Roisin Dubh (Mighty Lambchop's Heavy Metal Nails #13)

Good Morning!

Today is my final(ish) installment of my Heavy Metal Nails. I couldn't finish this series and not devote some time to the greatest band to come from Ireland that is not U2. I speak of Thin Lizzy.
I won't be surprised is many of you don't know the band but I am certain you have heard quite a few of their songs. Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath top my list of favorite bands and it's just as important to discuss Thin Lizzy's influence on heavy metal as it was for Purple and Sabbath.

Thin Lizzy formed in 1969 in Dublin, Ireland with the former members of Van Morrison's band and the remnants of Orphange. The band knocked around a bit but didn't have their first real success until 1973 when their version of traditional Irish song, Whiskey In The Jar, became a hit.
They continued to slowly garner more success until 1976, with the release of the Jailbreak album. That album was the breakthrough and personally, it is my favorite. (My birth year was really good for music.)
Thin Lizzy was notable for their "twin guitar" sound but most of all for Phil Lynott's songwriting and soulful singing.

Philip Parris Lynott

Phil Lynott was the undisputed leader of the group. He wrote and composed almost all of the songs and brought a classic Irish storytelling touch to modern rock and roll. 
Phil was born in England to an Irish (read: white) mother and Afro-Guyanese (read: black) father.
His parents were not wed, which was quite scandalous at the time and more so since they were an interracial couple. At the age of four, Phil was sent to live with his grandmother in the Dublin area while his mother continued to work in England.
Phil was extraordinarily close to both his grandmother and mother, writing the songs, Sarah and Philomena, respectively. (There are two songs called Sarah. The first honoring his grandmother and the second in tribute to his daughter, Sarah.) I find that really touching and their influence really shows in his work.
Phil Lynott was both a soulful and tender guy as well as the tough rocker and that dual nature plus being biracial and full of Irish pride really shaped everything he did.

Thin Lizzy was another band plagued by lineup changes. What's really interesting is the quality of work that kept coming out in spite of that. They really had a knack for finding talent, especially in guitarists. The legendary Gary Moore was a constant presence, as a member of the band and friend. His collaborations with Phil were some of the band's finest work. However, it was Lynott's work with John Sykes near the end that was really special. 
Thin Lizzy broke up in 1983 and Phil formed a band called Grand Slam that was well received but failed to sign any record deal due mainly to his substance abuse. Sadly, that substance abuse claimed him and Phil Lynott died in 1986.

Thin Lizzy is truly a criminally underrated band who never really got the opportunity to be as big as they should have. Perhaps it was because their music fell somewhere between pop and rock and couldn't quite satisfy both sides of the spectrum. There is no doubting how influential Thin Lizzy and Philip Lynott have been. From Henry Rollins to Metallica and even death metal bands, Nile and Kalmah. Their biggest hit, The Boys Are Back In Town, has been featured in a lot of movies and commercials and has been covered countless times. Especially by Bon Jovi. (I didn't like it, sorry.)
It is infuriating that Thin Lizzy have not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Philomena Lynott has kept her son's legacy and legend alive. She and others established the Roisin Dubh Trust to continue to keep his legacy intact. In 2005, Philomena succeeded in having a statue of Phil placed in Dublin on Harry Street, one of Phil's old haunts.

I love Phil but this is terrifying to me.
Image via: Roisin Dubh Trust

Phil Lynott is buried in St. Fintan's Cemetery and fans are encouraged to go and visit.

Image via: Roisin Dubh Trust

Should I ever have the opportunity to visit Ireland, I would like to pay my respects. However, I will avoid the statue. (In case you didn't know, I have a fear of statues. I know it is weird.)

Believe it or not, Thin Lizzy is still going. The band reformed and toured more as a tribute act but there are rumblings that they may end up recording new material. I've not seen much of them now only because I have such a strong connection to Phil Lynott and it seems weird to hear the band without him. That said, I love, love Dedication. Scott Gorham and Brian Downey added guitar and drum to a demo of the song recorded but never finished by Phil. It really was a fitting tribute.

Now, we come to the nails:

I knew I had to do something with black roses and of course emerald. Emerald is one of my favorite Thin Lizzy songs and the Black Rose album is a powerhouse. Phil Lynott was a proud Irish man and I'm equally proud of my Irish heritage. It works.

Thin Lizzy
 I dedicate this to you...

Thin Lizzy
My Roisin Dubh is my one and only true love

Thin Lizzy

What I used:
Revlon Emerald City
Ulta The Jungle Look on middle finger
China Glaze Smoke and Ashes for rose stamps
A mix of Claire's Dream Catcher, Nicole by OPI It's All About The Glam and Pure Ice Platinum Base Coat for rose stamp on index finger
Sally Hansen Nail Art pen in Silver for pinkie

I'm a little disappointed in the stamps on my middle finger but overall, I love what came to be.

Thin Lizzy's music means so much to me. That guitar sound is so amazing and Phil's singing and songwriting is so powerfully emotional. I love that most songs tell a story and truly evoke a vibe. Brilliant.
I love this band so much I even played Dancing In the Moonlight at my wedding. (That song has really become one of "our" songs.)
Thin Lizzy is part of the Deep Purple/ Black Sabbath family tree twice over thanks to Gary Moore and John Sykes.

My picks for Thin Lizzy/Phil Lynott:
Really? Do I have to make a list? Okay. This is minus what I've already linked above.
Out In The Fields
Parisienne Walkways
Killer on the Loose
Dear Miss Lonely Hearts

Black Rose

Finally, I leave you with the best Thin Lizzy video EVER.
They appeared on a show called Jim'll Fix It. The show was essentially a wish fulfillment program in which viewers would write in with their requests. 70 year old May Booker wrote in to ask to be able to play keyboards with a younger band. So she go to play with Thin Lizzy! This video is so awesome and May rocks her solo!

The end is so adorable. I love it.

I think this was a fitting end to my mash up of nail art and heavy metal. I thank you so much for all of the comments and the support. It was a tough challenge and loads of fun. I'm sad to end it but I'm certain I will be inspired to create more nail art that is inspired by heavy metal.
 Next time, I will be sharing a playlist of what I feel are some of the most essential heavy metal and hard rock songs. So, yeah, it's not quite over!

Thanks for coming by. Have a great day!


  1. Fear of Statues?? Have you seen the Doctor Who Episode - Blink? Don't!!! ;)

    1. I haven't seen it but a "friend" described it to me. Do. Not. Want.


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