Meaning of Fairytale of New York by The Pogues

Fairytale of New York

The Pogues

Exploring the Depths of The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York”

Fairytale of New York” which was written by Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan and sung by The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl, is a story that goes beyond space and time. This piece, an Irish folk-style ballad that came out on November 23, 1987, and was on the album “If I Should Fall from Grace with God” in 1988, has a special place in the hearts of many people.

It started being made in 1985, and since then, there have been many changes and problems, including the loss of the original female singer. The final version, which was finished in August 1987, was a creative mix of different musical styles by MacGowan and Finer. “Fairytale of New York” has been around for a long time, even though it didn’t make it to the UK Christmas number one in its first year. It made it to the UK Top 20 19 times since 1987, including every Christmas since 2005. As of December 2022, it had sold 3 million copies in the UK, making it quintuple platinum and triple platinum.

In the song, an Irish refugee thinks about past holidays while sleeping off a binge in a New York City drunk tank on Christmas Eve. When another drunk old man in the cell sings a line from the Irish song “The Rare Old Mountain Dew,” the narrator (MacGowan) starts to dream about an old lover. The rest of the song is a call and forth between the couple, their youthful dreams dashed by drinking and drug addiction, as they reminisce and fight on Christmas Eve.

Victoria Mary Clark, MacGowan’s partner and writer, says that the story could be about any couple’s difficulties. MacGowan had a lot in common with both characters—a gambler and a singer—because he was a hustler, a big drinker, and an artist in real life.

The song’s title, which comes from a 1973 book from J. P. Donleavy (A Fairy Tale of New York) paints a dark and accurate picture of New York that MacGowan made up. He had never been there but was interested in how movies showed it. One of the things that makes the song so appealing is that it makes you feel both desire and reality.

Working together was a big part of how the song came together. The finished product was greatly influenced by Elvis Costello’s idea for a Christmas duet and MacGowan’s admiration for Kristy MacColl’s skill. With her unique style, MacColl added a new layer to the song and made it her own.

The song’s long-lasting fame and praise from critics are interesting. Many people have chosen it the best Christmas song over and over again. In the UK, it is the most played Christmas song of the 21st century. The fact that it has been praised so much shows that its ideas are timeless and relevant to everyone.

Basically, “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues is a gem that shows how complicated Christmas holiday life can be for people. Its story, characters, and music all work together to make a piece that speaks to many people, making it a timeless classic in the world of Christmas music.

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