BBC defends decision to play edited version of Fairytale Of New York

BBC defends decision to play edited version of Fairytale Of New York

11/29/2020

The BBC has defended its decision to play an edited version of Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues on Radio 1 after complaints.

The broadcaster announced last week that it would air an alternative edition of the beloved Christmas song to avoid offending younger listeners with derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.

However, just 10 days after the track change, the BBC has been forced to double down on its use of the song with different lyrics sung by Kristy MacColl.

‘We know Fairytale of New York is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year on BBC Radio, with our stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience,’ a spokesperson said.

‘We are aware that young audiences are particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality, and after considering this carefully, Radio 1 has decided to play a version featuring Kirsty MacColl singing alternative lyrics, provided by the record label.’

Each year, The Pogues’ Christmas classic attracts controversy due to slurs in its lyrics, with MacColl singing: ‘You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy f****t.’

Shane MacGowan also sings: ‘You’re an old slut on junk.’

Frontman Shane recently revealed how he feels about the edited lyrics, telling Metro: ‘I think it’s ridiculous.’

He added: ‘I don’t hate Fairytale! I am just a bit sick of it.’

Last year, DJ Alex Dyke of BBC Radio Solent angered some listeners by arguing that the track should be banned due to its lyrics and said he was ‘no longer comfortable’ with playing the song.

He said: ‘I hope I’m not going to ruin your Christmas, but I’ve decided that I am no longer comfortable with playing Fairytale of New York by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.

‘I think Christmas songs should be about excited children, toys, Christmas trees, snowy streets, ski lodges, reindeer, wrapping paper, Santa, family, peace on earth and love.

‘I just find the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York a nasty, nasty song.’

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