The Pogues tipped to land Irish Christmas number one with Fairytale of New York
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The Pogues tipped to land Irish Christmas number one with Fairytale of New York

THE POGUES could be returning to the top of the charts in Ireland with Fairytale of New York in the running to claim the coveted Christmas No.1 spot.

The festive favourite, which features a memorable duet between Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl, first hit the number one in Ireland back in 1987.

31 years later, the song could be set for a sensational return to the pop chart summit, according to the Irish Mirror, thanks to an ongoing censorship debate around the track.

An RTE DJ recently whipped up something of a social media storm after suggesting some of the lyrics to the song be censored.

The contentious lyrics come when MacColl sings the lines: "You scumbag, you maggot/ You cheap lousy faggot/ Happy Christmas, your arse/ I pray God it’s our last."

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2FM DJ Eoghan McDermott expressed discomfort with the lyrics on Twitter.

He wrote: "I asked the two gay members of my team how they feel, since faggot is their N word. If people want to slur the gay community, this is their most powerful weapon.

"One favours censoring, the other outright not playing it. Neither like it. Simples."

 

(Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

 

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The comments were met with scorn by some online and resulted in an online campaign calling on fans to help the song return to the top of the charts through downloads and streaming.

MacGowan subsequently issued a statement to Virgin Media’s The Tonight Show addressing the controversy.

"The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character. She is not supposed to be a nice person, or even a wholesome person." he said.

"She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history and she is down on her luck and desperate.

"Her dialogue is as accurate as I could make it but she is not intended to offend! She is just supposed to be an authentic character and not all characters in songs and stories are angels or even decent and respectable, sometimes characters in songs and stories have to be evil or nasty in order to tell the story effectively.

"If people don’t understand that I was trying to accurately portray the character as authentically as possible then I am absolutely fine with them bleeping the word but I don’t want to get into an argument."