Sing All Our Cares Away-Damien Dempsey’s song of genius

I did not know much about Damien Dempsey when I first heard his song, “Sing All Our Cares Away”. And I still don’t know much about him, to be honest.

But I genuinely believe that this song, “Sing All Our Cares Away”, is one of the finest songs written by an Irish person. Of all time. Without a shadow of a doubt, in my mind.

Leaving aside the lyrics for a moment, the music and melody is perfect and uplifting and optimistic at the end. But the lyrics, the lyrics.

Genius lyrics. Especially genius given the scenes of working-class life portrayed in the song.

Mary drinking on the sly with bottles of whiskey hidden around the house. Watching crap TV shows.

Michael unemployed, feeling the loss of meaning and dignity. Unshaven, messy.

Stevie breaking delph because he is unable to express himself. Frustrated.

Rita, the single mother, and the stayaway dad. Joey trying to come clean from his addiction. Maggie in a chair, presumably a wheelchair, after a joyriding accident.

All these scenes sung with a strong working-class Dublin accent and an optimistic promise at the end to ‘sing all our cares away, we’ll live to fight another day…live another day, grow strong…’

If Damien Dempsey never writes another song it won’t matter.

Anyway, here are the lyrics.

Sing All Our Cares Away Lyrics

Mary loves the grouse, hides the bottles round the house
She watches chatshows and the soaps, broken-hearted but she copes
Michael’s out of work, feels he’s sinking in the murk
He’s unshaven and a mess, finds it hard some days to dress
Stevie smashes the delf, ’cause he can’t express himself
He’s consumed by rage, like his father at his age
Rita’s little child, has a lovely little smile
This means nothing to her father, because he’s never even seen her
We sing, sing all our cares away
We’ll live, to fight another day
Joey’s off the gear, he’s been clean for half a year
He gets bored out of his mind, but he’s tryin to toe the line
Maggie’s in a chair, ’twas joyriding put her there
She puts the kettle on the boil, and she’s always got a smile
We sing, sing all our cares away
We’ll live, to fight another day
We sing, sing all our cares away
We’ll live, to love another day
We grow strong, from it all
We grow strong, or we fall
We grow strong, from it all
We grow strong, or we fall
We grow strong

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