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30th Nov 2023

Tributes flood in for Shane MacGowan after Pogues musician dies aged 65

Simon Kelly

Shane MacGowan tributes

‘O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done..’

Tributes have poured in for Shane MacGowan, who has died at the age of 65, his wife Victoria May Clarke announced on Thursday, November 30.

The Pogues singer, best known for his 1987 song ‘Fairytale of New York’ alongside Kirsty MacColl, had just left hospital last week and had been struggling with health issues for a long time.

His bandmates of The Pogues announced the singer’s passing alongside his wife.

“It is with the deepest sorrow and heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Shane McGowen,” a statement on the band’s official X page read.

“Shane died peacefully at 3am this morning with his wife Victoria and family by his side. Prayers and the last rites were read which gave comfort to his family.”

Tributes flood in for Shane MacGowan following singer’s passing

Tributes were quick to flood in following the announcement of MacGowan’s death, with many from the music industry and beyond weighing in on the impact the singer had on millions.

President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins was among the first to pay tribute to the iconic musician, saying he it was “with great sadness” that he learned of his death.

“Shane will be remembered as one of music’s greatest lyricists. So many of his songs would be perfectly crafted poems, if that would not have deprived us of the opportunity to hear him sing them.

“The genius of Shane’s contribution includes the fact that his songs capture within them, as Shane would put it, the measure of our dreams – of so many worlds, and particularly those of love, of the emigrant experience and of facing the challenges of that experience with authenticity and courage, and of living and seeing the sides of life that so many turn away from.”

Former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams revealed that he had visited Shane last week, just a few days before his death.

“Ireland has lost a great patriot, a poet and friend of the down trodden and marginalised.”

British journalist Tony Parsons recalled when he first saw MacGowan, summing up the man perfectly.

“I remember Shane MacGowan when he was in his mid-teens and coming down the Roxy in Covent Garden to bang on unattended drums in his Union jack jacket.” he tweeted.

“A crazy kid with a dream who grew into one of the greatest talents these islands have ever know. A creative giant. Sleep well, Shane and see you at number one for Christmas.”

Former Editor of NME and Kerrang James McMahon also led the tributes.

“RIP Shane MacGowan. Gone too soon, but much later than almost anyone expected. You were mental. You were trouble. You were feral. Every dentist’s nightmare. But you sang some of the greatest songs the world has ever known. Rock ‘n’ roll believers will weep until we’re raw today”

Peter Richard “Spider Stacy, co-founder of The Pogues alongside MacGowan, had a gorgeous Walt Whitman line in tribute to his friend:

‘O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done..’

Derry Girls star Siobhan McSweeney said “Shane was the voice of London for us Irish. When I was scared about moving here he lured me over with songs about chancers, drinkers, lovers, poets and scoundrels.

“That’s the place for me ,I thought! He also taught me how to miss Home, whatever that may be. Damn shame, Shane.”

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