Shane MacGowan's widow Victoria Mary Clarke unveils plans for release of his 'unpublished' songs

Virgin Radio

18 Dec 2023, 14:21

Credit: Rex/Instagram/@victoriamaryclarke

Shane MacGowan's wife Victoria excited fans of the late lyricist, hinting that there bundles of written pieces that are as of yet 'unpublished'.

In a poignant interview with The Guardian, Victoria Mary Clarke, widow of the legendary Pogues musician Shane MacGowan, provided a heartfelt reflection on her journey through grief, shared her vision for preserving MacGowan's artistic legacy, and recounted the extraordinary moments that defined their shared life. Following MacGowan's passing on November 30 at the age of 65, Clarke opened up about the profound impact of his departure and her commitment to honoring his memory.

"I’ve actually been doing fine because I feel like he’s still here," Clarke revealed, capturing the enduring sense of presence even in MacGowan's absence.

The interview delved into MacGowan's prolific songwriting, featuring numerous compositions dedicated to Clarke.

She hinted at the prospect of compiling these unheard melodies into a book of 'unpublished stuff' in the future.

“I guess at some point we will be doing a book of his unpublished stuff because there are quite a lot of unpublished songs,” she shared.

Reflecting on MacGowan's well-documented penchant for living life on the edge, Clarke recounted the tumultuous experiences they shared. She painted vivid pictures of the extremes MacGowan would go to, like setting fire to hotel rooms or jumping out of moving taxis, all while maintaining an air of unpredictability.

"He would do crazy things like jump out of the window of a moving taxi or paint himself blue," Clarke recounted with a mix of awe and fondness.

"And he would quite often set fire to things. He set fire to hotel rooms that we stayed in – while we were in them – just because."

Clarke's recollections depicted a life lived on the edge of eccentricity and unpredictability.

"We were living very much on the edge of some kind of actual destruction," she acknowledged, highlighting the magnetic pull of MacGowan's unconventional spirit.

Despite the challenges, Clarke expressed gratitude to Johnny Depp, describing him as a 'tower of strength' following MacGowan's funeral. The funeral, attended by fans and notable figures like Nick Cave, Glen Hansard, and Irish President Michael D. Higgins, marked the end of an era for MacGowan.

The funeral procession in turn attracted huge crowds and mass sing-alongs in the street, while the ceremony also had its own merry musical tribute, with the surviving members of The Pogues performing to a surprisingly raucous crowd.

Clarke even got up for a dance with members of MacGowan's family.

“I’ve never been to one like it,” says Clarke, still a bit shocked. “Usually they’re [funerals] downbeat. But there was so much joy, so much exuberance, and the love was so extreme that it kind of swamped any of the other stuff.”

It was recently revealed that MacGowan’s 'last request' was to have €10,000 left behind the bar at a VIP wake after his funeral.

As plans unfold for a book of MacGowan's unpublished songs, fans eagerly await the continuation of the Pogues' legacy. Meanwhile, Fairytale of New York, one of the band's timeless classics, is set to be released on 7-inch vinyl for charity, adding another chapter to the enduring impact of Shane MacGowan's musical legacy, as they hope to final reach the prized spot of Christmas Number One.

Since its release, despite multiple re-entries into the charts, Fairytale of New York has always eluded the top spot, having made the top 20 nineteen times since, with its debut in the charts being thwarted in 1987 by The Pet Shop Boys cover of Elvis Presley's You Were Always On My Mind.

The 7” single is available to pre-order now from HERE