Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Fairytale of New York ... 2011 Holiday Special & Show # 383

In August of 1987, The Pogues released what is often called one of the best Christmas songs of all time, “Fairytale of New York”. While the band was recording their album If I Should Fall From The Grace of God with producer Steve Lillywhite, he asked his wife Kristy MacColl to sing vocals on a demo version of the song “Fairytale of New York”. The Pogues were so impressed with her contribution to the song that they asked her to sing on what was to become the studio version of “Fairytale of New York”. Initially when writing the song, Pogues singer Shane MacGowan planned it to be a duet between himself and bassist Cait O’Riordan, but she left the group in 1986. The title of the song came after its recording, it was named after the novel A Fairy Tale of New York by J.P. Donleavy.

The songs subject matter is not your usual Christmas story, it tells the tale of a drunken Irish Immigrants past Christmas Eve’s and holidays while being locked up in the drunk tank in New York City on Christmas Eve. The song itself musically takes the form of a folk styled ballad and contrasts the vocals of Shane MacGowan with the melodious style of Kristy MacColl in a bittersweet way. When it was originally released the song became a hit on the Irish charts going to number one and after a performance on the BBC show Top of the Pops, it went to number two on the UK top 75 charts. The song was denied the number one spot in the UK by The Pet Shop Boys in 1987, but was re-released in 1991 where it charted again in the UK and Ireland. In 2005, the song was released again the UK and Ireland reaching number three in the UK and the song has re-entered the top ten in the UK every December since 2005. The song has now gone onto classic Christmas song status being covered numerous times. A music video for the song was also made featuring actor Matt Dillon as a NYPD Police Officer.

This Week's Holiday Play List:

1. REM – Christmas In Tunisia
2. Hooded Fang – Tundura Nights 
3. She & Him – Christmas Wish
4. Johnny West - Merry Christmas, Tinseltown 
5. The Pogues & Kristy MacColl – Fairytale of New York
6. Chris Houston – Baby Jesus Looks Like Elvis
7. Deer Tick – Christmas All Summer Long
8. Belle and Sebastian – Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto
9. The Humpers – Run Run Rudolph
10. The Reind Dears – White Xmas
11. The Dickies – Silent Night
12. Johnny Cash - It's Not Cool To Kill On Christmas
13. Fine Times - Subterranean Christmas Blues
14. The Features – Christmas Wishbook
15. The Pointed Sticks – Power Pop Santa
16. The Nefidovs – Feliz Nefidov
17. Captain Sensible – One Christmas Catalogue
18.  The Wailers – The Christmas Spirit
19. The Sonics – The Village Idiot
20. Jack Scott – There's Trouble Brewin’
21. The Fall – (We Wish You A) Protein Christmas
22. White Stripes - Candy Cane Children
23. The D4 – Don’t Believe In Xmas 
24. Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians of the British Empire – Pete Townshends Christmas 

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 20. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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