Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Remembering Kirsty MacColl and the Fairytale of New York

photograph of Kirsty_MacColl

Fairytale of New York is a song I usually play frequently this time of year. Kirsty MacColl sings the Christmas song along with Shane MacGowan and his band The Pogues. She has such a lovely voice, I wonder what else she has sung. Then I remember - she's no longer with us.

It may be an unlikely Christmas song as it starts with Shane singing of being in the drunk tank on Christmas Eve. The two then exchange insults: "You´re a bum you´re a punk , You´re an old slut on junk." However the last verse ends with Shane resigned to his love for her and concluding "Can´t make it out alone, I've built my dreams around you."

The song ends with the slightly upbeat chorus, the band playing some traditional Irish instruments. The couple sing:

And the boys of the NYPD choir's still singing Galway Bay
And the bells are ringing out
For christmas day

Kirsty MacColl's death was tragic and happened just one week before Christmas in 2000. She was diving with family and friends in Mexico and a motor boat was where it wasn't supposed to be. Kirsty pushed a son out of the way but lost her life in doing so. (I got this from her Wikipedia entry.)

So the Fairytale of New York is bittersweet for me. A sweet song sung by a beautiful voice but the songstress will never perform again.


photograph of memorial plaque from a park bench


You can stream and download the Fairytale of New York at the Internet Archive. Here's a link to the song's lyrics. Finally you can watch the YouTube video right here:



Kristy MacColl photograph credit: By K8 fan at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Memorial plaque photograph from her Wikipedia page.



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