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19 November 2020

BBC Radio 1 Will Not Play Original Fairytale Of New York Song

fairytale of new york
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BBC Radio 1 have decided they won’t play the original version of Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, because it’s concerned its young audience may be offended by some of the song’s lyrics.

Released in 1987, the song has become a Christmas classic, and it has featured in the UK Top 20 charts every year since 2005 over the festive period. The song is already back and climbing the charts, currently at No 59.

The radio station decided that younger listeners were likely to be uncomfortable with the song’s use of derogatory language, which feature in the story of of a heroin addict and alcoholic arguing over the festive period.

Instead, Radio 1 will play an edited version of the song, which replaces the two offending lines. The first, sung by Kirsty MacColl from an alternative version, features the new lines “You’re cheap and you’re haggard”, replacing a homophobic slur. The second line removes a derogatory word used against women and is sung by Shane MaGowan.

Radio 2 have decided they will continue playing the original song, but will monitor audiences responses to it, while 6 Music DJs are encouraged to decide for themselves which version of the song they will air.

A BBC spokesperson 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.”

The edited version of the song with alternative lyrics, which will now be played on Radio 1, can be heard on Spotify below.

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