This past weekend, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivered a rousing speech at a political convention in Iowa. While many on the right praised Walker for his appearance and have begun floating him as a strong candidate for the 2016 elections, Boston heroes and Irish punk legends Dropkick Murphys were less than pleased with at least one aspect of his appearance. Walker made his way to the podium to the tune of Dropkick Murphys “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” (aka, the only song non-DKM fans really know) which the band took issue with. Speaking over Twitter, Dropkick Murphys informed Walker that they “literally hate” him and asked if he would stop using their music in association with his name.
— Dropkick Murphys (@DropkickMurphys) January 25, 2015
In the days since #murphygate (no, that’s not really what they’re calling it, but damn it, they should) many conservative “fans” of Dropkick Murphys have expressed their disdain for the band over Twitter, claiming they’ve been throwing away their CDs and deleting their songs from iPods en masse.
@DropkickMurphys You HATE Walker!? Removing you from my iTunes. Sorry I ever purchased your music. If you can’t be tolerant- bye-bye!
— Conservative Mom (@conservMOM1776) January 26, 2015
— Rayging Ray (@raygmccarthy) January 26, 2015
— #veteranmom (@Veteran_mom) January 26, 2015
— Jerry (@cliffjumper68) January 26, 2015
Guys…listen…I’ve got a feeling you’re not really fans of the Dropkick Murphys. Oh sure, you heard “Shipping Up To Boston” and you put it on your workout mix and I get that. It’s one of the great pump up jams in recent memory. Whenever I listen to that song, it gets me all in a frenzy and I feel like I can take on the whole world. So it makes sense. But you were never, in any way, a fan. How do I know this? Because if you were a fan, none of this would have come as a shock to you. The Dropkick Murphys have spent their entire career crafting pro-union and pro-working class anthems that run counter to the belief systems of the conservative movement. I mean these are the same guys who’ve built their fan base by playing songs such as…
“Boys on the Docks”
If ever you needed proof regarding Dropkick Murphys leftist, pro-union stances, then this would be a good place to start. This acoustic anthem details the plight of a working class hero who unites the workers of Boston’s shipyards in order to stand up against the business practices of their employers. “Together we are what we can’t be alone,” they sing in the refrain, making this song a rallying call for unions and the working class for almost 20 years now. Walker hasn’t exactly been “union friendly” during his tenure in office. You’ll recall, tens of thousands of protesters descended on his capital in response to his threats to strip the Wisconsin teacher’s union of their bargaining power. Speaking of which…
“Take Em Down”
This song was written in solidarity with the protestors who stormed the Wisconsin capitol building to make their voices be heard. “When the boss comes callin’ they’ll put us down,” they sing. “When the boss comes callin’ stand your ground.” Was that not clear enough? Was the nuance lost in layers of subtext? Did the purpose of this song not fully hit you in the chorus when they sang “Let them know, we gotta take those bastards down, let them know we gotta smash them to the ground”? Last weekend wasn’t the first time Dropkick Murphys have expressed their disdain for Walker and his policies. This song was literally a big ol’ “fuck you” to Walker and any union busting politician who might happen to be listening.
“Worker’s Song (Fuck Capitalism)”
Yeah okay, I suppose I can see how this one might have confused you.
“Which Side Are You On?”
Somehow I can’t really imagine Scott Walker—or any republican, really—getting pumped up for their late night legislation passing by listening to this song. Moreover, I’m not really convinced that the conservative housewife who loves “Shipping Up To Boston” ever really jams this in her SUV while picking up the kids from school. I mean… “don’t scab for the bosses, don’t believe their lies, us poor folks haven’t got a chance unless we organize” doesn’t exactly scream to be co-opted by republican politicians. Just a hunch.
“Take it and Run”
Since this song was the track right before “Shipping Up To Boston” on The Warrior’s Code then I’m positive you’ve got some experience with it. I mean, you guys are all such huge fans right? Or were, at least, until you found about their dirty liberal, pro-unions beliefs. Would it surprise you, then, to learn that the song’s protagonist, Maureen, is a symbol for the plight of the working poor, doing all they can to survive against long, impossible odds? It shouldn’t, because it’s pretty in your face. Maureen’s a down-on-her-luck worker who can’t find a job, in a bad relationship, and is just searching for a break so she can be a good mom. Moreover, unlike many conservative politicians and pundits, this song actually views Maureen in a positive way, feeling her pain rather than relishing in making her feel worse.