and The Pogues

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pp. 59-101

In 1988, at the height of Th e Pogues’ commercial success, the late Irish journalist Bill Graham offered a compelling account of the group’s appeal, arguing that their oeuvre equipped Ireland’s exiles with a means by which to ‘reclaim and reorder their inheritance’.4 This succinct...

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3. ‘Oscillate Wildly’: Ambivalence, Elusiveness and The Smiths

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pp. 102-144

In December 2004 Morrissey concluded his most successful worldwide tour for several years with a concert at Dublin’s Point Depot. Adorned in the vestments of a Catholic priest, the singer made a series of playful references to local places (showing his affinity with Ireland) before...

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Coda: From the Margins to the Centre

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pp. 145-156

This book has addressed the diverse ‘routes’ pursued by second-generation Irish musicians, exploring three high-profile projects in the 1980s. Its account of Rowland, MacGowan and Morrissey/Marr illumines the different means by which Irishness was engaged by Irish-descended figures...

Notes & References

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pp. 159-224

Bibliography, Interviews, Discography,Films & TV/Radio Programmes

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pp. 225-249


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pp. 250-260

E-ISBN-13: 9781908634092
E-ISBN-10: 190863409X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781859184615
Print-ISBN-10: 1859184618

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 794700733
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Irish Blood English Heart

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Ethnicity in music.
  • Children of immigrants -- England.
  • Musicians -- England.
  • Cultural fusion -- England.
  • Popular music -- England -- History and criticism.
  • Irish -- England -- Music -- History and criticism.
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