The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan responds to ‘Fairytale of New York’ controversy

Shane MacGowan has responded to the growing controversy surrounding The Pogues’ Christmas song ‘Fairytale of New York’. 

There have been growing calls to either boycott the song this festive period, or to bleep the word “faggot” which is sung by the late Kirsty MacColl. The word itself was originally used as traditional Irish slang for a “lazy person” but the homophobic connotations of the word now have caused issues. 

MacGowan has now issued a statement to The Tonight Show, he said: “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.”

He 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 and 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.

“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,” he added.


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