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Dropkick Murphys
Dropkick Murphys.jpg
Background Information
Origin Quincy, Massachusetts
Genre Celtic Punk
Punk Rock
Folk Rock
Years active 1996- active
Label(s) Hellcat
Born & Bred
Associated Acts The Bruisers
Street Dogs
The Outlets
The Ducky Boys
Gimme Danger
The Vigilantes
Everybody Out!
The Westies
The Eleventh Hour
Website http://www.dropkickmurphys.com
Tim Brennan
James Lynch
Al Barr
Ken Casey
Matt Kelly
Scruffy Wallace
Jeff DaRosa
Former Members
Marc Orrell
Mike McColgan
Rick Barton
Spicy McHaggis (Robbie Mederios)
Ryan Foltz
Jeff Erna

Dropkick Murphys are a Celtic punk band formed in Quincy, Massachusetts, USA.[1] First playing together in the basement of a friend's barbershop, they blended traditional Irish music, Oi!, and punk. Their influences include Stiff Little Fingers, The Pogues, The Clash, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, The Dubliners, and the Swingin Utters.[2]

The band has made a name for itself and built a following as a result of their non stop touring all over the world and their famous St. Patrick's Day weekend shows, which are held in Boston. Dropkick Murphys also support unions and some of their songs reflect this.[3] The group is also well known for their affiliation with Celtic FC, the Boston Red Sox baseball team, and the Boston Bruins hockey team.


There are differing stories as to the origin of the band's name. Former band member Marc Orrell has said:

The Dropkick Murphy will come and get you if you don't go to sleep tonight. It's a rehab center, I think it's in Connecticut. I think it was the guy who used to come around late at night for all the drunks, like if you were too drunk to drive home, he would come and get you and put you in this hole that you couldn't get out until you were sober enough, I don't know. There's a bunch a stories, it's also a boxer, a bunch of things, a rehab center in Connecticut, grandparents used to scare kids with it.[4]

Original frontman Mike McColgan and co-founder Ken Casey said the following:

The band’s name was stolen from an old rehab where they used to take skid row bums in Boston... We always heard of old-timers in our neighborhood telling war stories about being locked up at Dropkick Murphy's, so we decided that if we ever started a band, that would be the name. [5]

Dropkick Murphy's was the nickname for a detoxification center (or 'drying out spot') for alcoholics. It's real name was Bellows Farm. It was located in Concord or Acton Massachusetts or one of the other nearby towns. This was at a time before there were public detoxes and before any medical insurance policies would pay for detoxification. The clients were far from being 'skid row bums' since a stay was quite expensive. Regular clients could request 'pickup service' and a car would be dispatched to Boston (or wherever) to 'scoop' them. This service was also expensive.


Dropkick Murphys were originally formed in 1996 in Quincy, MA. The band first started playing in the basement of a friend's barbershop and soon found that people liked their music, and as a result began to tour and record.

The band put out a series of EPs and were signed by Hellcat Records. In 1998, they released their first full length album, Do or Die. Lead singer Mike McColgan left the band later that year with his life long dream of becoming a Boston firefighter, and was replaced by The Bruisers lead singer Al Barr. In 1999, they released their follow-up album, The Gang's All Here. In 2001 they released their third album, Sing Loud, Sing Proud!. The album showcased their developing sound as the band widely progressed from being a 4-piece punk rock outfit, and included collaborations with Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan and Cock Sparrer's Colin McFaull. It also marked a significant lineup change for the band. Original guitarist Rick Barton was replaced by former The Ducky Boys guitarist, James Lynch and Marc Orrell, and additional instruments were added and played by new members Ryan Foltz and Robbie "Spicy McHaggis" Mederios, whose name was inspired by a McDonald's menu item while the band was on a 1999 tour in Scotland.[6]. Shortly after, both Foltz and McHaggis left the band, being replaced by mandolin/guitar player Tim Brennan and bagpipes player Scruffy Wallace.

Their next album, Blackout, was released in 2003. The new album included the radio hit "Walk Away," as well as the fan favorite song "Fields of Athenry". Notably "The Dirty Glass" with female vocals from Stephanie Dougherty (Deadly Sins) is a song about a bar in Quincy, Massachusetts called Darcy's. Also in 2003 the Murphys were on the Vans Warped Tour. Around the same time the band released a re-working of the Boston Red Sox anthem, "Tessie", which then became the official song of the Boston Red Sox 2004 winning World Series run. "Tessie" was also used throughout the major motion picture Fever Pitch which starred Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore and was included on the EA Sports MVP Baseball 2005 soundtrack. The band was even invited to the premiere of the movie which was held at Fenway Park where the video was also shot.

In 2005, the Dropkick Murphys released "Singles Collection Volume 2", featuring covers, b-sides, and other material that didn't make it onto previous albums, and the band contributed a recording of "We Got the Power" to Rock Against Bush, Vol. 2.

Their fifth studio album, The Warrior's Code, was released on June 21, 2005. It features the singles "Sunshine Highway", "The Warrior's Code" as well as the bonus track, "Tessie". It also includes a song that was inspired by a Woody Guthrie poem the band found in his archives named "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" which is featured in the 2006 Academy Award winning film The Departed, Martin Scorsese's adaptation of the Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs (Scorsese mentioned the band in an interview after he won his first Oscar). Two videos, one with and without footage from The Departed were made in response to the overwhelming response to the band's new hit song. The song was also featured in The Simpsons episode The Debarted.[7] I'm Shipping Up to Boston is also used during many Boston sporting events such as the victory song of the Patriots and Celtics, the walk-out song of Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, and as the power play song for several NHL teams, including the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. It continues to be an unofficial anthem of general Bostonian pride.

The song "Last Letter Home" contains excerpts from personal letters between Sgt. Andrew Farrar, his mother and his wife. The following is taken from the album notes:

We had already finished this song that was based on general correspondences to & from the soldiers serving in Iraq, when we were contacted by the family of Sgt. Andrew Farrar who had recently died while serving there. The family wanted to tell us he was a big supporter of the Dropkick Murphys. They also passed on a letter that he had written to his mother shortly before his death in which he thanks her for sending him a Dropkick Murphys CD & said that if anything should happen to him while in Iraq, he would like one of our songs played at his funeral. He also left behind a wife, Melissa and two young boys Tyler & Liam. His tour of duty in Iraq was coming to an end & he was due to come home & renew his wedding vows with Melissa to another song of ours, "Forever". Sgt Farrar died on January 28th, on his 31st birthday. We were present at his funeral to grant his wish and played "Fields of Athenry" as his casket entered the church. This song was re-written to include excerpts from that letter.

The band released a single, with the family's permission, including the Andrew Farrar-dedicated "Field Of Athenry" and "The Last Letter Home". All proceeds went to the Farrar family.

In 2007, the band issued their sixth album and major label debut The Meanest of Times. On October 21, 2007, the band played on a small stage in Fenway Park prior to Game 7 of the 2007 American League Championship Series. On October 30, 2007, the band performed on a flatbed truck during the Boston Red Sox rolling rally to celebrate their 2007 World Series Championship, playing "I'm Shipping Up to Boston", "Dirty Water", "Tessie", "The State of Massachusetts", "For Boston", and "Sunshine Highway", to celebrate. Red Sox relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon performed his trademark dance on the flatbed with them. Fellow Red Sox relief pitchers Hideki Okajima and Mike Timlin also rode on the band's flatbed.[1]

In 2008 Marc Orrell announced he was leaving the band and that Tim Brennan would replace him as a full-time guitarist.[8] Tim's duties will be taken over by Jeff DaRosa.[9]

To tie in with St. Patrick's Day, a free Dropkick Murphys track pack for Guitar Hero III on the Xbox Live Marketplace and the Playstation Network was released on 15th March 2008 containing: "Famous For Nothing"; "(F)lannigan's Ball" and "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya" from their latest album, "The Meanest of Times".

In 2008 frontman Ken Casey re-opened McGreevys Pub, which is said to be the first sports bar ever. The bar has drawn good reviews for both its food and atmosphere. The Murphys have also continued touring, including a number of dates in July set to feature The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. At their July 10, 2008 concert date at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, MA, they announced that the show was being recorded and would be released as their next live album. They made similar announcements during shows in Portland, ME and Pawtucket, RI. The band also stated at the Pawtucket, RI show that the sellout crowd of 10,060 was the largest in the band's history. On Thursday, March 12, 2009, the band played the first of a series of seven St Patrick's Day shows at Boston's House of Blues, announcing that the series was to become a DVD/Live Album combination, to be released later in 2009.

Band members[]


Studio albums[]

Live and compilation albums[]





  • Runt of the Litter, Vol. 2 (1996)
  • Oi! Skampilation Vol. 3 (1997) - Includes "Road of the Righteous" and "Third Man In"
  • Give 'Em the Boot (1997) - Includes "Barroom Hero (original version)"
  • Vans Off the Wall Sampler (1998) - Includes "Road of the Righteous"
  • Give 'Em the Boot II (1999) - Includes "The Gang's All Here"
  • Vans Off the Wall Sampler (1999) - Includes "Boston Asphalt"
  • Punk Rock Jukebox Vol. 3 (1999) - Includes "Vengeance"
  • Built for Speed - A Motorhead Tribute (1999) - Includes "Rock and Roll"
  • Punch Drunk (1999) - Includes "You're a Rebel"
  • Boston Drops The Gloves: A Tribute to Slapshot (1999) - Includes "I've Had Enough"
  • Punch Drunk Vol. 2 (2000) - Includes "Soundtrack to a Killing Spree"
  • A Worldwide Tribute to Oi (2000) - Includes "Hey Little Rich Boy" and "Never Again"
  • Back on the Streets - Japanese/American Punk Unity]] (2000) - Includes "Halloween" and "Soundtrack to a Killing Spree"
  • Punk-O-Rama Vol. 5 (2000) - Includes "Good Rats (Original Version)"
  • Punk-O-Rama Vol. 6 (2001) - Includes "The Gauntlet"
  • A Tribute to Cock Sparrer (2001) - Includes "Working"
  • Give 'Em the Boot III (2002) - Includes "The Legend of Finn McCummhail"
  • Punk-O-Rama Vol. 7 (2002) - Includes "Heroes from Our Past"
  • Atticus: Dragging the Lake, Vol. 2 (2003) - Includes "Fields of Athenry"
  • Warped Tour 2003 Compilation (2003) - Includes "Walk Away"
  • Punk-O-Rama Vol. 8 (2003) - Includes "Gonna Be a Blackout Tonight"
  • Give 'Em the Boot IV (2004) - Includes "I'm Shipping Up to Boston (original version)"
  • Rock Against Bush, Vol. 2 (2004) - Includes "We Got the Power"
  • Punk-O-Rama Vol. 9 (2004) - Includes "The Dirty Glass (Darcy's Revenge)"
  • Punk-O-Rama Vol. 10 (2005) - Includes "The Warrior's Code"
  • MVP Baseball 2005 soundtrack (2005) - Includes "Tessie"
  • Fever Pitch soundtrack (2005) - Includes "Tessie"
  • Tony Hawk's Underground soundtrack (2003) - Includes "Time To Go"
  • Tony Hawk's American Wasteland soundtrack (2005) - Includes "Who is Who"
  • 2005 Warped Tour Compilation (2005) - Includes "Sunshine Highway"
  • Give 'Em the Boot V (2006) - Includes "Warriors Code"
  • Whiskey in the Jar: Essential Irish Drinking Songs and Sing Alongs (2006) - Includes "The Fields of Athenry", "The Wild Rover", and "The Dirty Glass"
  • The Departed soundtrack (2006) - Includes "I'm Shipping Up to Boston"
  • Give 'Em the Boot VI (2007)
  • Lobster Wars theme (2007) - "I'm Shipping Up to Boston"


Billboard (U.S.) chart positions[]

Year Title Chart position
1997 Do or Die
1999 The Gang's All Here # 184 U.S.
2001 Sing Loud Sing Proud # 144 U.S.
2002 Live on St. Patrick's Day From Boston, MA # 156 U.S.
2003 Blackout #   83 U.S.
2005 The Warrior's Code #   48 U.S.
2007 The Meanest of Times #   20 U.S

Born & Bred Records[]

The Dropkick Murphys started their own vanity label, Born & Bred Records, in 2007. It is a division of East West Records, which itself is part of Warner Music Group's Independent Label Group. The first, and so far only, release on the label was the band's The Meanest of Times.


External links[]


Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Dropkick Murphys. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Less Than Jake Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.