The Auld Triangle is a mournful Irish ballad, one of so many that call to mind the G K Chesterton lines:
'The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad'
I cannot pretend always to have loved the song and would not choose to listen to it in the car.
Seeing it performed live is a quite different matter. A good singer can demonstrate the song's gnawing emotion and a lusty rendition of the chorus can send shivers down the spine.
I have chosen three live versions for this comparison, the latest - and somewhat overdue - addition to Salut! Live's Cover Story series.
First the song: it was not written - according to some accounts - by the Irish writer, poet, IRA plotter and general hell-raiser Brendan Behan, as the Dubliners' late singer Luke Kelly has it in the first of the clips I have chosen, but by his brother, Dominic, for BB's 1954 play The Quare Fellow. I thought Dominic was the author but simply cannot be sure.
The lyrics depict life and imagery in Dublin's Mountjoy prison, where Brendan Behan spent four years for IRA activities (to add to an earlier Borstal sentence in England).
His 14-year term, for his part in a failed attempt to murder two detectives, was cut short by an amnesty.
The Auld Triangle was a large metal object beaten daily as a wake-up call and to announce other features of prison routine - including, as here, an execution.
One verse mentions the female prison and its 75 inmates "among whom I wish I could dwell", the triangle thus assuming sexual connotations.
Kelly, as always, sings like a dream and it is always difficult to find stronger versions of most of the songs he performs. But ... ... in his Royal Albert Hall performance as part of a concert commemorating, in 2014, the first official visit of an Irish president (Michael D Higgins) to the UK, Glen Hansard gets very close.
When not producing verbatim records of British parliamentary debates (sorry, couldn't resist), Hansard is an all-round entertainer and writer with an Oscar to his name as co-composer of Falling Slowly, from the soundtrack of The Commitments. OOPS: Not The Commitments but Once (my thanks for the correction to Bill Taylor).
His singing is not a patch on Kelly's but is passionate and convincing enough. With a great crowd of artists around him on stage - including Elvis Costello, Paul Brady, Imelda May and the Dubliners' fiddler John Sheahan - it is a resounding interpretation, capped by the magic Hansard works to draw the audience into belting out a chorus of its own.
Shane MacGowan, with the Pogues on a 1984 edition of John Peel's BBC show, is also a worthy contender.
But while Cover Story is not always meant to be a race or competition, I would choose either of the other options mentioned ahead of this.
There are many, many other versions and I would have included Bob Dylan's if only I had been able to locate it.
Feel free to dot that i for me in Comments and please alert me to any other songs you think this series should consider.
* Finally, as a bonus, here is Brendan Behan singing his brother's song: