Fairytale of New York

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Fred McCluskey nó 'Vince' ó Ros na Rún & Ger Maher ag canadh, le Ailbhe Hession ar an bpiano. Focail cóirithe ag more...

Fred McCluskey nó ‘Vince’ ó Ros na Rún & Ger Maher ag canadh, le Ailbhe Hession ar an bpiano. Focail cóirithe ag cliar aisteoirí Ros na Rún. “Fairytale of New York” is a Christmas song by the Celtic punk group The Pogues, released in 1987 and featuring singer Kirsty MacColl. The song is an Irish folk style ballad, written by Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan, and featured on The Pogues’ album If I Should Fall from Grace with God. The song features string arrangements by Fiachra Trench. It has been cited as the best Christmas song of all time in various television, radio and magazine related polls in the UK and Ireland.

The song was originally planned as a duet by Shane MacGowan and Pogues bassist Cait O’Riordan, but O’Riordan left the band in 1986 before the song was completed. The Pogues were at the time being produced by Kirsty MacColl’s husband Steve Lillywhite, who asked his wife to provide a guide vocal of the female part for a demo version of the song. The Pogues liked MacColl’s contribution so much that they asked her to sing the part on the actual recording.

The song follows an Irish immigrant’s Christmas Eve reverie about holidays past while sleeping off a binge in a New York City drunk tank. When an inebriated old man also in the cell sings a passage from the Irish ballad “The Rare Old Mountain Dew”, the narrator (MacGowan) begins to dream about the song’s female character. The remainder of the song (which may be an internal monologue) takes the form of a call and response between the couple, their youthful hopes crushed by alcoholism and drug addiction, as they reminisce and bicker on Christmas Eve.
MacColl’s melodious singing contrasts with the harshness of MacGowan’s voice, and the lyrics are sometimes bittersweet—sometimes purely bitter: “Happy Christmas your arse/I pray God it’s our last”. The lyrics “Sinatra was swinging” and “cars as big as bars” seem to place the song in the late 1940s. The title, taken from author J. P. Donleavy’s novel A Fairy Tale of New York, was chosen after the song had been written and recorded.

Twice MacGowan and MacColl sing, “The boys of the NYPD choir still singing “Galway Bay”. The New York Police Department (NYPD) does not have a choir, but it does have a Pipes and Drums unit that is featured in the video for the song. The NYPD Pipes and Drums did not know “Galway Bay” and so sang and played the Mickey Mouse Club theme tune for the music video instead,[4] and the editor put it in slow motion to fit the beat. The video featured Matt Dillon as the NYPD patrol man who arrests the intoxicated MacGowan.

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Irish

English

It was Christmas Eve
And I was blind drunk.
An old man next to me said,
‘It’s my last Christmas.’

He started to sing a tune
‘The Rare Old Mountain Dew’
I softly bent my head down
And I thinking about you.

Wasn’t I the lucky one!
She came in well.
I feel inside my heart
This coming year is ours.
Oh, Happy Christmas.
You are my treasure.
Things will get better yet.
It’s out there ahead of us.

The cars are like bars
And the rivers full of gold.
But there’s a sharp sting in the wind.
It’s nowhere without noise.
When you took my hand
On our first Christmas ever,
You promised me Broadway
Was out there for me.
You were handsome.
You were clever.
Queen of New York City.

There was no end to the pleasure.
The fun and games were outstanding.
Sinatra was swinging,
The bells were ringing.
We kissing and dancing
Without a care in the world.

And the NYPD choir and they
Singing ‘Galway Bay,’
And the bells ringing away:
The son of God’s birthday.

You worthless begger,
You useless old pauper,
Shriveled up over there
Like a hag in the corner.

You scumbag, you trash,
You gobshite of badness.
Happy Christmas my arse!
Shame it’s not over.

And the NYPD choir and they
Singing ‘Galway Bay,’
And the bells ringing away:
The son of God’s birthday.

I had a good life ahead of me.
Ain’t that a grand story of yours.
You snatched my dreams away
From me the first time I met you.

I have them always, love,
Stored away within my heart.
Don’t leave me now, woman.
You’re everything in life to me.

And the NYPD choir and they
Singing ‘Galway Bay,’
And the bells ringing away:
The son of God’s birthday.

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