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I'm glad 'Fairytale' didn't top UK charts, says Shane

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Singers Kirsty MacColl (1959 - 2000) and Shane MacGowan with toy guns and an inflatable Santa in a festive scenario, circa 1987. In 1987, the pair collaborated on the Pogues' Christmas song 'Fairytale of New York

Singers Kirsty MacColl (1959 - 2000) and Shane MacGowan with toy guns and an inflatable Santa in a festive scenario, circa 1987. In 1987, the pair collaborated on the Pogues' Christmas song 'Fairytale of New York

Singers Kirsty MacColl (1959 - 2000) and Shane MacGowan with toy guns and an inflatable Santa in a festive scenario, circa 1987. In 1987, the pair collaborated on the Pogues' Christmas song 'Fairytale of New York

IT'S still regarded as one of the biggest injustices in pop history.

But Shane MacGowan insists he's pleased the Pogues' seasonal classic Fairytale of New York never topped the charts in the UK - because he penned the song for the "underdog".

The enduring single, which features late singer Kirsty MacColl, narrowly lost out on the top spot in the 1987 Christmas charts to the Pet Shop Boys' Always On My Mind. But MacGowan said his main ambition was achieved that same year when the track topped the charts in Ireland.

"Going to number one in Ireland was what mattered to me. I wouldn't have expected the English to have great taste," he said.

TIMELESS

The singer-songwriter, who turns 57 on Christmas Day, also described the timeless track as "by far the most complicated song that I have ever been involved in writing and performing".

And in an interview with The Guardian, the hard-living singer admitted both the song's down-and-out characters are based on himself.

"I identified with the man because I was a hustler and I identified with the woman because I was a heavy drinker and a singer. I have been in hospitals on morphine drips and I have been in drunk tanks on Christmas Eve," he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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