Thursday, January 26, 2012

Subaru to hockey moms: When you die, you can go to hell


Did Subaru's advertising agency pay attention to what Shane McGowan is singing in If I Should Fall From Grace With God?

Although it's one of the catchiest sounding songs ever IMO, the lyrics are pretty depressing. It's a song about what should be done with the singer's body after death if the "angels won't receive [him]" and he can't be buried in consecrated ground. "Coming up threes boys" must have given them the idea to put three cute little boys in the ad, when really, it's a reference to the old wives' tale that drowning men come up for air three times before succumbing; bad luck and death also come in threes.  The song has references to the longstanding Anglo/Irish conflict, and if I understand the lyrics right, McGowan is basically telling the English they can go to Hell with him ("Let them go down in the mud/where the rivers all run dry"). (ETA: I reread the lyrics and the "them" could also refer to "our fathers.")

I'm guessing like most Americans, the agency creatives love the energy of the music. So do I! I'm sure some of them were in college in the 80s and remember getting shit-faced at parties, the Pogues cranked in the background. Still, every time I see the ad I can't help but think they're telling hockey moms to go to hell. In which case, maybe they wanted to slip a sly sense of humor past the client.


  1. And I was in London in the 80's trembling at the thought of an IRA bomb going off while I was on the Tube home. Not a great memory for me.
    I was surprised when I heard this tune on the TV ad.

  2. It was a poor choice for the ad. Maybe if they'd just used the instrumental; the words don't fit at all! On another note, it's frightening how many people around here (Boston) think the IRA is good for Ireland. You know, fighting for the brothers in the homeland. Grrr.

  3. I had to laugh when I read the post because as a Canadian the thing I was most shocked about wasn't the music. It was the fact Americans would use hockey in the ad. :-)

  4. LOL, true. Maybe Subaru is only running the commericial in markets like Boston, Minneapolis, Buffalo, etc. where hockey is big. Plus, there's Sarah Palin and her "hockey moms." Maybe it's some kind of dig at her?


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