Hell's Ditch

Wea International
Release date
11 Jan 2005
Running length
13 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 The Sunnyside Of The Street 2:43 41,829
2 Sayonara 3:06 17,374
3 The Ghost Of A Smile 2:58 14,243
4 Hell's Ditch 3:02 37,909
5 Lorca's Novena 4:39 15,053
6 Summer In Siam 4:05 43,461
7 Rain Street 4:03 46,675
8 Rainbow Man 2:45 11,676
9 The Wake Of The Medusa 3:03 12,086
10 House Of The Gods 3:45 11,736
11 5 Green Queens and Jean 2:35 8,979
12 Maidrin Rua 1:46 9,247
13 Six To Go 2:57 10,432

About this album

Hell’s Ditch is the fifth full-length album by The Pogues, Released in 1990, the album continued the group’s slow departure from Irish music, giving more emphasis to rock and straight folk rock, and forsaking their earlier staples of traditional compositions almost entirely.

Several of the songs on the album have Asian themes, in sound or in content, notably “Summer in Siam”, “The House of Gods”, and “Sayonara”, although only the latter has strong elements of a noticeably far-eastern tune. The song “Lorca’s Novena” draws on MacGowan’s affinity for Spain (particularly Almería, which he discovered years earlier when filming Straight to Hell), and one of its famous poets, Federico García Lorca. The song tells of the poet’s murder by Francisco Franco’s Nationalist supporters in the Spanish Civil War, and how his body, never having been recovered, was said to have walked away. “The Wake of the Medusa” is a first person narrative inspired by Théodore Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa, which appeared on the cover of the band’s second album, Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash. The title track “Hell’s Ditch” is based largely on the life and writings of French author and playwright Jean Genet, in particular The Miracle of the Rose and Our Lady of the Flowers[1], and is typically MacGowan in its vulgar description of squalid life in prison.

The album was produced by The Clash’s Joe Strummer, who later served as a temporary replacement for MacGowan when the band went on tour.

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  • asmackofham

    One of the best albums ever made.

    24 May 2012 Reply
  • StoneAnima

    I remember finding this in my mom's collection when I was really young and being shocked that my own mom would have an album like this. Needless to say, I was a rebellious eight-year-old and decided to give it a spin. Good times.

    30 Aug 2010 Reply
  • BostonIrish

    underrated album. so many great songs.

    22 Nov 2008 Reply

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