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Welcome to Pub Songs & Stories, the virtual Public House for Celtic culture and change through music.

I am Marc Gunn. I play Sci F'Irish music. I want to take you on an adventure. I'll share the stories behind my songs as we explore pop culture media through the lens of Irish & Celtic music. You will have fun and sing along, and maybe get a far too real glimpse of yourself.




Mar 14, 2023

St Patrick’s Day isn’t just about drinking. But I will tell you the story of how I learned to write drinking songs so you can write your own… just sing along a little more easily.  I share 17 amazing Celtic Bands you should check out for St Patrick’s Day. Learn a green idea for investing in our climate.

This is Sci Fi Pub Songs & Stories #267.

0:22 - Kilted KingsRide On” from Flower of Scotland


Happy St Patrick’s Day! I am Marc Gunn. I’m a rhythm and folk Celtic musician living in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the audio edition of my weekly newsletter.

I play traditional Irish and Scottish drinking songs. I also write songs inspired by pop culture, things like Lord of the Rings, Firefly, and Doctor Who. That’s why this is Sci Fi Pub Songs & Stories. But this week, I’m mostly focusing on St Patrick’s Day fun.



15:53 - Marc Gunn & Jamie Haeuser “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye” from How America Saved Irish Music

19:47 - FEEDBACK

Mitchell Petersen responded to my last newsletter about “Saying No Even If It’s Included”. I said “When I choose fruit and vegetables, I pick the ones that aren’t in plastic bags. I get a little grossed out by putting them on the scanner. But then I wash them when I get home.”

He responded: “FYI, we have these bags for fruits and veggies at the grocery store and they are awesome and you don't need to use the plastic bags OR have to put your stuff straight in the basket”

21:08 - One of the best things about Dragon Con…


You can download all of my songs in this show. Just send me an email.  pubsong@ celtfather

You will get an auto responder with a link to download this month’s album. You can also subscribe to the podcast if you’re not already subscribed. It’s quick and easy.

While you’re emailing me to get your free EP, let me know what you’re doing while listening to this episode.

24:08 - Jiggy “King of the Faeries” from Translate

New video: “Fiery Arrow


I learned how to write a drinking song thanks to “The Cat Came Back… The Cat’s POV”.

First, let me point out, a drinking song isn’t about alcohol. It’s a song with a fun, easy-to-sing chorus. Sometimes it’s interactive.

“Wild Rover” has claps in the chorus. “Rattlin’ Bog” and “The Unicorn Song” have a whole bunch of motions that act out the lyrics. “Seven Drunken Nights” and “Big Strong Man” have phrases that the audience shouts back at the singer. These were the songs I was thinking of when I wrote the cat’s perspective of a famous folk song.

I never liked “The Cat Came Back.” It was cruel and I love cats. So I decided to rewrite the song using the melody of “The Moonshiner”. But I wanted to make it a call-and-response song. So I added “Ka-Boom”, “Gurgle” and more to the end of the verses. But when I finally decided to play it live, I had NO idea how to get the audience to interact with the song.

Eventually, I taught the audience the 5 different responses (five, really? What was I thinking?). I introduce each exclamation before the verse. But it’s still difficult to get them involved.

If you want to write a drinking song, keep it simple. One call and response throughout is best. Teach it at the beginning of the song. “Slainte Mhaith” is a great drinking song. It has an easy-to-sing chorus. But it also has a super easy call-and-response.

“When I sing slainte mhaith, you shout it back to me. Slainte mhaith! [Slainte mhaith]”.

Sometimes you learn to do something the easy way. With this song, I learned what not to do. Ah well. Live and learn.

Here’s the lyrics to “The Cat Came Back… The Cat’s Perspective”:

I was a crazy cat for many a year,
My years are advancing. Now I sleep in my chair.
But old Mr. Johnson still wants me to play
If I don’t get active, he’ll send me away.

I’m a yellow tabby, kinda flabby. And I’m coming home.
And if you don’t like me, then leave me alone!
I’ll eat when I’m hungry. I’ll sleep when I’m tired.
And if you try to wake me, you’ll wish you had died.

His neighbor ambushed me with shotgun and dynamite.
My cat senses warned me. So I put up a fight.
I clawed at his cigarette. It fell to the floor.
It lit the dynamite as I ran out the door.

He gave me to a boy with a dollar and a note
To drown me in the river when we were afloat.
I saw the rope come towards me and let out a yowl.
The boat tipped on over. The poor boy was drowned.

He gave me to a man going up in a balloon.
I clung to his head. I am no buffoon.
The man tried to free me, but then lost control.
I stole his parachute as he crashed ‘gainst a knoll.

He took me to the mill where the meat was ground.
He left off the lights, so I wouldn’t look around.
But I saw that food processor come closer to me,
I jumped to the floor. He tripped bloodily.

Mr. Johnson, Mr. Johnson, I know you hate me,
But I have nine lives and you haven’t even three.
Blessed are the cat lovers. Blessed are all kitties
So love me or leave me alone for to sleep.

32:22 - Marc Gunn “The Cat Came Back… The Cat’s Perspective” from Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers


The show is brought to you by my Gunn Runners on Patreon. If you enjoy this podcast or my music, please join the Club. Every week, you get bonus podcasts, downloadable songs, printed sheet music, blogs, or stories from the road. Plus, you get weekly access to my Coffee with The Celtfather video concerts. Sign up for as little as $5 per month and save 15% with an annual membership.
Thanks to my newest Gunn Runners on Patreon: Alice M, Karla A, Triskele, Ayden B


Whether you’re a die-hard Celtic music fan or your interest tends to heat up more around St. Patrick’s Day, we have a band for you! We’ve assembled 17 of them here for you to add to your holiday playlist, or to check out in your spare time. Each of them has earned a spot on the list because they have something special to offer, so take a listen—and enjoy!

Read the blog.

44:16 - CLIP: Poitin “Dirty Old Town” from One For the Road

45:13 - Poitin “The Knife in the  Bread” from One For the Road


It’s fascinating how creative people are when it comes to finding innovative new ways to combat climate change. One of the more creative is through banking.

The fossil fuel industry is funded by investors. What happens if investors refuse to invest in them because they don’t want to support the fossil fuel industry? We will see greener energy.

There’s a campaign in the U.K. asking people to green their investments. Thinking about that I just migrated to a new Mutual Fund so that my money no longer supports Fossil Fuels.

Yeah. My small mutual fund will not make a huge difference. But imagine if just you and I made this change and we had the exact same amount in our pension?

What if 10 other people on my mailing list did the same? Or 30? Multiply your pension times 30 and we start to make a real impact.

That’s really what it takes. It takes each of us being aware and making small changes to force banks to stop investing in fossil fuels and start investing in the health of our planet.

52:34 - Marc Gunn “St Patrick Never Drank” from Kilted For Her Pleasure


56:47 - Marc Gunn “Wild Mountain Thyme” from The Bridge

1:01:29 – CREDITS

Thanks for listening to Sci Fi Pub Songs & Stories. The show is brought to you by my Gunn Runners on Patreon. Every week, you’ll get a new podcast or song or video or video concert. You’ll also save 25% off all my merch in my store. The show was edited by Mitchell Petersen with graphics by Miranda Nelson Designs.

You can subscribe and listen to the show wherever you find podcasts. Sign up to my mailing list to read the show notes for this episode and find out where I’m performing.

And of course, please tell one friend about this podcast. Word of mouth is the absolute best way to support any creative endeavor.

Have fun and sing along at!

#pubstories #jiggy #poitin