Radio 1 Reverses Pogues Decision

by | 18 December 2007
Subscribe to The Pogues alerts

BBC Radio 1 has reversed its decision to censor Pogues">The Pogues' 1987 Christmas hit Fairytale of New York.

The song, in which the late Kirsty MacColl trades insults with Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, had been edited as "some members of the audience might find it offensive", the BBC had said.

During the song, MacColl sings to MacGowan: "You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot."

She continues: "Happy Christmas your arse, I pray God it's our last."

Both the word "faggot" and another line in which MacGowan calls MacColl "an old slut on junk" were edited.

But after complaints from thousands of listeners - and MacColl's mother Jean - Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt has confirmed the decision has been reversed.

"After careful consideration, I have decided the decision to edit the Pogues song was wrong," he said. "Radio 1 does not play homophobic lyrics or condone bullying of any kind. It is not always easy to get this right.

"The unedited version will be played from now on. I want to stress that everyone at Radio 1 and its music team take the issue of language very seriously and enormous care is taken in ensuring that offensive language is edited from records where necessary."

Mr Parfitt added: "While we would never condone prejudices of any kind, we know our audiences are smart enough to distinguish between maliciousness and creative freedom. In the context of this song I do not feel that there is any negative intent behind the use of the words, hence the reversal of the decision."

Jean MacColl - whose daughter was killed by a speedboat off the Mexican coast in 2000 - had called the ban "too ridiculous", while the Pogues - who reformed in 2001 - said they found the ban "amusing".

Ms MacColl told BBC Radio 5 Live's Breakfast programme: "These are a couple of characters - not in the first flush of youth, I would have thought.

"This is the way they spoke. Today we have a lot of a gratuitous vulgarity and whatever from people all over which I think is quite unnecessary."

She added: "They are what they are. These are characters and they speak like that."

The song reached number two when it was first released and was recently voted the best Christmas song of all time in a VH1 poll.

18/12/2007 17:26:37


Tags: The Pogues - Pogues - Shane MacGowan - VH1

Subscribe to The Pogues alerts

More The Pogues

Did You save A Man's Life At A Pogues Gig?

A Pogues fan is trying to get in contact with the man who may have saved his life at a gig on July 5. When...

The Libertines' Highly Praised Hyde Park Gig Interrupted By Surging Fans

The Libertines' first reunion gig on English soil got off to a rocky start when overzealous fans surged towards the stage whilst the band performed...

Gone But Never Forgotten, Philip Chevron Leaves Legendary Pogues Behind in his Passing

Has there ever been a better sing-a-long band than The Pogues? Probably not, and you can bet there’ll be many a drink raised and many...

Pogues Guitarist Philip Chevron Dies of Cancer, Aged 56

Philip Chevron, guitarist with The Pogues, has passed away after a long battle with cancer. The group confirmed the loss with a statement on their...


The Pogues Guitarist Phil Chevron Loses Battle With Cancer

The guitarist for The Pogues, Phil Chevron, has tragically passed away following a long-fought battle with cancer. The 56-year-old was initially led to believe, after...

Mariah Carey Sings 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' On Jimmy Fallon; Plus, Our Top 5 Christmas Songs

Mariah Carey ruddy loves reminding us that she sang one of the best known Christmas pop songs of all time. Just in case her original...

Video: Kate Bosworth Sings On New Topshop Christmas Campaign

Kate Bosworth has become the new face of Topshop with a glamorous video showing the star singing 'Winter Wonderland'.The 'Superman Returns' actress was chosen by...

The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl Fairytale Of New York Video

Originally released in 1987 and featuring Kirsty MacColl, 'Fairytale Of New York' has become an alternative Christmas anthem around the world and is most certainly...



The Pogues Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on The Pogues

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All