Songs of Christmas

Christmas StarsChristmas can be a strange time of year, bringing to the surface conflicting emotions, heightened expectations, broken promises and long cherished memories. Aside from the overly sweet and often hollow carols which assault our ears in December each year, there are other less conventional songs which feel so much more real. Such songs deliver all the chaos of Christmas and provide us with an alternative view.

One song in particular that always comes to mind is Fairytale of New York by The Pogues. Performed as a captivating duet between The Pogue’s Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl, it is a song which covers a wealth of human experiences that we can all relate to…

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true…

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night…

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can’t make it all alone
I’ve built my dreams around you

Apart from simply being a great song, ‘Fairytale of New York’ reminds me that even the best situations can fall victim to the reality of circumstances. It also highlights the diversity of experiences that Christmas can bring to people all over the world. Such messages of life are important for now and any time throughout the year.


  1. John

    It’s a much loved song here in the UK… though it did spark some controversy this month when a version was played on a radio station wth one of the lyrics removed.

    I love Kirsty MacColl’s singing in particular. In fact, I remain a big fan of her work n general, which shifted easily from the deeply moving to the deeply witty.

    ps: Merry Christmas

  2. jan

    I haven’t thought of that song for a long time. It reminds me of a very pleasant stay in…Yes, New York.

  3. Ricardo

    I have this song on CD somewhere. It’s brilliant. A good song to play in a bar after you’ve had a few. It is much better than the “traditional” music that we are accosted with at this time of year.

  4. The Artist

    Calling over to wish you the most wonderful Christmas and New Year.

  5. { K }

    Hi Tracey! its been a year. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  6. Tracey

    Hi John – I did read about the recent ‘deleted word’ controversy. I have to say that the original in all its uncensored glory just conveys all the right sentiments…it’s not a song that is meant to convey a ‘pretty picture’ so I think it works. You’re so right about Kirsty’s singing, her voice is just so wonderfully textured in this song, though I have to admit that I’m not all the familiar with her other work. She is a loss to the world.

    Merry Christmas to you as well!! (better late than never as they say!)….and have yourself a very happy start to the new year!!

  7. Tracey

    Hi Jan – I love songs that are able to conjure up those wonderful memories for us. I haven’t been to New York myself, but I’m sure it is one of those cities where memories are readily made and yet never easily forgotten.

    I was only really reminded once more of the song myself when I heard it on our local radio station…I’m so glad I caught it!

  8. Tracey

    Hi Ricardo – As you can tell I’m completely with you on the brilliance of this song, it definitely goes down in my book as one of the all time unconventional classics. It has such drama, humour, emotion and beauty within it, that all of those qualities are often overlooked for what is held at its surface.

  9. Tracey

    Hi The Artist – Thanks so much for the Christmas and New Year greetings and well wishing. Consider a whole bunch of that wonderful Christmas spirit and hope for the new year coming straight your way from me!! 8)

  10. Tracey

    Hi K – It’s lovely to see you visit once again! I wish you all the very best wishes for the end of this year and the beginning of the new year. I’m sure it will be a great one!

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