A Few Takes On “A Fairytale of New York”

Tonight’s blog post started out a a simple acoustic take on the oft recorded Pogues tune, Fairytale of New York as performed by the great Irish folksinger, Christy Moore.

The goal of this blog as you know is to present Christmas tunes that are a bit more off the beaten path. Fairytale of New York does NOT fit that description.

This from The Telegraph

Polls about the song have been as plentiful as mince pies: it is the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century; the best to cook to; the best to drive to; the best to dance with your mother-in-law to (OK, I made up that one).  The polls are harmless and meaningless. Heinz Frozen UK announced in 2011 that the Pogues’ classic was the nations’ “favourite Christmas song to cook to”. Poor old Bing Crosby’s White Christmas song was past its sell-by-date, apparently.

More significantly, the 1987 song by the Pogues – once censored by the BBC for its raw language – was announced as the most-played Christmas song of the century by music licensing body PPL, leapfrogging Wham’s Last Christmas. Fairytale of New York certainly still sells in big numbers. It has been in the Christmas Top 20 over seven different years and was went back into the UK charts in 2014, thanks in part to support from streaming services.

My guess is you’ve all heard it – time and again. There is a story behind the song. It’s sweet and ultimately very sad. So much so, that on the 25th anniversary of the song’s release, the BBC produced a documentary about it.

If you like this song, it’s well worth investing an hour.

Fairytale of New York – Christy Moore

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues (the original version)

Fairytale of New York – The Story Behind The Pogues Christmas Classic – BBC Documentary


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