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Welcome to Pub Songs & Stories, the virtual Public House for Celtic culture and change through music.

I am Marc Gunn. I play Sci F'Irish music. I want to take you on an adventure. I'll share the stories behind my songs as we explore pop culture media through the lens of Irish & Celtic music. You will have fun and sing along, and maybe get a far too real glimpse of yourself.



Oct 11, 2021

Be careful when visiting the Fairy Forts of Ireland. You could become a permanent resident, imprisoned by the fae. Some folk find it difficult to express themselves. A lot like Marc Gunn and Malcolm Reynolds on the TV show, Firefly.


Welcome to Pub Songs & Stories. This is the Virtual Public House for musicians to share the stories and inspiration behind their music with your host Marc Gunn. Subscribe to the podcast and download free music at


  • Today’s show is brought to you by my Gunn Runners on Patreon. They get to hear the show before you do. They also get MP3s of my songs I play in this show. And of course, I have lots of other exclusive podcasts and blogs that I share there. Special thanks to Jenn E, Panya G.
  • If you are not yet subscribed to my In the ‘Verse podcast. I highly recommend it. Mikey Mason and I launched season 2. In this show, we watch some pop culture media that we love. Then we write a song about it. The first season was all about Firefly. But season 2 will explore Doctor Who, Mandalorian, Peaky Blinders and the Big Damn Movie among other offerings. Go to to subscribe.
  • I also published the latest Celtfather Music & Travel. That’s a monthly podcast where I talk about my musical successes and failures from the previous month. I share my stats as well, which I find sometimes fascinating. But I also rant on a topic. This month, I talked about what’s next after CDs.
  • What song of mine would you like me to talk about?


  • OCT 15-17: Multiverse, Atlanta, GA
  • OCT 21: Firefly Drinking Songs on Celtfather Live on Bandcamp @ 8-9 PM


7:53 - SONG: “Port Na Bpúcaí (Fairy Tune)” by Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh with Gerry O’Beirne
Pronunciation: Port na Boo-kay


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One of my favorite Firefly songs to sing, and for that matter, any of my songs to sing is “She’s Shiny”. I released it on my last album.

The song is about Malcolm Reynolds, played by Nathan Fillion, from the TV show Firefly. Throughout the 14 episodes of the show, he has this, let’s call it a crush, on Inara Serra, the ship’s companion, played by Morena Baccarin. But he has a lot of trouble telling her about how he feels.

The sexual tension between the two is incredible. And of course it all comes to point in the episode “Heart of Gold” when we realize that Inara has just as many repressed feelings for Malcolm as he does for her.

I for one have certainly suffered from an inability to adequately express my feelings. It’s a common stereotype among men in particular. But I know there are a lot of people who have trouble expressing how they feel about someone.

I still remember when I was in the second grade I had a crush on a girl. Someone recognized that crush. They vocally pointed it out on the school bus. I was so embarrassed. I pretty much stopped telling anyone when I was interested in anyone from that day forth.

That’s one of things I love about the song. It is relatable whether you enjoy Firefly or not.

But the song makes so much more sense when you have seen the episodes.

Throughout the lyrics, I relate a story of a guy who is interested in a woman. Each of the verses connect to episodes where Malcolm and Inara interact in the sexually tense scenes.

The first verse talks about Inara’s unknown past. It is often wondered what or if she was running from something. It alludes to Malcolm calling her a whore through a quickly changed rhyme scheme.

The second verse was inspired by the episode “Shindig”. Malcolm attends a ball that Inara was hired to go to. He picks a fight with Inara‘s escort. With a little bit of luck, he wins the fight.

The third verse talks about Inara, and how she relates to Malcolm. She teaches him how to use a sword. She gets angry at him when they don’t go to “civilized” planets. And once again, the song alludes to her sexual career.

It’s the last verse though that makes me love this song so much. It’s subtle. Again unless you really know Firefly you might not get the joke.

The verse talks about finding her in a “down and out dirty place.” It revisits the idea that perhaps Inara is running from something. But then, in the final line, it’s revealed that the whole song is actually about Malcolm‘s spaceship Serenity.

Basically he is so sexually repressed that his great love, who is in fact Inara, is replaced with his other love, his spaceship.

This song makes me so happy. I guess because it also gives me a little bit of hope. At least there are people who are even more oblivious than I am.

16:42 - “She’s Shiny” from As Long As I’m Flyin’

Pub Songs & Stories was produced by Marc Gunn. The show is edited by Mitchell Petersen with graphics by Miranda Nelson Designs. You can subscribe and listen wherever you find podcasts. You can also subscribe to my mailing list. You will get regular updates of new music, podcasts, special offers, and you’ll get 21 songs for free. Welcome to the pub at!

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