BBC Radio 1 to play edited version of Fairytale of New York this year

By Sarah Finnan

November 19, 2020 at 11:05am


BBC Radio 1 has confirmed that it will only play an edited version of the popular Pogues track Fairytale of New York this year, in an effort to avoid offending listeners. 

December is just under two weeks away which means that the Christmas festivities are likely to be stepped up a notch in the coming days. With the celebrations starting early this year, many people have already gone the whole hog and put up their decorations. So it's probably fair to say that Christmas music is the next logical rung on the festive ladder.

And what comes to mind when you mention Christmas music? Fairytale of New York of course - it's not an Irish Christmas until there's been a Shane MacGowan singsong, am I right or am I right?

A favourite amongst Pogues fans, the song has caused some controversy over the years due to its somewhat choice language and BBC Radio 1 has confirmed that they will play an edited version of the track this year in an effort to avoid offending listeners.

First playing an edited version of the track back in 2007, it didn't go down well at the time with the station ultimately deciding to reverse the move. Revisiting the idea once again this year, station bosses have announced that an edited Kirsty MacColl version will only be played so as not to offend young listeners who may be sensitive to some of the song's derogatory language.

The new edited version alters two lines, one swapped for an alternative sung by MacColl in which she says "you're cheap and you're haggard" in place of a homophobic slur. The other has a word sung by Shane MacGowan removed entirely.

Commenting on the decision, a spokesperson for the BBC said:

"We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience."

BBC Radio 2 will continue to play the original 1987 version while 6 Music Djs can choose between the two options.

READ NEXT: One Limerick café is bringing festive to the next level with their new mince pie milkshake


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get the best of your city straight to your inbox.

I'd like to receive news and exclusive offers from Lovin IE including competitions, products, commercial partners and activities. By submitting this form you agree to our T&Cs and our privacy policy