Shane MacGowan, The Aftermath & Friends
“The Rockier Road to Poland”
The unofficial Ireland Euro 2012 anthem available to download and limited edition CD on
Live Transmission Records from May 18th 2012
All profits will go to The Simon Community Ireland for the homeless
It was the 11th of October 2011 and The Republic of Ireland football team had just beaten Armenia and were on their way for the first time in 24 years to the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. The Cronin brother’s from Irish band The Aftermath had an idea. Why not do a remake of The Dubliners classic Irish song The Rocky Road to Dublin but instead have the final destination of Poland. So as the seed’s were sewn, the Cronin’s went about getting in touch with a few friends to collaborate with to make the song a bit more fun.
One of which was Nenagh singer Tom Creagh who was also good friends with legendary Pogues front man Shane MacGowan. Tom asked Shane if he would like to get involved and Shane said it sounded a bit of craic.
Initial recording started in mid January with The Aftermath, Shane Macgowan, Tom Creagh and Nenagh accordionist Rachel Ray at The Aftermath’s own Transmission Rooms studio in Drumlish Co Longford. An idea came the night befor as Johnny Cronin explains “We were out the night before the recording, playing pool with Shane and discussing what we should do. Then Shane put David Bowie’s ‘Jean Genie’ on the jukebox. Listening, he put down his drink, and said, that’s how to do it. So it’s The Dubliners picking up Bowie’s ‘Jean Genie’ on ‘The Rocky Road to Dublin’. It sounds mad but it works, and “The Rockier Road to Poland was born” revealed Johnny.
The Cronins, MacGowan and Tom Creagh wrote the lyrics as more of a drinking and friendship song with them traveling around Ireland to Nenagh, Mullingar, Drumlish and finally Dublin for the trip to Poland but not being allowed on because of the bags being overweight.
Johnny Cronin added: “It’s a comedy song. Ours is more of a ‘Lisdoonvarna / The Craic Was Ninety In The Isle of Man’.Its a drinking, friendship song with a football theme.”
After the initial recording the Cronin’s got in touch with a few more friends to finish the track. These include Fr Ted comedian Joe `Rooney, Dead 60′s front man Matt McManamon, Duncan Patterson from Alternative 4, ion & Anathema, ledgendary Trad Music Piper Mike McGoldrick and a host of Leeds Irish finest musicians including the All Ireland accordion champion Sean Gavaghan, Paddy Flanary and the O Malley brothers Chris and Kieron.
But having finally recorded the song, they discovered that another group including Danny O’Reilly, Damien Dempsey and The Dubliners were doing a rival version of The Rocky Road to Dublin. Their version, called The Rocky Road to Poland, also features members of the Irish football squad and has become Ireland’s official anthem for Euro 2012.
“We went to press on the same day which was a complete coincidence, we had no idea whatsoever that they were doing a version of the same song and they didn’t know about ours either,” says Mick
The recordings were then mixed by top Irish engineer Ger McDonnell, whose clients include U2 and The Manic Street Preachers.
“The Rockier Road to Poland” is released on download and limited edition CD on Live Transmission Records from Friday 18th May 2012.
All profits from the download of the song will go to The Simon Community of Ireland for the homeless.