Top Ten Christmas Songs #2: Fairytale of New York

Fairytale of New York

With the festive season upon us and Christmas just round the corner many of us will have been dusting down those compilations of Xmas songs and revelling in the classics, while cringing at some of the awful hits we would rather forget. To get into the festive spirit I’ve compiled my ten favourite Xmas songs which I’ll be posting daily in the run up to Christmas Day. Many will have you shaking your heads in disbelief, I am sure, but others will hopefully have you singing along. As always, I’d welcome feedback and would be interested in hearing your top 10s.

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York (1987)

Released in December 1987, the Pogues’ memorable Christmas hit sadly only peaked at no.2 in the UK. Despite that setback Fairytale of New York is often voted the greatest Christmas song of all time, surprising considering it comprises of two lovers exchanging some pretty harsh words, “You’re an old slut on junk, lying there almost dead on a drip in the bed,” or “Happy Christmas your arse, I pray God it’s our last.” For all its profanity the song is a delight to hear every time with Shane MacGowan’s singing contrasting brilliantly with the late Kirsty MacColl’s voice.

I do feel a tiny bit of shame in not making Fairytale of New York the no.1 Christmas song but there is another that stands out just that little bit more for me. You only have one more day to wait to find out which song that is. The Pogues and MacColl really brought a stunning song to the world in 1987 one that distanced itself from the pleasantries of White Christmas or Silent Night and instead brought us a relationship that began with so much promise but through drugs and alcohol has been irrevocably damaged. MacGowan reflects a man with regrets about what he has lost while he sits in a prison cell, unlikely for the first time for his drunken behaviour. If Fairytale of New York is ever the Christmas no.1 in the future I will be delighted because it would be a fitting tribute to Kirsty MacColl following her tragic death in 2000.

Top Ten so far:-

2) The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York

3) Chris De Burgh – A Spaceman Came Travelling

4) The Flying Pickets – Only You

5) Mike Oldfield – In Dulci Jubilo

6) Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday

7) Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmas Time

8) Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody

9) Mud – Lonely This Christmas

10) Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?

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Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
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