This week, EHS Daily Advisor featured content on dealing with impaired employees in the workplace. Coincidentally, later in the week came the sad news of the death of Irish singer and songwriter Shane MacGowan, who fronted the Pogues and became a cautionary tale of sorts about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. Appropriately, the EHSDA Song of the Week is a Pogues classic, the title track of the band’s 1988 album If I Should Fall From Grace With God.
Released as the second single off the album, “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” is about death and mortality, but also the resiliency of the Irish to persist through hard times instead of wallowing in sorrow. The preceding single, “Fairytale of New York,” was a big holiday hit (and continues to be a popular Christmas song) and got much more attention than the song that followed. “If I Should Fall From Grace WIth God” only reached #58 on the U.K. Singles Chart.
An earlier, slower-paced version of the song appeared on the soundtrack of the movie Straight to Hell in 1987. The album version found renewed popularity in 2010 when it was featured in a Subaru commercial about a hockey mom driving her kids to games and practices.
MacGowan’s substance abuse issues led to his firing from the Pogues in 1991, although he reunited with the band a decade later. The band’s last performance was in August 2014. MacGowan died on Nov. 30 at the age of 65. Fortunately, the music of MacGowan and the Pogues will live on forever.