Fairytale of New York has been my absolute favourite Christmas song for years. Forget the Mariahs and the Michael Bubles. This is the Christmas music I want to listen to. Toss in some classic Elvis (as a nod to my Mom) and some old-school Alabama (nod to my Dad) and this is the music that I’ll admit to listening to, and singing along to. This is also the Christmas music that, when shared, increases in its wonderment and enjoyment.
Although, it came to my attention last Christmas that not everyone knows this song. And while it isn’t “technically” a Christmas carol, it is the song I will have on repeat over the next couple of days.
Some notes about the song:
- The female vocals were to be sung by bassist Cait O’Riordan, but she left the band in ’86. Kirsty MacColl’s then-husband was producing the Pogues and asked MacColl to step in as a vocal guide. The Pogues liked her contribution so much that they asked her to sing along officially.
- The song still kicks ass. 25 years after its initial release. Fairytale has re-entered the Top 75 every December since 2005. It has made the Top 20 on nine separate occasions and the Top 10 on four separate occasions. Its 10 visits to the chart now total 57 weeks on the official UK Top 75 making it the joint 16th most charted song of all time.
- Kristy MacColl’s death is an interesting one with many unanswered questions. Although, her heroic actions undertaken (she pushed her son out of the way of the boat that killed her) are something to be in awe of. Her death was controversial until a few years ago when the campaign to answer the unanswered questions was ceased.
If you haven’t heard it (and I’m shocked), give it a listen and enjoy. For the rest of you old punks, have the happiest of Christmases! Enjoy good food, good drinks, good company and may it all be spent with the accompaniment of stellar music.