Ricky Warwick's Top 10 Thin Lizzy songs

Ricky Warwick still can’t believe his luck. Born in County Down in 1966, the singer’s adolescence was soundtracked by Thin Lizzy’s smart, streetwise songs, meaning there was a distinct whiff of schoolboy fantasy when he joined the Dublin band’s late-period lineup in 2009. Now, as frontman of Lizzy splinter-group Black Star Riders, Warwick might sing the crowd-pleasers, but admits there are connoisseur cuts closer to his heart. “I wanted to get Whisky In The Jar in there, but I couldn’t find room,” he considers, “and The Boys Are Back In Town is still a work of genius, but we’ve all heard it a million times. I wanted to dig a bit deeper…”

Little Darling

“It’s a great anthem, catchy as hell, with a really simple lyric. Being in a band with Scott Gorham, I get to hear all the juicy stories about those times from him, and I’ve heard rumours that Little Darling is about a girl that followed the band at the time. It’s a great song to stick on before you go out for a night. You just crank it right up. It’s a killer rock anthem, a feel-good song. Songs like this have had huge influence on me. And Phil Lynott, even though he’s no longer with us… I’ve never learnt so much from a dead guy in my life.”


“It’s written about Phil’s mum and about him being away. It’s also that age-old Irish thing of people leaving to find work overseas, and missing home. That’s still very prevalent today. People just tend to leave Ireland in search of a better life: some of them find it, some don’t. Philomena has just got that lament about it. There’s that longing, and it strikes a chord with me, being an Irish guy and having moved away. It’s showing the folk side of Thin Lizzy. That’s the thing I loved so much about them: they could have a Jailbreak, but then a song like_ Sarah_, which is just a beautiful song about Phil’s daughter.”

Wild One

“Again, it’s about roving, moving, leaving. I guess it’s about trying to find yourself, and some piece of mind. What I take from the Wild One lyric is that Phil is talking to somebody and saying, ‘Look, you can do all the crazy stuff, but don’t forget about the people that love you. Don’t forget where you came from. Don’t forget your roots. Don’t forget where you belong’. I was really excited when we played that song on the first Lizzy tours. Obviously, I was terrified when I got the gig, but I just wanted to do these songs in a way that reminded people of Phil singing them.”



“It has to be in there. I’ve played that song every show with Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders for the last nine years, and I look forward to it every night. The crowd go crazy. It’s the riff, it’s the huge chorus, it’s the breakdown in the middle-eight. It’s just the perfect rock‘n’roll song. Jailbreak is one of Phil’s great tough-guy lyrics. People talk about that line [‘Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak, somewhere in this town’]. And of course, it’s at the jail. But I mean, that’s tongue-in-cheek. I’m sure Phil was totally aware of that when he was writing it, and he’s just having a laugh. That song is pure poetry. I very much think of Phil as a poet, in the same way I think of Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Springsteen, Joe Strummer. Phil had something to say. For every song, even if it was ‘Let’s go party and get drunk’, there was meaning behind it.”

Waiting For An Alibi

Do Anything You Want To

Got To Give It Up

Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)


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Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.