James Lynch

We talk about people all over the world connecting to the Dropkicks' very Boston-flavored sense of community. Ken points to what is, for him, one of the greatest songs ever written: "Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues, the ultimate local-yet-universal song. He reminds us that it doesn't have to be New York to have that quality, that we have that in Boston, too. I point out my number-one rule to my writing students at Northeastern: that if you really go there, with the personal and local, you will create something universal.

JL: A kid in Japan said to us once, "You guys are Irish from Boston. I'm obviously not. But you make me proud to be from where I'm from."

Talk about the Jimmy Collins song ["Jimmy Collins' Wake," from Signed and Sealed in Blood]. I learned a lot about early Boston baseball history listening to that song.

Ken Casey

KC: The lyrics to that were written by Dick Johnson from the Sports Museum of New England. This guy knows everything that ever happened at Fenway. He talks about when Éamon de Valera [the first president of the Irish Republic] came and gave a speech at Fenway Park. It's cool to document old history of the city. And the funny thing about all these people from that era, like John L. Sullivan, Honey Fitz [Boston's first American-born Irish mayor], Jimmy Collins — they all hung out together! Honey Fitz and John L. Sullivan and all these guys are drinking in the same bars and hanging out together. The bookie for that crew was nicknamed "Sport" Sullivan, and he concocted the whole scheme to fix the 1919 World Series. The song "Jimmy Collins" is about how important that guy was to people's lives, rather than just stats and how much they make.

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