Watch The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle & The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn Cover The Pogues At Sinéad & Shane Benefit

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For at least the past 20 years, real lyric heads have known that the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle and the the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn are two of the best writers — arguably the two best writers — operating in the indie rock sphere. Darnielle and Finn have plenty more in common, too. They’re both nontraditional singers and expert ranters with splenetic, distinctive, wild-eyed stage presences. Like so many great writers, they both have complicated relationships with religion. When you go see either one live, you know that they love what they do. Finn and Darnielle have been friends for a long time, and their two bands played some shows together last year. Last night, both of them got together at Carnegie Hall to celebrate another great rock writer.

Last night, Carnegie Hall played host to the Sinéad & Shane benefit. It was an all-star salute to Sinéad O’Connor and Shane MacGowan, two great Irish musicians who passed away last year. The show featured Cat Power covering “Feel So Different,” the Dropkick Murphys doing “The Body Of An American,” David Gray taking on “Three Babies,” Billy Bragg performing “A Rainy Night In Soho,” and Glen Hansard and Caitlin O’Riordan singing “Fairytale Of New York,” among many others. Imelda May, Julia Cumming, and Lisa Hannigan performed, too. All of that sounds awesome, but I don’t know if you’re going to get anything better than Craig Finn and John Darnielle barking out the Pogues’ “Sally MacLennane” together.

The Pogues released “Sally MacLennane” in 1985, and it’s one of their many indisputable classics. When that song played at my wedding, that shit went off. Right now, there’s no video of Craig Finn and John Darnielle singing that song at Carnegie Hall, but they also covered it together in a public rehearsal at New York’s City Winery on Tuesday night. It goes exactly how you’d expect. Finn gets all excited and throws his arms in every direction. Darnielle gets all excited and pogos in place. Both of them just beam with joy. I love both of these fucking guys, and I love watching them having this much fun together. Below, watch fan footage of Finn and Darnielle’s cover and listen to the Pogues’ original recording.

Check out our We’ve Got A File On You interview with John Darnielle here and the one that we did with Craig Finn here.