Shane MacGowan, who died last week, was laid to rest on Friday (12/8) at St Mary of the Rosary in Nenagh, County Tipperary in Dublin. Thousands gathered on the street and outside the church for the funeral procession, while inside it was as much a celebration of the iconclast’s life and music as it was a mourning of his passing. Unsurprisingly, music played a big part in the ceremony and was organized by Glen Hansard. Performers included Nick Cave, who sang The Pogues‘ “A Rainy Night in Soho” (that U2 had covered the week before in Las Vegas); Imelda May and Hothouse Flowers frontman Liam Ó Maonlaí, who sang MacGowan‘s solo balad, “You’re The One;” and Mundy and Camille O’Sullivan sang “Haunted,” which was originally a duet between Shane and Sinéad O’Connor. Hansard and Lisa O’Neil brought the ceremony to a close with a joyous, moving performance of “A Fairytale of New York.”
Also taking part in the funeral: Johnny Depp, Aidan Gillen, and others. Bono couldn’t attend but sent a video tribute.
The funeral was broadcast and livestreamed and you can watch some of the performances, including Nick Cave, below.
Earlier this week, Nick Cave wrote about MacGowan and Sinéad O’Connor on his Red Hand Files site, saying in part:
Shane was not revered just for his manifold talents but also loved for himself alone. A beautiful and damaged man, who embodied a kind of purity and innocence and generosity and spiritual intelligence unlike any other.
Sinéad once said of Shane, ‘He is an angel. An actual angel’. Whether or not this is the case, who’s to say? But Shane was blessed with an uncommon spirit of goodness and a deep sense of what is true, which was strangely amplified in his brokenness, his humanness. We can say of him most certainly, ‘he was beloved on the earth,’ and Sinéad too — truly beloved and greatly missed, both.