Shane MacGowan found 'female side' on Fairytale in New York

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 14 December 2012
Shane MacGowan

Shane MacGowan

Shane MacGowan displayed his "female side" when writing the woman character in The Pogues' Christmas classic hit, 'Fairytale of New York'

Shane MacGowan displayed his "female side" when writing 'Fairytale of New York'.

The singer worked on the words for The Pogues Christmas hit - about a down-on-their-luck couple arguing - for two years, and can see elements of himself in both characters.

He told The Sun newspaper: "I identified with the man because I was a hustler. And I identified with the woman, because I was a heavy drinker and a singer.

"I have also been in hospitals, on morphine drips, and I have been in drunk tanks on Christmas Eve. But I think I was really finding my female side when I wrote that song. It was my slushy ballad period!"

Shane is often credited with writing the song, but he is quick to point out it was a team effort between himself and bandmate Jem Finer, and that the rest of the band and guest singer Kirsty MacColl all played a huge part in realising the final song.

He added: "It is not down to me. I just did my best with it and I think it's a great record, but I am definitely not the only person responsible for that. The band played really well and Kirsty did an incredible vocal.

"I also think a lot of people identify with the main characters being down on their luck and remembering better days and dreams they once had."

'Fairytale of New York' has also topped a list by the Performing Rights Society (PRS) - who collect airplay royalties on behalf of artists in the UK - of the most played Christmas tracks. Following closely behind it are Mariah Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas is You' at number two and Band Aid's 'Do They Know its Christmas?' at three.

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