The Pogues

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Christmas Lullaby
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The Pogues, Kirsty Maccoll - Fairytale Of New York
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The Pogues, Ella Finer - Fairytale Of New York
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The Pogues, Joyce Redmond - Fairytale Of New York
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The Pogues, Katie Melua - Fairytale Of New York
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Sinead O'Connor, The Pogues - Fairytale Of New York
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Christmas Music Playlists with The Pogues Songs

It's Fiesta Time With The Pogues This December

Factfile - The Pogues
  • Fairytale of New York was written by Shane McGowan & Jem Finer and appeared on the Pogues album If I Should Fall from Grace with God in 1987. The single reached #1 in Ireland & #2 in the UK.
  • Kirsty MacColl wasn't originally selected to sing the female lines - they were intended for The Pogues bassist Cait O'Riordan - but O'Riordan left the band in 1986.
  • The video featured Matt Dillon as the NYPD officer arresting MacGowan.

'Fairytale of New York' is undoubtedly one of the finest Christmas songs of all time. A composition with genuine heart, featuring people with real feelings and played with the sort of passion that ensured it has become a Christmas classic. One only has to hear a few keys from the opening piano line to instantly recognise this charming song. 'Fairytale of New York'’s depiction of a drunken relationship with language that merits the occasion has meant that it has had an history of censorship but thankfully common sense has prevailed and what you hear on the radio each December is the complete unexpurgated version.

Pogues frontman Shane McGowan wrote 'Fairytale of New York' with fellow band member Jem Finer and it features the unmistakable Kirsty MacColl whose call and response with McGowan has embedded itself in the psyche of anyone who has ever celebrated Christmas. MacColl wasn't originally chosen to sing the female parts but under the guidance of the song's producer (and MacColl’s husband) Steve Lilywhite she made it her own with her interaction with McGowan sounding fresh, vibrant and most of all the genuine article. 'Fairytale of New York' appeared on the Pogues’ 1987 album 'If I Should Fall from Grace with God' and when released as a single in December of that year made number one in Ireland and number two in the U.K.

Shane McGowan recorded another Christmas song which borrowed from an earlier Nick Cave work called ‘Lucy’ and an old Irish tune called ‘Too Ra Loo Ra’. ‘Christmas Lullaby’ is all but forgotten but it is a beautifully shambolic effort from McGowan that ran to almost 6 minutes. With lyrics like ‘And Santa and his reindeer, Jumped over the moon, So hush little child, Santa's coming here soon’ it really is a wonder that ‘Christmas Lullaby’ hasn’t left a bigger footprint. A shorter version of the song can be found on Shane McGowan and the Popes compilation ‘Rare Oul'Stuff’.


It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me
Won't see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
The Pogues, Fairytale of New York

The Pogues Christmas Album & Single Covers

The Pogues Christmas Lullaby
The Pogues Fairytale Of New York
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