You scumbag, you maggot / You [delightful same-sex couple]

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According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, BBC radio has removed the word "faggot" from that classic boozy Christmas song, The Pogues "Fairytale of New York." Pogues lyricist and singer Shane McGowen was asked to comment, but his answer was completely incoherent:

BBC Radio 1's decision to remove the word "faggot" from the classic Christmas song Fairytale of New York has roused the ire of Telegraph readers.

Music lovers of all political stripes and sexual orientations have posted messages on Telegraph.co.uk attacking the corporation's censorship of the re-released song by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl.

[…]

BBC bosses said they had decided to remove the word faggot from the song, which experts believe could pip X Factor winner Leon Jackson to the Christmas No 1 slot, because it is a word that "members of our audience would find offensive".

But The Guardian is reporting that BBC execs have bent to the will of their thoroughly un-PC constituents, the British taxpayers, and promised that the song will remain unmolested:

Since this story was published earlier today, Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt has reversed the decision to censor the song Fairytale in New York. In a statement released tonight, Parfitt said: "After careful consideration, I have decided that the decision to edit the Pogues song was wrong." So there you have it, "faggot" is back in.

It may have been done with the most progressive of intentions, but BBC Radio 1's decision to censor a lyric from Kirsty MacColl and Shane McGowan's Christmas standard Fairytale of New York looks rather to have backfired this morning.

A decision by Radio 1 chiefs has meant that Fairytale, a ballad apparently conducted between two rowing drunks, has been edited so as to obscure the lines "You cheap lousy faggot" and "an old slut on junk", a decision that was criticised this morning by MacColl's own mother.

Full Guardian story here.

"Fairytale of New York" video, starring Mr. Matt Dillon, here.

NEXT: Remembering 'The Forgotten Man'

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  1. Merry Christmas your arse
    and thank god it’s our last

    Awww.

  2. Can someone please start a fund to get Shane some dental work? I will be the first to donate.

  3. Caption Contest!

    “I hope to God this is fudge that I’m eatin.”

  4. I remember that an old version of Shane’s Wikipedia entry had a whole section devoted to the subject of his teeth. It’s since been taken out.

    I also remember a funny exchange between him and his girlfriend in the book they produced, “A Drink with Shane MacGowan”. It went something like:

    Her – You drink too much
    Him – I only drink when I eat
    Her – You drink a bottle of wine a night!
    Him – Well, I eat every night!

    I’m skeptical that it was only a bottle of wine…

  5. starring Mr. Matt Dillon

    Ahh, the Irish-American who pretends to be an Italian-American. Doesn’t he have more S.E. Hinton books to film?

  6. Um…that’s not a very flattering photo.

  7. “”Caption Contest!””

    Has anyone seen my drink?

  8. Pogues lyricist and singer Shane McGowen was asked to comment, but his answer was completely incoherent

    That will keep me going all day.

    Sadly Ken, that is flattering for Shane.

  9. Caption Contest!

    “Who hit me in the bloody face with a frying pan?”

  10. “HEY! You over there! You shouldn’t party so much – makes you look old.”

  11. Caption contest!

    Shane McGowen watches the latest Democratic debate.

  12. Now that’s a christmas carol that Tom Waits should cover.

  13. Well, two out of three of the important *f* words (wimpy words like “friendship” don’t count) have gotten quite a workout lately.

    First Dr. Paul quotes Sinclair Lewis on fascism (although at least Lewis may have been aiming at FDR, who really *did* look to Mussolini’s Italy as a model for the National Recovery Administration).

    Then the BBC censors and un-censors “f____t,” giving people an excuse for repeating “f____t” over and over in the guise of commenting on the story.

    For the trifecta, just have a story about someone saying “f__k.” Of course, that’s such a dog-bites man story that it probably won’t make the media.

  14. For the trifecta, just have a story about someone saying “f__k.” Of course, that’s such a dog-bites man story that it probably won’t make the media.

    Mad Max, –

    Give me 10 seconds of network airtime, and I can get “fuck” in the news. Likely the front page.

  15. “Caption Contest!”

    Mike Huckabee loses another 30 pounds.

  16. “You scumbug, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot!”

    Ahhh… I’ve been listening If I Should Fall From Grace From God for the past week or so… the perfect Christmas album.

    And I’ll never forget the Popes thanking whoever got Shane dressed before a show (it’s on the live album).

    Nephilium

  17. I can’t figure out what stupid Russian Shane looks like. Is it one of the border guards Bill Murray blew past in the urban assault Winnebago in stripes? Is it the guy Chris and Pauli didn’t whack and bury in Jersey? Is it the coach of the 1980 Soviet hockey team? Fuck. I never realized how alike stupid Russians look.

  18. You’re all right, but your friend Likes The Cock.

  19. Um…that’s not a very flattering photo.

    Yes it is.

    Now that’s a christmas carol that Tom Waits should cover.

    He did one with Peter Murphy that’s similar. But with a gay cape on it. “Christmas Sucks,” I think it was called.

  20. It’s MacGowAn, dammit.

  21. What does faggot mean in Britain these days?
    I recall our Brit sales mgr. coming over to the U.S. for the first time in 1977: he left the lunch table, he said, “To go get a faggot.”
    After we laughed hysterically, he said he meant a cigarette and seemed shocked to find out what a “faggot” was in the U.S. He said they were called “poofters” in the U.K.

  22. caption contest:

    bloody hell! Thought that was gas

  23. a random footnote = Shane McGowan was born on Christmas Day, 1957

  24. Not the first time the “f” word got politically corrected from a song. Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” has an entire verse dropped from it on most US commercial radio.

    And Shane makes Keith Richards look good.

  25. For those of you who have never heard the song, click on my name above. It’ll take you to my MySpace page, where “Fairytale of New York” has been my way of celebrating the season all month long.

  26. That link was screwed up. Try again.

  27. I remember that an old version of Shane’s Wikipedia entry had a whole section devoted to the subject of his teeth. It’s They’ve since been taken out.

    There, fixed your bite.

  28. That’s one of my favorite songs.

  29. Re: “Fairytale of New York”

    Aww, I’ve been listening to that song a lot lately, actually. It’s one of the few Christmas songs that I like, and one of the best ones.

    Here’s my favorite picture of Shane McGowan

  30. You know, Shane is still on tour with the Pogues.

    Right now, they’re in England, but they’ll be around the East Coast in March, so do not MISS IT!

    Pogues Rock.

  31. I recall our Brit sales mgr. coming over to the U.S. for the first time in 1977: he left the lunch table, he said, “To go get a faggot.”

    Did he say faggot, or just fag? They still call cigarettes fags over there. FYI, if you ever go on a drinking binge, don’t call it a “bender” – it means the same thing in the UK.

  32. Err… that should read “bender” is (somewhat derogatory) slang for “gay man” in the UK.

  33. Faggot doesn’t mean cig’ in the UK or Eire. It CAN mean a meatball made with organ meat, or the American meaning. And you know what a rubber is over there? You erase pencil marks with it. When I was a kid living over there I was a bit taken aback when another kid asked me if I “do you want a fag?”

    Shane’s mum was the postmistress in a little town a few miles from where I used to live in Ireland. A friend of mine at the RTE had loads of interviews with her for a documentary she was making.

  34. A student-friend visiting England was also taken (as it were)aback when her landlady cheerfully inquired on the first evening, “Shall I knock you up in the morning?”

  35. Yo, MCM, it’s MacGowan with an “A” not an “E”.

    What, you been having KM-W do your fact checking or something?

    Happy Xmas my arse.

  36. I cast my vote for TrickyVic’s caption!

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