The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan brands decision to censor Fairytale of New York ‘ridiculous’
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The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan brands decision to censor Fairytale of New York ‘ridiculous’

SHANE MACGOWAN has branded the decision to censor The Pogues’ hit Fairytale of New York as “ridiculous” in a new interview. 

The BBC announced earlier this month that it would play an edited version of the festive hit this year in order to avoid offending younger listeners. The festive favourite has courted controversy in recent years due to the presence of several slurs in the song’s original lyrics. 

MacGowan wrote the song alongside his former Pogues bandmate Jem Finer and has previously defended the content of the popular Christmas track. Speaking in a new interview with Metro, he once again appeared to take umbrage any suggestion of the song causing offence. 

Asked how he felt about words being bleeped out or a different version being played, MacGowan said “I think it’s ridiculous”.  The interview was conducted to mark the upcoming release of Crock Of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan, in which the songwriter claimed to hate the song. 

MacGowan used the Metro interview to clarify those remarks explaining “I don’t hate Fairytale! I am just a bit sick of it.” 

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The Irishman previously defended the song in an interview with Ryan Tubridy for The Late Late Show last year.  "There is no political correctness to it," he said. "I've been told it's insulting to gays; I don't understand how that works." 

The Pogues star also addressed the controversy in a statement to Virgin Media TV's The Tonight Show back in 2018. 

"The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character,” he said. 

"She is not supposed to be a nice person or even a wholesome person. She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history and she is down on her luck and desperate". 

MacGowan added: "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. 

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"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." 

MacGowan went on to say that he does not want to clash with anyone over the song and would understand if it had to be censored on the air. 

"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," he concluded.