BBC Radio 1 has decided to play a censored version of the Christmas song “Fairytale of New York”.
The original version contains the words “fagot” and “end”. BBC Radio 2, on the other hand, will continue to play the uncensored version.
“We know that the song is considered a Christmas classic, and we will continue to play it this year, but our radio stations will have to choose the version of the song that is most relevant to their audience,” the BBC writes. The Guardian.
– I do not understand
The text contains a dialogue between an alcoholic and his girlfriend, and shows the contrast between the life they dreamed of and the way it turned out. The power words are sung when the match is at its hottest between the couple:
«You scumbag, you maggot / You cheap lousy faggot / Happy Christmas your arse / I pray God it’s our last.»
In the new version, the offensive words will only be silenced, and not replaced.
Songwriter and vocalist Shane MacGowan defended the lyrics in 2019. During the TV show “Ireland’s Late Late Show” he spoke about the Christmas song, according to British The Independent.
– I have been told that it is insulting to homosexuals. I do not understand, said MacGowan.
He thought one must understand the context of the song.
Jump back to 1985. The Pogues are a fairly new band based in brown pubs and slums near King’s Cross in London, according to The Guardian.
The name came from the Irish expression “Pogue mahone”, which means “kiss me in the ass”.
But the band gained influences from all over the world, and dreamed of making songs that told timeless stories.
When banjo player and co-writer Jem Finer began a Christmas song, his wife, Marcia Farquhar, thought it was “corny” – and suggested that it should be about a couple who were having a hard time, but eventually found some form of reconciliation.
Shane MacGowan finished writing parts of the song, which took two years to make. The Christmas song tells the story of a couple in New York, several interpret that it takes place in the late 1940s, due to a reference to Frank Sinatra.
Tried censored before
In 2007, the BBC decided to censor the word “fagot” in the song – a decision that was later reversed, wrote Reuters.
The song has often caused controversy. In 1987, among other things, the BBC refused to play it because of the word “ass”
Last year, the song was played during a Christmas special for families, and many surprised younger listeners were therefore introduced to the song for the first time. The BBC therefore resumed the discussion by censoring the Christmas song.