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  • Writer's pictureSteve Crowther

Streams of Whiskey performed by Dave Webb (harmonica)

Updated: Dec 8, 2023


Streams of Whiskey is a popular song by the Anglo-Irish Celtic punk band, The Pogues. Released in 1984, it has become a timeless classic and a favourite among fans of the band. The song holds a deep meaning that resonates with its listeners, evoking emotions and painting vivid pictures through its lyrics. You see, we’ve all been there. You could say that the song was a blend of the hedonistic lifestyle of the band and lead singer Shane MacGowan in particular, and the rich heritage of Irish music and culture. Typical of MacGowan’s raw honesty, the lyrics are heartfelt, they embrace an honesty, a truth. With the line ‘I’ll stay ’til the blood flows dear’ the singer embraces this alcohol-fuelled consciousness. Or unconsciousness as the reality often was.


‘Songs like Streams of Whiskey exemplify the unique blend of traditional Irish folk music with punk rock that The Pogues pioneered. The band’s ability to encapsulate the spirit of Irish culture and transform it into an energetic and rebellious sound resonated deeply with fans worldwide.


Whiskey has long been associated with Irish culture, often esteemed as more than just a beverage. In Streams of Whiskey, it serves as a symbol of rebellion, freedom, and the pursuit of temporary solace.’ Warren Barrett


If you haven’t read it, here’s an appreciative, affectionate tribute of The Progues' frontman by the BBC’s Arts correspondent David Sillito- A life too interesting: Shane MacGowan.


Streams of Whiskey - Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan


Last night as I slept

I dreamt I met with Behan

I shook him by the hand and we passed the time of day

When questioned on his views

On the crux of life's philosophies

He had but these few clear and simple words to say

I am going, I am going

Any which way the wind may be blowing

I am going, I am going

Where streams of whiskey are flowing

I have cursed, bled and sworn

Jumped bail and landed up in jail

Life has often tried to stretch me

But the rope always was slack

And now that I've a pile

I'll go down to the Chelsea

I'll walk in on my feet

But I'll leave there on my back

Because I am going, I am going

Any which way the wind may be blowing

I am going, I am going

Where streams of whiskey are flowing

Oh the words that he spoke

Seemed the wisest of philosophies

There's nothing ever gained

By a wet thing called a tear

When the world is too dark

And I need the light inside of me

I'll walk into a bar

And drink fifteen pints of beer

I am going, I am going

Any which way the wind may be blowing

I am going, I am going

Where streams of whiskey are flowing

I am going, I am going

Any which way the wind may be blowing

I am going, I am going

Where streams of whiskey are flowing

Where streams of whiskey are flowing

Where streams of whiskey are flowing


Here it is recorded and performed by Dave Webb as part of his Dave Folk Harmonica YouTube series: Streams of Whiskey


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