Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pogues' Philip Chevron Passes Away; Wrote Classic "Thousands Are Sailing"

Phil Chevron, long-time guitarist for The Pogues, has passed away from cancer. He may be best known for having written the classic Irish diaspora song, the very poetic Thousands Are Sailing:

The island it is silent now 
But the ghosts still haunt the waves 
And the torch lights up a famished man 
Who fortune could not save 

Did you work upon the railroad 
Did you rid the streets of crime 
Were your dollars from the white house 
Were they from the five and dime 

Did the old songs taunt or cheer you 
And did they still make you cry 
Did you count the months and years 
Or did your teardrops quickly dry 

Ah, no, says he, 'twas not to be 
On a coffin ship I came here 
And I never even got so far 
That they could change my name 

Thousands are sailing 
Across the western ocean 
To a land of opportunity 
That some of them will never see 
Fortune prevailing 
Across the western ocean 
Their bellies full 
Their spirits free 
They'll break the chains of poverty 
And they'll dance 

In manhattan's desert twilight 
In the death of afternoon 
We stepped hand in hand on broadway 
Like the first man on the moon 

And "the blackbird" broke the silence 
As you whistled it so sweet 
And in brendan behan's footsteps 
I danced up and down the street 

Then we said goodnight to broadway 
Giving it our best regards 
Tipped our hats to mister cohen 
Dear old times square's favorite bard 

Then we raised a glass to JFK
And a dozen more besides 
When I got back to my empty room 
I suppose I must have cried 

Thousands are sailing 
Again across the ocean 
Where the hand of opportunity 
Draws tickets in a lottery 
Postcards we're mailing 
Of sky-blue skies and oceans 
From rooms the daylight never sees 
Where lights don't glow on christmas trees 
But we dance to the music 
And we dance 

Thousands are sailing 
Across the western ocean 
Where the hand of opportunity 
Draws tickets in a lottery 
Where e'er we go, we celebrate 
The land that makes us refugees 
From fear of priests with empty plates 
From guilt and weeping effigies 
And we dance


"And we dance".... indeed, that's all we can do...

On Facebook, Billy Bragg wrote:

Sad to hear of the death aged 56 of Phil Chevron, founder of the Radiators from Space and member of the Pogues. The Radiators were label mates with my band Riff Raff on Chiswick Records in the late 70s and we did several support gigs with them at the Marquee Club in London's Wardour Street. He was a lovely guy back then and remained so all his life.

from The Irish Times....

Philip Chevron RIP

Founder member of the seminal Radiators from Space and guitarist with The Pogues
Tue, Oct 8, 2013, 16:53
Very sad news about the death earlier today of Philip Chevron. A founder member of the Radiators from Space and later a member of The Pogues, Chevron was 56 years of age and had been diagnosed with cancer. A testimonial night in Dublin’s Olympia in August had attracted a gathering of the great and the good from amongst his musical peers and admirers.

Guardian Article here...

Pogues guitarist Philip Chevron dies

Pogues man – and one of the first Irish punks – dies of cancer, aged 56

Philip Chevron, who played guitar for the Pogues, has died at the age of 56. He had been treated for head and neck cancer in 2007 and was given a clean bill of health in April 2012. A new tumour appeared in August 2012, however, and was deemed inoperable. He died on Tuesday morning.
Chevron joined the Pogues following the release of their debut album, Red Roses for Me, initially on a temporary basis. He was a full-time member by the time they recorded their second album, Rum, Sodomy and the Lash. Although the Pogues' songwriting was dominated by Shane MacGowan, Chevron contributed one of the band's best-loved songs, Thousands Are Sailing.
In 1976, Chevron had founded one of Ireland's first punk bands, the Radiators from Space. Their songs were later covered by folk singers including Christy Moore and Mary Coughlan.
In a message on their website, the Pogues sent condolences to Chevron's family.

No comments:

Post a Comment