I can’t believe Christmas is less than two weeks away – it seems as though I blinked and missed December completely. As the festive season is well and truly upon us (and you can probably tell from the title) I thought I’d share my favourite Christmas song with you.
Now, this may seem like a controversial choice because it’s not your stereotypical ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s kind of why I like it – because it’s something a bit different. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the more traditional festive songs like ‘Last Christmas’ and things like that, but every time I hear this song it just makes me think, ‘ok, it’s Christmas’.
My favourite Christmas song is: ‘Fairytale of New York’, by The Pogues ft Kirsty MacColl. I know some of you are probably thinking ‘WHAT?!’, but you can’t deny that ‘Fairytale Of New York’ is an absolute corker, and a rather funny alternative to just about any other Christmas song you can think of. It looks like I’m not the only one who thinks so either; the song has charted 11 times over the years since its release in 1987, and – according to this 2014 article from The Telegraph – is the most played Christmas song of the 21st century. Can’t argue with the facts!
The song has an Irish-folk vibe with a Christmassy twist, but couldn’t be further from the festive cheer of ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’. Everything is not hunky dory, as the lyrics paint a picture of a relationship that has, over time, soured. It’s a duet of a call and response structure, which gives it a conversational quality – the main focus being the couple’s bickering.
The piano led introduction makes way for Shane MacGowan’s gruff vocals, slightly reminiscent of a somewhat inebriated reveller. This is then lifted by the addition of singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl’s smoother cockney-sounding vocals, contrasting with MacGowan’s, and providing the ‘other side’ of the story.
The track has a very theatrical quality to it – you could almost imagine it being in some sort of musical – and the lyrics are laden with obscenities. Only The Pogues could pull-off phrases like “you’re an old slut on junk”, and “happy Christmas you arse I pray god it’s our last”. Not only do they get away with it, but it gives the song massive comedy value too, as the amount of bitterness and romance is perfectly balanced.
At its core it is quite a dark tale, but I think the majority embrace it as an alternative to the more stereotypical festive music. Personally, I think that if you want to listen to a good ol’ fun and funny track that you can belt from the top of your lungs, then this is a good’un. There’s nothing quite like it, and there probably never will be again.
What do you think of The Pogues ‘The Fairytale of New York’? If you’ve never heard it before then I hope I inspired you to give it a listen. Also, what’s your favourite Christmas song? Do you have more than one? Feel free to let me know in a comment.
As always, thank you for reading – I hope you enjoyed. I’m going to be taking a little blogging break over the festive period to spend time with family and friends, but I hope everyone has a great Christmas and start to the new year :). I’d also just like to say thank you to anyone who reads my blog – whether you’re a regular reader or you’re just here by accident, I’m very grateful that people are reading my work at all, and I hope you’ll stick around for more in 2016!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 🙂