“It was Christmas Eve, babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me,
Won’t see another one…”
Thanksgiving is in the books and leftovers gone where leftovers go. We’ve flipped the calendars over to December and the decorations and trees are up in earnest. Nearly every ad on the TV is trying to sell us some kind of Christmas gift. So, there is no more denial – it’s Christmas time.
In celebration – no, that’s not the right word – recognition of the impending holiday I thought I would share my favorite song of the season – The Pogues’ classic holiday hit “Fairytale of New York”.
Released in 1987 by the Irish folk-punkers, the track is sung from the perspective of a drunk from his jail cell on Christmas Eve. English songstress Kirsty MacColl’s sweet pipes are a great contrast to chief Pogue (and walking anti-drug commercial) Shane MacGowan’s gritty vocals. It’s a fabulous song for Christmas with equal parts holiday hope and irreverance. It is a staple here in the British Isles, but never made it as big in the States. But, if you’re of the Grinchy persuasion like myself, how can you not like a Christmas carol with lyrics like:
“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 its our last…”
Kirsty MacColl died in a scuba diving accident in 2000, but I’m betting she still looks better than the extant Shane MacGowan – offering his Christmas wishes in the photo above
Don’t worry, I’m actually a lot more enthusiastic about Christmas this year than in years past. Christmas is for kids and now that I have one of my own, the holiday looks a lot more fun!
“The boys of the N.Y.P.D. choir
Were singing ‘Galway Bay’
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas Day.”
Here’s the original video for the song. Yes, that is Matt Dillon as the cop at the beginning.