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A good heart is hard to find

I had no idea who Feargal Sharkey was except that he had a funny name and he recorded a guilty pleasure of mine, A Good Heart. It is a very 80’s song with a video that features two, TWO, drummers, because one cute drummer is not enough when you are making a cheesy 80’s video. I never told anyone I listened to this song, just like I don’t tell them about the cheesy TV shows I sometimes watch. (Smallville, I’m looking at you.)

When you need a lot of rhythm

I was listening to Pandora the other day which is a free web service which plays songs that are similar to an artist or song you suggest. I entered “Maria McKee” and was listening to several folk/rock chicks when suddenly a cover of “A Good Heart” by Maria McKee came on.

“What a funny song to cover!” I thought as I looked up from the bills I was sorting. “I thought I was the only one who had ever heard this song.” So I searched for Maria McKee on Wikipedia, and what do you know, Maria McKee wrote “A Good Heart” at the age of 19. Feargal Sharkey recorded it and it went to #1 on the UK charts in 1985.

Suddenly, I was no longer embarrassed that I liked this cheesy 80’s song. I was proud I liked it despite itself. I didn’t have questionable taste after all, I simply liked a song by one of my favorite songwriters even when I didn’t know she had written it. It proved that I truly do like Maria McKee even when she’s all synth-ed up.

I also looked up Feargal Sharkey and while I didn’t find out what his momma was thinking when she named him, I learned he was the lead singer of The Undertones. They are known for the song Teenage Kicks, which has been covered by lots of people, so it must be rather popular. I bet there are those of you out there lamenting my ignorance and will undoubtedly berate me for now knowing this band’s important place in rock history. Sorry, y’all. I was born in 1980.

While a good heart might be hard to find, thanks to the Internet information isn’t.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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v'ron • January 22, 2009 at 9:08 am

OK, lots of people loved the Undertones, but hardly anybody I know ever heard Feargal Sharkey’s “A Good Heart” and it’s one of my favorite recordings. In fact, a lot of Undertones fans didn’t even realize he did a solo LP. The whole LP’s good.

And I could swear that A Good Heart wasn’t his original, either. I KNOW I’ve heard it somewhere….


Deb • January 22, 2009 at 10:44 am

I love the Internet and think it’s the greatest invention in the last 50 years. Enjoy your feelings of self-confidence, nay, superiority!


EG • January 22, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Funny you should mention that, because I was trying to create a cool folk/ rock station on Pandora and it became WAY too mellow. Maria McKee you say? I’ll have to check it out.


Shrinkingdad • January 22, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Teenage Kicks was a classic, but Jimmy Jimmy was the song that made The Undertones cool. My Perfect Cousin was a bigger hit than either at the time, if I remember rightly, but they’d sold out by then.


Jen, a priorfatgirl • January 22, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I love love love pandora! WAHOO! All day every day, 5 days a week, I’m addicted!


K • January 22, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Ah, you see, you are not British. “Teenage Kicks” is particularly famous in Britain because the legendary DJ John Peel (who was very influential in British rock music) said it was his favourite song ever.

I am also well familiar with “A Good Heart”. But then I was born in 1979. As for Feargal Sharkey’s mum… Feargal is a fairly normal Irish name, I think. Sharkey, too, though it is pretty funny.


Heather • January 23, 2009 at 9:42 am

So someone else is a closeted Smallville watcher. What did you think of last night’s episode?

The internet is a wonderous thing though I think some things can get out of hand and far away from the reality of life.


kathy • January 23, 2009 at 9:45 am

You’re speaking Greek to me and already eons ahead of my current rock knowledge. I’m one of the old fogies who doesn’t remember anything after Santana and The Who. :) My kids introduced me to Greenday and so I think I’m so hip and all.


Deborah Pesa • January 24, 2009 at 8:21 am

Gosh, buried somewhere in my detritus, I own a Feargal Sharkey album. I also own a Simply Red album and various other odd ’80s artists. Who am I kidding, I loved the ’80s! British New Wave and what was called ‘Blue Eyed Soul’. I’d probably still fall over and die if I was to meet Paul Young ::sigh::


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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