I had intended to include this one since I started this little retrospective, but when Stereogum brought this “The BBC Put The **** And ****** Back In Christmas” to my attention, I found my “hook”.
It’s funny how certain songs and artists have escaped my attention over the years, and the Pogues are one that I would have totally been into “back in the day”. Celtic Punk. ‘Nuff said.
I first heard this song last Christmas season on the Ron & Fez Show on XM Radio. They start every show with an amazing song – the producers almost always pick something that is either a favorite, or something that I haven’t heard, but really like. Our tastes are remarkably similar.
My problem was, as subject matter goes, this song is only slightly more appropriate for Christmas as “I Believe In Father Christmas” by Greg Lake, a song that I used to like simply for it’s pomposity (is that even a word?) – but the lyrics ruin the song: “..The Christmas We Get We Deserve…” As someone who tends to be cynical, that song is just too much.
This one, however is not much better. From Wikipedia:
The song takes the form of a drunken man’s Christmas Eve reverie about holidays past while sleeping off a binge in a New York City drunk tank. After an inebriated old man also incarcerated in the jail cell sings a passage from the Irish drinking ballad The Rare Old Mountain Dew, the drunken man (MacGowan) begins to dream about a failed relationship. The remainder of the song (which may be an internal monologue) takes the form of a call and response between two Irish immigrants, lovers or ex-lovers, their youthful hopes crushed by alcoholism and drug addiction, reminiscing and bickering on Christmas Eve in New York City. MacColl’s melodious singing contrasts with the harsh sound of MacGowan’s voice and the lyrics are sometimes bittersweet, sometimes plain bitter: “Happy Christmas your arse/ I pray God it’s our last”.
That being said, I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS SONG. And yes, that is Matt Dillon as the cop in the video. Without further adieu – the Fairytale of New York:
YouTube – Fairytale of New York