"Fairytale of New York" is, unequivocally, the best Christmas song. Because it's actually a bleak story about the false veneer of holiday spirit as a metaphor for the soul-crushing deceptions of the so-called "American Dream" that leads people to hatred, drug abuse, and worse … and still returns for one more rousing chorus.
In short, it's perfect. So perfect that you may just want to listen to it over and over and over again. Which is why I put together this Spotify playlist consisting of 99 covers of the song, plus the original version by the Pogues with Kirsty MacColl.
And then — just because 100 wasn't round enough for me — I recorded this quick cover of the song myself, using an Irish Gaelic translation by Fred McCluskey and Ger Maher (which cleverly skirts around that bit of ugly language in the third verse, which makes sense in the context of the fictional story but absolutely shatters any Christmas delusions).
Just, um, don't bother looking up Shane MacGowan's recent birthday performance of the song from the Late Late Show, 'cause it's pretty painful to watch, and not just because of him. Oof.
Image by peelandstick/Flickr
Hungarian pianist Peter Bence covers popular songs by performers like Sia, Queen (check out his “Don’t Stop Me Now”), and The Beatles. His latest cover is “Beat It” by Michael Jackson and it might well be the most chipper version of it I’ve ever heard. Absolutely delightful! (The Awesomer)
A version of this song that doesn’t make me want to burn down my surroundings? Yes please.
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