24/25 December 2016
FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK is without a shadow of a doubt the best Christmas song ever.
It is, isn’t it? THE POGUES‘ banjo player Jem Finer came up with the gorgeous melody and the original concept for the anthem in 1985 – two years before its release – while infamous frontman, full-time drunk and extremely gifted songwriter SHANE MACGOWAN wrote the song’s magical story, containing some of the best (egoistic) love lines ever when the late, wonderful late Kirsty MacColl sings “You took my dreams from me / When I first found you” and Shane answers with “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…”
MacGowan himself was born on Christmas Day 1957 in Kent, England! Happy 59 to one of the most colorful, talented & troubled (broke his pelvis last year) musician in history! Let’s toast and listen once again to this timeless, melancholic diamond…
Shane on writing the lyrics in 1985: “I sat down, opened the sherry, got the peanuts out
and pretended it was Christmas. It’s quite sloppy, more like ‘A Pair of Brown Eyes’ than ‘Sally MacLennane’, but there’s also a céilidh bit in the middle which you can definitely dance to.
Like a country and Irish ballad, but one you can do a brisk waltz to, especially when you’ve got about enough drinks. But the song itself is quite depressing in the end, it’s about these old Irish-American Broadway stars who are sitting round at Christmas talking about whether things are going okay.”
With thanks to British music magazine NME check
25 facts about Fairytale in New York right… here