“You were handsome, you were pretty…”

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Kirsty and Shane

It is now 25 years since this song was released.

Kirsty and The Pogues

When it was first released it was beaten to the top spot by the Pet Shop Boys and there’s a campaign to get it to number 1, but there’s fierce competition this year.

The good thing though is those others are a one-off, so if it doesn’t succeed this year then it will re-enter the charts again, as it has done in the past. You can never keep a good song down.

This year it is stream only. You can buy the limited edition vinyl version in your local record shop. You can also purchase/download the track via Amazon UK or Amazon USA.

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York
»
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
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

They’ve got cars big as bars
They’ve got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It’s no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing “Galway Bay”
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

You’re a bum
You’re a punk
You’re an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it’s our last

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can’t make it all alone
I’ve built my dreams around you.

Additional:

I created a YouTube playlist – it has the original video plus a BBC documentary from a few years ago, in which all the members of The Pogues reunite. They also talk to the producer Steve Lilywhite – who was Kirsty’s ex-husband:

» Link to playlist

Even more:

Video not your thing ? There was also a BBC Radio 2 doc:

“Dermot O’Leary presents the multi-layered story behind the Christmas classic Fairytale of New York by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl.

The programme explores the origins and journey of this iconic song, from how it came to be written; to the recording process; the repercussions for the Irish emigrant population in New York; and its continuing testament to the talents of the late Kirsty MacColl.

Featuring interviews with members of The Pogues, Record Producer Steve Lillywhite, Kirsty McColl’s mum Jean MacColl, Irish American singer Larry Kirwan, Irish American author and historian Peter Quinn and NYPD former Homicide Detective Brian McCabe.”

It doesn’t end there…

On the 18th of December 2000 we lost a great musical talent.

Kirsty MacColl

A month later there was a memorial service which I attended with my wife. The BBC news report linked there has a video, but it is in Real Player video format. I have extracted that report and uploaded it to You Tube for future viewing. Obviously because it was encoded for a dial up viewing the quality is very low.

» Link to video

And finally…

– This is from Radio 1 Live Lounge, don’t know the year. It is Kirsty performing that song with Billy Bragg:

Billy and Kirsty
» Kirsty MacColl & Billy Bragg – A New England (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge)

Listen/Download/embed here

Read more:


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