Drunk bar-goers will badly sing it and sway at work Christmas dos. “WAP” could be seen as offensive, in that it is lewd (and subsequently has a great deal of LGBT+ fans) but, as mentioned, offence is not the issue. It’s not being used in a way that’s homophobic, he said, before adding that he’s fine with broadcasters bleeping it if they see fit. There is no subject or figure that is beyond reproach: sexual perversion and controversial statements abound, and in the grand scheme of offensive queer comedy and performance, it is very tame. 's Last Christmas. “Fairytale of New York” and its “faggot” lyric provokes impassioned debate each and every Christmas, without fail. It beat off competition from the likes of Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas and Wham! Fairytale Of New York has been named Britain's top ten favourite Christmas song - despite controversy surrounding a homophobic slur in its lyrics.. While so much as already been written, I feel I am the ultimate authority on this subject as: a) A musician who regularly performs this song at Christmas and b) As someone who is extremely gay. Christmas, Whether people choose to sing the word or not, those shoppers and bar-goers and radio listeners should remember that the word, whether sung to a jaunty Christmas tune or otherwise, still has power. We gorge straight television where people fight and throw outrageous insults accompanied by glasses of pinot grigio at one another – and queer produced media is even more offensive. A trip to New York helped Matt Dillon in the Fairytale of New York video. Following the controversy on Twitter, RTÉ issued a statement saying it will not censor Fairytale of New York, which is one of the most played songs of the festive period on radio. Responding to the criticism, the Pogues said that he had been told that the lyrics were … Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan's duet on A Fairytale of New York has provoked strong responses for more than 30 years. You know Christmas is coming whenever controversy flares in the UK over The Pogues' song A Fairytale in New York. The festive hit, performed by The Pogues and featuring Kristy MacColl, was released in 1987, but never managed to reach the No.1 spot in the charts. And the division the song splits is in no way unique to just listeners. “Faggot” is a word that has a slew of meanings that have changed in its decades of use. shane macgowan, Not exactly the holly jolly merriment that Mariah Carey or her straight male counterpart, Michael Bublé, would have you believe Christmas is about. I find it comical that people genuinely believe that the queer citizens of this fair isle mince in fear through the Christmas period, terrified that we may be unintentionally offended by a supermarket tannoy playing garbage music. 3 The song is sung by The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, along with British singer Kirsty MacColl Despite what the BBC believes, we love offence. Additionally, there are good alternative lyrics that do not alter the overall songs meaning in any way, that were also used by the original performing artists. Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan originally sang 'Fairytale of New York'. While straight people decide whether they sing the vilified phrase or just mumble it and avoid an awkard moment. This song is not a serious issue for any queer person I know. One local BBC DJ has already banned it from his show while RTÉ 2FM DJs Eoghan McDermott and Stephen Byrne previously called for the track to be censored. The Pogues have told actor Laurence Fox where to go after he gave his opinion on their controversial Christmas song. It’s a track so tightly tied to Christmas that some people take part in the “The Pogues Game” each year, where players see whether they can go out in public without hearing the song. A “gay plague” was ripping across the US all while then-President Ronald Reagan and his officials did nothing but laugh. So first things first, we need to dispel a myth: no LGBT+ person seriously cares about being offended. And host Ryan Tubridy had to address the criticism of Fairytale Of New York’s lyrics – with Shane seeming baffled about the ‘political correctness’ controversy… Nick Cave has weighed in on the controversy surrounding BBC ’s decision to air a censored version of The Pogues’s “Fairytale of New York” over the festive period. Knowing all of that, why would any decent person with a heart want so desperately to say the word faggot? Feeling déjà-vu? It was a common homophobic insult of the time, but the sentiment of the word is not essential to the song’s meaning – in fact, even a few short years after the song came out, Kirsty MacColl who sung the line started replacing “you cheap lousy faggot” with “you’re cheap and you’re haggard”. During a live performance on Top of the Pops in 1992, MacColl went one stop further and changed the lyric altogether, singing: “You’re cheap and you’re haggard”. "Fairytale of New York" is a song written by Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan and recorded by their band the Pogues, featuring singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl on vocals. In the present day, hundreds of radio stations bleep or mute swear words and slurs from countless songs every day. For them, it’s another Christmas, another culture war on whether a lyric of the song – “You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot” – should be sung. The outdated slur was broadcast to more than 11.6 million viewers, who were divided. Shane MacGowan has issued a statement that could end the ongoing debate around The Pogues ' Christmas song " Fairytale of New York ". At the time the song was written, New York and beyond heaved with anti-gay sentiment. Moreover, “faggot” was not exactly far removed from homophobia in 1980s New York, the context of the song itself. However, seeing as I’m trapped alone in my flat, I have decided this year to share with you all the full force of my festive fairy fury. On Thursday (November 19), BBC Radio 1 announced it is playing an edited version of the track that leapfrogs over the word “faggot”. And, believe it or not, the world did not end when she did so. The song is an Irish folk -style ballad and was written as a duet, with the Pogues' singer MacGowan taking the role of the male character and MacColl the female character. “She is not supposed to be a nice person, or even a wholesome person. The Pogues and the late Kirsty MacColl’s unorthodox and irreverent Christmas tune “Fairytale in New York,” released as a single in 1987, is … Even if there are those who take exception to the song, this “issue” is grossly overstated for clickbait and hyped particularly by right-wing media outlets to slander LGBT+ rights activism as ridiculous and over-sensitive. The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan defends controversial “F****t” lyric in ‘Fairytale of New York’ lyrics "There is no political correctness to it." It … If you want something stronger, try some John Waters… look, we practically invented offence, darling! I can assure you that we are a much tougher bunch than that. SHANE MACGOWAN has issued a fresh defence of The Pogues’ festive hit Fairytale of New York following criticism over the song’s lyrics. Following the announcement that BBC Radio 1 will censor the song, which came alongside news that the British government is scrapping vital funding to anti-LGBT+ bulling schemes in schools, The Pogues made their stance on the debate perfectly clear. The 1987 banger, by Irish-Anglo band The Pogues and the late Kirsty MacColl, is about two lovers hurling insults at one another. They wanted the word “faggot” removed from the version … But going the holidays without hearing the song is a dream to some LGBT+ people. It’s inescapable. Its title was inspred by JP Donleavy’s novel of the same name that Finer was reading. BBC, Nick Cave weighs in on Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” controversy. homophobic, In all my gay years, I have never met a single LGBT+ person who feels passionately that this song should be banned, or who feels ‘offended’ each time they hear it. For those intending to cover the song today there simply isn’t a good excuse to keep this word in, or to put it another way – if you wouldn’t find it acceptable to call someone a “faggot” normally, you don’t then suddenly have carte blanche because you’re singing (I really don’t know what the people from Gavin and Stacey were thinking). The festive hit, performed by The Pogues and featuring Kristy MacColl, was released in 1987, but never managed to reach the No.1 spot in the charts. But I would like to make it very clear, that this narrative is fake. Though Shane McGowan has never denied the homophobic connotations of the word, in a 2018 interview to Virgin Media he stated in reference to the words of the female character: “Her dialogue is as accurate as I could make it,” he said, “but she is not intended to offend! He dreams of his girlfriend (MacColl) and the two quickly begin trading barbs about how down on their luck they are. This year’s rerun of the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special will not feature the controversial ‘Fairytale Of New York’ lyric that caused a … — The Pogues (@poguesofficial) November 19, 2020, Celebs you didn’t know have an LGBT sibling. BBC bosses made a similar move – Radio 1 not playing the song, but Radio 2 doing so – before U-turning in 2007 . Ruchit Rastogi. In Fairytale of New York, that intention is abusive: the word is hurled as an insult. “She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history and she is down on her luck and desperate. Each year I want to write a long angry Facebook status for my friends to endure about the media narrative around this song and alleged calls by the LGBT+ community to censor it, but normally I coax myself off the cliff edge remembering that I have more important things to do with my time. Written by Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan, the song’s production hemmed and hawed after MacGowan and fellow Pogue Jem Finer tossed around the idea of a Christmas tune. The song is styled like an Irish folk ballad and tells the tale of a melancholic alcoholic reminiscing in a New York City drunk tank about his girlfriend, all to the tunes of pipes and drums. Irish-English vocalist Shane MacGowan recently addressed the criticism surrounding the controversial lyrics of his 1987 Christmas song Fairytale of New York. More: nik Jovcic-Sas, Over recent years, many have called for radio stations to boycott the song over some of the language contained in the lyrics. When I was growing up, it was still a very commonly used expression, and indeed part of the fun for many of “Fairytale of New York” coming on in the pub was pointing and screaming at your friend that they’re a faggot – which was seen as extremely amusing (and no doubt is still amusing to knuckle-dragging bridge trolls today). “Fairytale of New York” and its “faggot” lyric provokes impassioned debate each and every Christmas, without fail. Through The Pogues’ official Twitter account, the band took aim at right-wing commentator Laurence Fox after he complained about the BBC censoring “faggot” from “Fairytale of New York”. Censored or uncensored, I hope I hear it for many Christmases to come, and I shall certainly keep performing it. Many singers, from Ed Sheeran to Ronan Keating, have also dropped the word from their cover versions. Sometimes “faggot”, sometimes “old slut”, or sometimes swapping “arse” for “ass”. The word as homophobic slang in America stretches as far back as the early 1910s, etymologists say. Regardless of its intended usage, whether referring to sticks or stupidity, the word overwhelmingly means something hateful and malicious to LGBT+ people. It is a single regrettable word in a song that is otherwise full of charm and true gritty beauty that many relate to. Unlike the other saccharine ear vomit, this song by the Pogues featuring the late Kirsty MacColl is relatable and human – disappointment, hatred, anger, feeling cold and being bored at listening to an old person talking. ... the lyrics and the vocal performance emanate from deep inside … Before I go however I would like to add, contemporary covers of the song are a different ballgame entirely. Fairytale of New York was originally released as a single on 23 November 1987. Yet, for some reason, removing a deeply homophobic word provokes a weird reaction from some people who, with such vim, demand the sacred right to yell or at least hear the word “faggot” in a song they only care about once per year. Fairytale Of New York named UK's favourite Christmas song, despite recent controversy over lyrics. BBC Radio 1 has said it will stand by its ban on the word "faggot" from the Pogues' 1987 Christmas hit Fairytale of New York to avoid offence. The opening date was in New York City, a place which MacGowan had long been fascinated with, and helped inspire him to write new lyrics for the song. “Fairytale of New York” is, to many, the hallmark of the holiday season, despite it being what can only be described as an anti-Christmas song. started replacing “you cheap lousy faggot” with “you’re cheap and you’re haggard”. What complicates everything, including whether to bleep out words, is … Despite the advances we have made in 30 years, it’s wrong to think that queer stigma and homophobia are a problem of the past. It has its defenders, queer and straight, for sure. Nik Jovčić-Sas is a professional folk violinist and LGBT+ activist, based in Bath, England, who is frontman of the band Ninotchka. I would argue, yes. “I just find The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York a nasty, nasty song,” he concluded. Now, if the newspapers are to be believed, the playing of “Fairytale of New York” is a huge issue for the LGBT+ community in Britain – this story receives more press coverage than virtually any other LGBT+ talking point over the course of a regular year (that is, one where a beloved children’s author doesn’t decide to come out as an ardent transphobe). About Fairytale of New York "Fairytale of New York" is a song written by Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan and recorded by their band the Pogues, featuring singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl on vocals. “Fairytale of New York” was a song two years in the making, troubled by rewrites and binned recording attempts, that went onto become the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century in Britain. Radio 2 will air the original, while indie dad-friendly Radio 6 Music will let its disc-jockeys decide what version to play. Kirsty McColl, Some decried what would have been an opportunity to reinvent the festive song while others shrugged it off as “just a song”. Indeed, the debate over the song and the frustration and contention it brings is in no way new. For all the reasons listed above, the use of the word faggot as an insult has no place in the modern world. Between mid-November and the first week of January each year, Britain decides to listen only to a playlist of around 20 songs, and within that set of accursed tunes there is only one good song: “Fairytale of New York.”. Between mid-November and the first week of January each year, Britain decides to listen only to a … ‘Fairytale of New York’ is not a serious issue for any queer person I know. In fact, in the UK, Fairytale of New York is the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century. “The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character,” he said in a statement at the time. shane macgowan, Her dialogue is as accurate as I could make it but she is not intended to offend!”. If you are straight and don’t believe me, I suggest you watch five episodes of the popular YouTube series UNHhh with drag queens Katya and Trixie Mattel. This year's roasting comes as the BBC decides against playing the original 1987 recording in favour of a modified version in which the words "faggot" and "slut" are no longer heard. While on the subject of irreverent queer icons, many on social media have drawn comparisons between Cardi B’s hit “WAP” and “Fairytale of New York”. I know many LGBT+ readers of this piece will relate to the fact that, while we may have many friends like us who are full of strength and pride – so many of them are also tortured with internal struggles, and I can heartbreakingly name a few queer friends of my own who are no longer with us. Radio 1 had previously banned 'Fairytale of New York' in 2007, but quickly made a U-turn after complaints from listeners. Primarily in the U.K., the song has been subject to a great amount of controversy over the years. THE POGUES' Fairytale Of New York has been named Britain's favourite Christmas song according to a recent poll. Picture: Pogue Mahone/YouTube In March 1986, The Pogues toured the US for the first time. Fairytale Of New York has been named Britain’s top ten favourite Christmas song – despite controversy surrounding a homophobic slur in its lyrics. This amplified a similar defence from musical comedian Mitch Benn, who argued in 2010 that “faggot” was Irish and Liverpudlian slang for a lazy person. Rapping about a “wet ass pussy” may make people squirm, but it’s silly to pretend that this phrase has anywhere near the same gravity as the word “faggot”. Debate erupted last year when the BBC One comedy, Gavin & Stacey aired two characters doing a karaoke version of the song, belting out “faggot” for all LGBT+ people tucking into turkey on the couch to hear. The BBC, as well as several other broadcasters, often censored certain words of the song’s lyrics throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. “She is just supposed to be an authentic character and 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 to tell the story effectively.”. Doing logistical jujitsu just so you can say “faggot” will ultimately always involve ignoring the pain the phrase can cause. “F*k off, you little herrenvolk s***e,” they hit back, both putting Fox in his place and appearing to agree that editing the word out really is no big deal. Shoppers will roll their eyes as they hear it for the 707,273rd time that day. Therefore I would like to propose the following judgment: that playing “Fairytale of New York” is fine, as long as we can acknowledge this one problematic aspect. The man, played by MacGowan, is thrown into a cell to sleep off his Christmas Eve drinking binge. The controversial lyrics appeared in Radio 1's version of Fairytale of New York in 2019, but this year an older version will be played in … So, how exactly did a song in which two Irish lovers swap loving terms of endearment – “bum”, “slut” and, indeed, “faggot” – get so popular? the pogues, Enter your email to receive a daily roundup of the top LGBT+ news stories, MacColl went one stop further and changed the lyric altogether, BBC Radio 1 announced it is playing an edited version of the track, himself has defended “Fairytale of New York” and its use of “faggot”, then-President Ronald Reagan and his officials did nothing but laugh, British government is scrapping vital funding to anti-LGBT+ bulling schemes in schools. 16th December 2019. From the second verse through to the bridge and final chorus, the song’s clear message is that while none of us are perfect, and our dreams do not always come true, our love for one another in difficult times lights up the bleakest of winters. More: The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, it’s time for every newspaper in Britain to reheat the tired debate around “Fairytale of New York” for the sweet precious clickbait they so desperately crave. The yearly debate on the suitability of The Pogues hit 'Fairytale in New York' has reared its head again. Credit: Getty Images A regular favourite in the end-of-year UK charts since its initial release – it has made the top 20 every year since 2005 – the song features vocalists Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl trading insults as a pair of washed-up Irish … Christmas, And it seems that MacGowan now agrees. Studies by Stonewall, Mind and the Albert Kennedy Trust in the past five years show that LGBTQ+ individuals in Britain are still statistically much more likely to commit suicide, self-harm, suffer from depression, anxiety, substance abuse, alcoholism and familial rejection, abuse and violence. Fairytale Of New York has been named Britain’s top ten favourite Christmas song – despite controversy surrounding a homophobic slur in its lyrics. While sticking up a punk middle-finger to the Yuletide status quo, it also acknowledges something few other Christmas songs address: the bleak reality that the festive period is harsh, lonely and unforgiving for those of us with troubled lives and toxic relationships. Frontman MacGowan himself has defended “Fairytale of New York” and its use of “faggot” in 2018, arguing that the song has to be listened to in the context of when it was written – the late 1980s. According to reports, after complaints about the lyrics, a few radio stations have been playing out the edited version. Once again the much loved — and unloved by some — “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues is coming under fire for its “offensive” lyrics. It is an emotionally potent message that has endeared it to the hearts of many, which is consequently why the concept of it being policed by political correctness is so infuriating. In all my gay years, I have never met a single LGBT+ person who feels passionately that this song should be banned, or who feels “offended” each time they hear it. So if we are willing to accept that stigma around sexual orientation is still a serious issue in Britain – can we still play “Fairytale of New York” in good conscious? One local BBC DJ has already banned it from his show while RTÉ 2FM DJs Eoghan McDermott and Stephen Byrne previously called for the track to be censored. Celebs you didn’t know have an LGBT sibling. They wanted the word “faggot” […] It was a time in which being gay – being a faggot – was deeply undesirable in the eyes of society, something to be mocked and sneered at, and as such was a casual day-to-day derogatory remark. In a poll ran by YouGov, asking people … the pogues, Enter your email to receive a daily roundup of the top LGBT+ news stories, tired debate around “Fairytale of New York”. While obviously, it’s not the perfect solution, I think there’s a strong case to consider the song as not being intrinsically anti-LGBT+ in nature. SHANE MACGOWAN has issued a fresh defence of The Pogues’ festive hit Fairytale of New York following criticism over the song’s lyrics. Yet, it certainly doesn’t get used nowadays to refer to a bundle of sticks, and even when done so, that doesn’t erase the hurt it can still cause who can only hear it as a word packed with prejudice. BBC Radio 1 will not play the original version of Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl this Christmas, because its audience may be offended by some of the lyrics. Others feel that removing the word amounts to censorship. Fairytale of New York, kirsty maccoll, Music, The song is an Irish folk-style ballad and was written as a duet, with the Pogues' singer MacGowan taking the role of the male character and MacColl the female character. Words have power, and the use of a slur of this nature directed at a marginalised group has serious real-life ramifications. “Fairytale of New York” came out in 1987, at the height of the AIDs crisis, when it was legal in most countries to fire someone based on their sexual orientation, when same-sex couples had little or no rights, and in the UK it was the same year that Section 28 was introduced that forbid schools and local authorities from “promoting homosexuality”. He tells PinkNews how the “controversy” that engulfs “Fairytale of New York” each year is not one that LGBT+ necessarily want. It creates a world where LGBT+ people are truly seen as lesser, and many of us come to the conclusion that it may be better to be dead than to be gay. Despite the use of this word, it’s clear to me that the intention of the Pogues was not to make a deliberately anti-gay song. The idea that being gay is undesirable has an effect more serious than simply making precious queer folk clutch their pearls at being “offended”. The word, sung by the late Kirsty MacColl as she trades insults with Shane MacGowan, has been dubbed out. Radio listerners will hum it as they prepare dinnner. For those of you who have been living in a pitch-black squalid culture-less cave and have not heard of this controversy, I will explain. That being said, the ardent reactionary response by many to this manufactured story – seeing people fighting for their right to scream the word “faggot” whenever and wherever they please – reveals that we are in need of a little bit of a cultural discussion as a nation around the use of the word in this song. By Nick Reilly. There’s no doubt that “Fairytale in New York” is a fantastic song and will continue to be a beloved Christmas classic for years to come. (Tim Roney/Getty Images). No doubt this debate will be dredged up again and again until the day I die, but here is my full gay rant on the matter, and all that’s left to say is Merry Christmas your arse, I pray God it’s our last. Some simply don’t care about the lyrics of a random Christmas song. Of course, being that the song is clogged with usually bowdlerised words, it drew denouncement immediately upon its release. 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