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Fairytale of New York is a Pogues song from the album If I Should Fall from Grace with God. A Shane MacGowan/Kirsty MacColl duet. The lyrics -- "When the band stopped playing we howled out for more." -- are referenced in the next line of this song.

According to Wikipedia: "The song takes the form of a drunken man's Christmas Eve reverie about holidays past while sleeping off a binge in a New York City drunk tank. After an inebriated old man also incarcerated in the jail cell sings a passage from the Irish drinking ballad 'The Rare Old Mountain Dew', the drunken man (MacGowan) begins to dream about a failed relationship. The remainder of the song (which may be an internal monologue) takes the form of a call and response between two Irish immigrants, lovers or ex-lovers, their youthful hopes crushed by alcoholism and drug addiction, reminiscing and bickering on Christmas Eve in New York City. MacColl's melodious singing contrasts with the harshness of MacGowan's voice, and the lyrics are sometimes bittersweet -- sometimes plain bitter: 'Happy Christmas your arse/ I pray God it's our last'."

The song gets even more viscious and hateful, but nostalgic with lyrics such as: "You scumbag, You maggot, You cheap, lousy faggot. Merry Christmas my arse. I pray God It's our last. You're a whore, You're a drunk, You're an old slut on junk lying there on a drip in your bed. The boys of the NYPD choir were singing 'Galway Bay' and the bells were ringing out on Christmas Day."

In the song from The Pogues the lyrics cited by THS are sung as follows: "The bells they were ringing, Sinatra was swinging, When the band finished playing, We shouted for more."

Fairytale of New York is frequently voted the Number One Best Christmas song of all time in various television, radio and magazine related polls in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Fairytale of New York

from Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night

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