Switchback blog: Let the Bon Temps Roulez
The first song Martin McCormack and I set out to write together was a thing called “Banshee Gumbo.” This song was written over 20 years ago in the first apartment that my wife Maggie and I occupied early in our marriage.
The apartment was located in a building that my father and my brothers had bought next door to their club FitzGerald’s in Berwyn, IL. At the time we lived there, my German friend Otto had a small appliance repair shop at the rear of the first level of the building. The front of the lower level was occupied by my Korean friends who had a dry cleaning business complete with seamstress.
In a concerted effort one night, Marty and I set out to write “Banshee Gumbo.” The song describes an Irish band attempting to perform Irish music after having ingested Cajun food. A gastronomical mayday ensued, “from ‘Saddle the Pony’ to ‘Galway Bay,’ it all came out bon temps roulez.
Lyrics to Banshee Gumbo
On a rainy night not long ago
We were doing some cookin’ before the show
Of sick boiled potatoes and cabbage greens
Had a taste for somethin’ from New Orleans
Like a bolt of lightning and a thunder clap
Les haricots we began to snap
The Queen whipped up a mighty roux 
While humming a bar from the “Foggy, Foggy Dew”
A pinch of this and a dash of that
De cayenne pepper et le cochon fat 
Fill me up with the rice and beans
Add to the fire of the sweet poteen 
We were feeling good when we hit the gig
The crowd was ready for an Irish jig
But from “Saddle the Pony” to “Galway Bay”
It all came out a bon temps roulez 
They were kicking tables and shovin’ chairs
Folks were dancin’ everywhere
No stack of barley, no dosey doe
Et mon cher c’est le Banshee Gumbo, et mon cher c’est le Banshee Gumbo 
 The Queen was a nickname for Mary McDonough, the fiddle player for the Wailin’ Banshees.
 Cochon is French for pig.
 Poteen is Irish for moonshine.
 Bon temps roulez means “let the good times roll.”
 “And my dear it’s a Banshee Gumbo.”