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Monday, 22 December 2014

Fairytale Of New York Bagpipes

Fairytale Of New York Bagpipes played by the Lone Star Pipers

"Fairytale of New York" is a Christmas song by the Celtic punk group The Pogues, released in 1987 and featuring singer Kirsty MacColl. The song is an Irish folk style ballad, written by Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan, and featured on The Pogues' album If I Should Fall from Grace with God. The song features string arrangements by Fiachra Trench. It has been cited as the best Christmas song of all time in various television, radio and magazine related polls in the UK and Ireland.

The song follows an Irish immigrant's Christmas Eve reverie about holidays past while sleeping off a binge in a New York City drunk tank. When an inebriated old man also in the cell sings a passage from the Irish ballad "The Rare Old Mountain Dew", the narrator (MacGowan) begins to dream about the song's female character. The remainder of the song (which may be an internal monologue) takes the form of a call and response between the couple, their youthful hopes crushed by alcoholism and drug addiction, as they reminisce and bicker on Christmas Eve.

MacColl's melodious singing contrasts with the harshness of MacGowan's voice, and the lyrics are sometimes bittersweet—sometimes purely bitter: "Happy Christmas your arse/I pray God it's our last". The lyrics "Sinatra was swinging" and "cars as big as bars" seem to place the song in the late 1940s. The title, taken from author J. P. Donleavy's novel A Fairy Tale of New York, was chosen after the song had been written and recorded.

Twice MacGowan and MacColl sing, "The boys of the NYPD choir still singing "Galway Bay". The New York Police Department (NYPD) does not have a choir, but it does have a Pipes and Drums unit that is featured in the video for the song. The NYPD Pipes and Drums did not know "Galway Bay" and so sang and played the Mickey Mouse Club theme tune for the music video instead, and the editor put it in slow motion to fit the beat. The video featured Matt Dillon as the NYPD patrol man who arrests the intoxicated MacGowan.

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