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Shane MacGowan responded to backlash over homophobic slur in Fairytale of New York

Shane MacGowan responded to backlash over homophobic slur in Fairytale of New York

It's one of the most popular Christmas songs ever but also the most controversial

'Fairytale of New York' is one of the most iconic Christmas songs ever written; it's played out loud as people celebrate the festive period and the end of another year.

But despite its popularity, it's also become one of the most controversial tunes too.

For those of you who aren't that familiar with the hit, it centres around a couple who've fallen out of love and use the song to vent at one another.

And in one of the lines, Kirsty MacColl lets rip at Pogues singer Shane MacGowan, saying: "You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy f****t."

Understandably, the homophobic slur is massively offensive and the song has been censored or the lyrics changed whenever played in recent years.

Shane MacGowan previously spoke out about the song's lyrics.
Pogue Mahone Records

A few years back, one DJ asked people to stop listening to it, while BBC 2 announced that it would be playing the censored version during the Christmas period.

Speaking previously on the subject, McGowan explained that he was not trying to be homophobic, instead it was simply meant to show what kind of character the woman saying it was.

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

"Nobody in the band thinks that's worth a second's thought.

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

"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.

"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."

It was announced earlier today that MacGowan had sadly died at the age of 65.

The songwriter's health problems have been well documented over recent years, with him recently coming out of hospital.

Taking to Instagram, MacGowan's wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, said she was heartbroken.

"I don’t know how to say this so I am just going to say it," she wrote.

"Shane who will always be the light that I hold before me and the measure of my dreams and the love of my life and the most beautiful soul and beautiful angel and the sun and the moon and the start and end of everything that I hold dear has gone to be with Jesus and Mary and his beautiful mother Therese.

"I am blessed beyond words to have met him and to have loved him and to have been so endlessly and unconditionally loved by him and to have had so many years of life and love and joy and fun and laughter and so many adventures.

"There’s no way to describe the loss that I am feeling and the longing for just one more of his smiles that lit up my world."

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/ThePoguesOfficial/Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty Images

Topics: UK News, Music