song of the day – “Sweet Thing” | THE WATERBOYS | 1988.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  On this first St. Patrick’s Day of my little bloggy thing here, I’ve got a sweet cover of a sweet song – “Sweet Thing” by The Waterboys.

Mike ScottThe Waterboys is comprised of members hailing from Ireland, Scotland and England, led by Edinburgh’s Mike Scott, and whose past members have included famed Irish accordionist and fiddler Sharon Shannon, Ian McNabb of Icicle Works and Karl Wallinger, the Welsh force behind World Party.

The band had been releasing albums since 1983, but I first learned of The Waterboys in January 1990 upon my return to college at the University of Maine at Farmington.  My French roommate introduced me to the band and their brilliant 1988 album, FISHERMAN’S BLUES.  It was love at first listen for me, and for many other fans as well, as it was the band’s biggest-selling album.

I’m sure I’ll highlight the full FISHERMAN’S BLUES album as an “album of the week” at some point, mainly because it deserves it, but for now, I just want to talk about a very “Sweet Thing.” 

fisherman's blues

“Sweet Thing” was written by Northern Ireland music legend Van Morrison, released in 1968 on his second album, ASTRAL WEEKS.  The version by The Waterboys clocks in at over 7 minutes,  and turned into a medley with an impromptu cover of The Beatles’ “Blackbird,” which Mike Scott apparently sang out of the blue while recording.  And it really works. 

With no disrespect to Van Morrison, I actually prefer this sweet cover by The Waterboys to his original.  Some songs are just like that for me.  This one will always be like that for me.  “Sweet Thing” is one of the sweetest parts of a truly incredible album, and for this St. Patrick’s Day for 2016, I couldn’t think of a more spirited or sweeter song I wanted to share…  Sláinte!

the waterboys


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