Happy Christmas your arse..

In order to acknowledge the climb-down by the scumbags at Radio1 in the face of contempt from just about everyone, including their colleagues at Radio2, as they attempted to vandalise a classic song, and more importantly to mark the 7th anniversary of the death of Kirsty MacColl. Here’s the original. Enjoy.

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  • cut the bull

    A true classic

  • susan

    Sometimes, Pete, I could just hug you. Sometimes. :o)

    I saw Kirsty live last in ’95. I was standing right next to the band, and she sang the most blazing version of Billy Bragg’s “A New England” you can imagine — gorgeous but fierce. A few months ago, Billy Bragg dedicated the song back to her at a Joe Strummer tribute. I wasn’t there, but friends were, and someone posted the clip on YouTube.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4MmTXiD_p-8

  • Rory

    How to spot the difference between:

    a stretch limo full of Radio 1 policy makers and a hedgehog.

    The hedgehog’s the one with the pricks on the outside.

  • Animus

    I can’t believe Radio 1 stood by Chris Moyles using gay all the time and then turn around and censor this tune. So incredibly out of touch.

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks susan.

    You might like this not-so-blazing old video of that track.

    And it is wrong to wish on space hardware. ;o)

  • wild turkey

    How do these self-inflated scumbags at Radio One bag their posts?

    Rory, precisely. But these fuckers would take us for a ride, at our expense.

    Susan, thanks for the vid. Dead on.

    Pete,’And it is wrong to wish on space hardware. ;o) ‘

    Sorry buddy, but you are wrong.

    The satellites are out tonite…and when you wish upon a star, it doesn’t matter.

    Time now to put the wee ones to bed singing Fairytale.

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night.

  • jone

    Can we get a campaign going for the full version of Martha Wainwright’s beautiful ‘Bloody Motherfucking Asshole’ to get a few plays as well?

  • Kilian

    When I spent my first Christmas away from home, 1988 in London, this song had such a brilliant resonance for me. I’m sure it appeals to anyone who feels a bit displaced.

    Now approaching my 20th away…when the missus plays this one, we all glaze over and think of home….

    Magic.
    I’ll play it tonight, right after Hazel O’Connors “Will You”.

  • Rory

    The more I think about this whole business the more angry I become. Who the hell gave these crass gits the right to edit this recording before playing a version that they deemed acceptable?

    If they decided that it was too offensive for timorous ears then they needn’t have played it at all and we could all get pissed off at the ban but to effectively create a different version to suit their new-found manufactured morality really is outrageous. Their cultural mentors would have had brassieres on Botticelli’s Venus and a gag round Molly Bloom.

    They’d have been better employed getting in the surgeons and editing a few stone off any blubber-challenged blabbermouth they find near a microphone. Feck ’em!

  • Donnacha

    Kilian, the band’s entire output appealed to anyone displaced in London, especially the ones who frequented the insanity of the National Ballroom’s St Patrick’s Day gigs. I can’t think of my early days in London without a mental soundtrack including the Old Main Drag, Red Roses For Me and the Sickbed of Cuchulainn.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The Radio1 thing is stupid (not the first time – Frankie says, “Relax” .. ) .. but I’m going to make myself unpopular and say that I don’t like this song. The thing I dislike the most about it is the one line in it which everyone knows, and sings out loud when it occurs. A bit like a festive version of “who the f*** is Alice” etc. It really brings out people’s tacky side, but then again I guess that’s what Xmas is all about.

    I probably wouldn’t dislike it if it wasn’t played like flippin’ clockwork every Xmas, along with all the other usual suspects from Mariah Carey and Slade etc.

  • Rory

    Opinion can be tolerated, Comrade Stalin, but this is bloody sacrelige. You’ll be lucky if you get off lightly with a little bit of hanging, drawing and burning at the stake.

    But don’t worry it will all be carried out most humanely and very tastefully with “Fairytale” blazoning from loudspeakers throughout to help set the high moral tone.

  • susan

    Comrade Stalin, to quote Kirsty MacColl, “It would take a pilot to give you a natural high.” Only joking. Vive le difference.

    Cheers, WT! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    Thank you, Pete. Makes me realise how long ago the song was to watch that. Point taken on the space hardware, but what are Baconian rationalists wishing on these days, anyway?

    I am laughing at the thought of someone visiting this board for the first time tonight, reading the header “Notes on Northern Ireland Politcs & Culture, then glancing over to the comments zone: “merry christmas your arse” “happy christmas yer a***” etc., etc., etc. And so it goes.

  • susan
  • Lafcadio

    just back from watching them tonight at the brixton academy! good show too

  • The Dubliner

    “Who the hell gave these crass gits the right to edit this recording before playing a version that they deemed acceptable?” – Rory

    They’re lefties and embrace the whole PC censorship agenda. When you dream of your longed-for socialist state, this is the nightmare that lies behind it (plus you’ll end up with teeth like Shane because your utopia won’t be able to pay for free dental care). 😉

  • Harry Flashman

    Thanks for posting this Pete, out here it’s another glorious SE Asian day, the sun is beaming and I’ll be rounding the little clan up soon and taking us to spend Christmas on the white coral beaches by the beautiful cobalt sea but there’s just something about Christmas that still makes me homesick for damp, grey Derry (it’s the only time of the year when this happens let me assure you!).

    My wife tolerates my decaff, non-specific Christmas clebration on Christmas morning, she’ll allow the little ones to open their presents from Granny while I knock back the Champagne and provided the music isn’t too loud to have the neighbours talking about us I can even play the traditional Christmas songs, Wizzard, Elton John, Greg Lake (what, they aren’t traditional songs? They were in my house). But no Christmas can be complete without Fairy Tale of New York. She can’t complain about that now can she? Two Irish drunks having a drug addled row, there’s no danger of the kids being subverted by some subtle proselytizing Christian message there is there?

    It’ll even confirm her well funded Muslim prejudices against the Nasranis anyway so I can belt that out full volume.

    Happy Christmas!

  • Animus

    Oh fer Chrissake – it’s the lefties again. They really must be so busy! Change the record Dubliner. I don’t think Shane’s teeth are merely the result of too few visits to the dentist (although I am going use Shane as a salutary tale of what happens if you don’t brush your teeth to my child).

    Somehow I have escaped hearing any Christmas tunes at all. Not that I’m complaining but usually I am fed up with them by end of November and this year I have been spared.

  • Speaking as an actualy gay person quite frankly it’s the actions of Radio 1 that have offended me rather than the lyrics of the song. Gay people are not a meek minority that cower in fear every time a Fairy Tale of New York is played. While I’m in no position to speak for the entire gay community I’m pretty sure if we where insulted we’d let people know ourselves.

  • john burns

    Peter Tatchell’s comments that if a song, even a 20 year old one, had to words “nigger” or “paki” in it would it be played on any radio station? Obviously if the words were song by a black singer or someone from Pakistan that would be ok but not if sung by a whitey. I mean would “F… the Pope” be heard on Radio Ulster?

    PS I love Fairytale of New York

  • susan

    “what are Baconian rationalists wishing on these days, anyway?”

    The Geminids, of course! ;o)

  • [i]Peter Tatchell’s comments that if a song, even a 20 year old one, had to words “nigger” or “paki” in it would it be played on any radio station? Obviously if the words were song by a black singer or someone from Pakistan that would be ok but not if sung by a whitey. I mean would “F… the Pope” be heard on Radio Ulster?

    PS I love Fairytale of New York

    Posted by john burns on Dec 19, 2007 @ 10:16 AM[/i]

    It depends on the context of how the word is used. Music is like drama and gets some leeway in the name of creativity. If Kirsty (RIP) had called McGowan a big doody head rather than a “Scumbag ya maggot, ya cheap lousy faggot” it wouldn’t have had the same effect.

  • Mayoman

    Dubliner, your comment is funny as you are, I expect, exactly the type of person Shane MacGowan would like to punch all the teeth out of! 😉

  • Wondering

    Just wondering what unionists think of this song. It is very Irish and I am sure lines like the NYPD boys were singing Galway bay would offend ? I am serious ….

  • Mick Hall

    Is this true though, or was it a very clever plant by the pogues publicity machine, I heard this song on BBC London the day before yesterday and again yesterday and it was not censored. Since this news story broke it has been played on the radio all over the place.

    Dubliner,
    idiots censor whether they be of the left or right, being an idiot has little to do with a persons politics so leave it out mate.

  • cut the bull

    wondering

    Just wondering what unionists think of this song. It is very Irish and I am sure lines like the NYPD boys were singing Galway bay would offend ? I am serious ….

    I would’nt be too sure what unionists would think, but I could hazard a guess what some loyalists would think as this may have a certain resonance with them.

    I tried this before on another thread but sure, I’ll give it another blast.

    Fairy tale of a twirp
    It was late in evening babe
    When my heart sank
    A smiling oul boy said to me, you’ll need to go on the run
    And then he sang a song
    ‘The Inner Councils looking you’
    And I turned my face away
    And thought about me, never mind you
    Now we’re the unlucky one’s
    Out numbered eighteen to one
    I’ve got a feeling
    we’re going to have to move
    So fill the shoe boxes
    With notes my baby
    If we don’t go now, it’s time
    When all our nightmares will come true
    They came in cars,
    with iron bars
    They were big, small, young and old
    We’re going to hurt you
    No place for you I was told,
    When I first swore on the red hand
    I was deceived
    You promised me
    Millions were waiting for me
    I was handsome
    I was pretty
    Queen from the Shankill to White City
    When the flute band finished playing
    I howled out for more
    We were both into swinging,
    usually when drunk and singing
    We pissed in a corner
    Then snorted coke through the night
    The boys of the Inner Council choir
    Were singing “up the UDA”
    And the drums and flutes were ringing
    Out, like a 12th day
    They’re all bums
    They’re all skunks
    they’re all still selling junk
    Like me, they have the estates turned into
    drug dens
    They called me a scum bag
    a maggot
    ,A wee baldy fat faggot*
    Quis Separabit your arse
    I pray God
    It won’t last
    The boys of the Inner Council choir
    Were singing “up the UDA”
    And the drums and flutes were ringing
    Out, like a 12th day
    I could have been someone
    Bigger and better than anyone
    You took my dreams
    From me when I first found you
    I kept them with me Brigadier, Bombadier,Volunteer
    I put them with my own
    Can’t make it all alone
    If I say sorry, can I come home
    The boys of the Inner Council choir
    Were singing “up the UDA”
    And the drums and flutes were ringing
    Out, like a 12th day

  • Rory

    Yes. Very good, Mr Cut the Bull. Don’t call us, please – we’ll call you.

    Next!

  • cut the bull

    Thanks Rory your all heart

  • pith

    Wondering,

    The Pogues doing a very Irish song? Surely not. Were they not a disco outfit?

  • susan

    I had to ask, Pete, I had to ask. ;o) I think rose royce did the best version of wishing on the geminids, but paul weller’s is good too.

    Harry Flashman, I really enjoyed your post. (cough, for feckin once, cough) ;o) I have to say this thread brought back so many golden memories of being thrown up on inside, outside, and on the way to the hammersmith palais and the national ballroom i had to listen to “rainy night in soho” three times last night before i was right again in my head. i even found it on youtube:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=55Yp8vecWXM

    Lafcadio — glad you saw them last night. did you know cait o’riordan is now in a band with fiachna ó braonáindon? cait was and is great. if anyone runs into elvis costello, we are sooooo as a website collectively not speaking to him. diana krall my a***

  • pith

    Ah Susan,

    Rainy Night in Soho – what a gem of a song. Sublime music between the verses. Misty Morning Albert Bridge (I think it’s called) is another.

  • sammaguire

    From Galway Bay (appropriately):

    “And the women in the uplands diggin’ praties,
    Speak a language that the strangers do not know.”

    The strangers still don’t understand us and hopefully never will! How can you explain to an Englishman what a “cute hoor” is!

    Anyway 50th Happy Birthday to the Messiah (Shano!) on the 25th!

  • Scrooge

    Everyone’s ire should be reserved for Ronan Keating and not Radio 1. He famously changed the words when he covered the song to “You scumbag, you maggot, your old and your haggard.”

    Hatred wouldn’t come close

  • MisterMuncher

    Well, now, the thing is one should maybe think for a second about the precedent set. Before I start here, I’m not for one second advocating censorship. I find the very idea of any censorship repellent.

    Now, Radio 1, for good or ill, has a policy of censoring all such epithets from all songs it plays. As such, then, allowing the Pogues to use “bad language” whilst cutting other tunes to ribbons is hypocritical in the extreme. It certainly sets a precedent where, if enough pressure is applied, other songs will be similarly “rehabilitated”. In my view, that’s no bad thing.

    The thing that really grinds me, though, is that a good big subsection of folk who got the gander up at this song being censored where either wholly ignorant, or quite bloody happy this other stuff was getting filtered. Can’t recall the angry letters to the Beeb when they cut the word “hash” from Weezer’s “Hash Pipe”, or deleted whole verses of Massey Fergusons from Snoop Dogg’s entire oevure. Can you?

    Funny how censorship suddenly becomes a bad thing when it’s something you like.

  • Rory

    I am moved to return to this thread by news on Radio 4’s Today programme that the apparently newly elected leader of the Liberal Democrats, a Mr. Nick Who, has claimed that he had never heard tell of this song around which the controversy has raged.

    The strange thing is that before today no one had ever heard of Mr Nick Wossisname either.

    Political analysts however have expressed surprise. They point out that Mr. Watchimicallim was elected to replace former LibDem leader, Sir Mingus Dingus who had fallen out of favour because, at the advanced age of 24, he was considered to be out of touch with the LibDem rank and file.

    New leader,Mr. Nobody, himself a political veteran of 15 and 1/2, had been expected to appeal to the youthful concerns of the party and this admission of pop ignorance is expected to lead shortly to the collapse of his own leadership and an announcement is expected shortly that he will be leaving politics in order to spend more time with his mum and dad.

    Sir Shane McGowan was not available for comment earlier today.