Shane MacGowan, the captivating, charismatic, chaotic, calamitous lead singer and songwriter for the Pogues, an Irish folk punk rock band, died last week at the age of 65.

His survival to even that age was an extraordinary feat; not only did he indulge in every excess — alcohol and heroin were two of his addictions — but he wore them proudly, a reverse image of Dorian Gray.

MacGowan was a songsmith of the highest order. Irish President Michael Higgins called him one of “music's greatest lyricists,” whose “songs about “chancers, drinkers, lovers, poets and scoundrels” — that from actor Siobhan McSweeny — “connected Irish people all over the globe to their culture and history, encompassing so many human emotions in the most poetic of ways” (Higgins again). Bob Dylan called MacGowan one of his “favorite artists” and Bruce Springsteen considers him “a master” whose songs will be “remembered and sung” long after his death.