On this day in 1987: The Pogues release Fairytale of New York
Entertainment

On this day in 1987: The Pogues release Fairytale of New York

IT'S undoubtedly the greatest Christmas song of all time, and we're not just saying that because we're Irish, it's a scientific fact.

Amidst all the happy-go-lucky anthems about cliched family get-togethers accompanied by the monotonous drone of sleigh-bells, the Pogues - along with the fabulous Kirsty MacColl - shook the festive foundations with this charming yet tragically-relatable classic.

In Ireland and the UK, it's frequently cited as the absolute pinnacle of festive music, and is believed to be the most-played Christmas hit of all time.

MacColl and Shane MacGowan, both charmingly-tragic figures in their own right, belt out the tale of a couple falling in love in the snowy depths of New York City with such endearing vigour, only to tear it all away in the second and third verses with the melancholic revelation that the two can no longer stand each other's company.

People love cynicism, I guess. Or maybe, Christmas and Irish folk music is the blend of styles the world needed.

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Despite its success, the song has come into criticism in recent years for its 'offensive' lyrics.

The words 'f****t' and 'sl*t' are used by MacColl's character during the song, and the slurs were particularly unwarranted that she ended up recording an alternative version of the song, with more politically correct words substituted in.

Last week, the BBC caused a stir by revealing they would be playing the censored version of the song on their flagship radio station, BBC Radio 1, with the original version still available on Radio 2.

Many lambasted the broadcaster's decision, arguing that you shouldn't tamper with a piece of art, which Fairytale of New York undoubtedly is.

But whatever your feelings on the subject, the song likely evokes a feeling of Christmas like no other song can.

In spite of the natural perception, Christmas can be both magical and sorrowful - just as MacGowan and MacColl intimate in the song, and as such, Fairytale of New York will likely always resonate with people around the world, just as strongly as it has for the last 33 years.

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