Track of the Day: 'Shipping Up to Boston' by The Dropkick Murphys

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Reader Jim Elliott builds on a TotD from last week:

Metallica’s version of “Whiskey in the Jar” remains in perpetual status on my playlist. That said, their rendition comes from their Garage Inc. double set of covers, inspired by Thin Lizzy’s cover of the classic. (That same set has an under-appreciated cover of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page.”)

Probably one of the most fun bands for taking Irish folk tunes and reworking them is The Dropkick Murphys. A good example of this is “Shipping Up to Boston,” which takes Woody Guthrie’s lyrics, appends them to a punk version of a traditional Irish air. [Their cover was memorably used in The Departed.] The Chieftains also put out a great album doing covers of traditional Celtic tunes (personal favorite: “Long Black Veil” with Mick Jagger).

Of course, the best cover ever remains The Gourds’ original bluegrass cover of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice.”

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