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Shane MacGowan Defends The Controversial Lyric In Fairytale Of New York

Shane MacGowan Defends The Controversial Lyric In Fairytale Of New York

Shane MacGowan has defended the use of the word 'f****t' in The Pogues' Christmas song 'Fairytale of New York' against the now annual criticism it receives.

The discussion regarding the use of the slur in the classic festive tune has become something of a yearly tradition at this point.

This year, the song has already been banned by one BBC Radio DJ, and some - including RTE 2FM's Eoghan McDermott and Stephen Byrne - have called for the offending word to be censored out.

However, speaking to host Ryan Tubridy on Ireland's The Late Late Show, McGowan argued in favour of the song, and even performed it live with the word included.

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Shane McGowan appeared on 'The Late Late Show'. Credit: RTE
Shane McGowan appeared on 'The Late Late Show'. Credit: RTE

Asked about the lyric, MacGowan said: "There is no political correctness to it.

"I've been told it's insulting to gays; I don't understand how that works."

When the host told him why it might offend some people, he added: "Nobody in the band thinks that's worth a second's thought."

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To be fair, MacGowan must be getting sick of answering questions about the content of the track by this point.

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Last year, he issued a statement to Virgin Media's The Tonight Show in which he explained a little more about his way of thinking.

McGowan has spent years defending the song. Credit: PA
McGowan has spent years defending the song. Credit: PA

He wrote: "The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character.

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"She is not supposed to be a nice person or even a wholesome person. She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history and she is down on her luck and desperate."

The statement continued: "Her dialogue is as accurate as I could make it but she is not intended to offend! She is just supposed to be an authentic character.

"Not all characters in songs and stories are angels or even decent and respectable, sometimes characters in songs and stories have to be evil or nasty in order to tell the story effectively."

McGowan performed the song with the lyric included. Credit: RTE
McGowan performed the song with the lyric included. Credit: RTE
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Furthermore, MacGowan has previously admitted that he'd be quite happy for anyone who is unhappy with the use of the word to censor the song, as he's keen to avoid the continual arguing and ongoing conversation about the whole thing.

He concluded: "If people don't understand that I was trying to accurately portray the character as authentically as possible then I am absolutely fine with them bleeping the word, but I don't want to get into an argument."

Featured Image Credit: RTE

Topics: Christmas, Music, UK Entertainment, Weird

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekends he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on [email protected]