Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

BBC Cuts Up "Fairytale of New York"

Posted By on Tue, Dec 18, 2007 at 1:38 PM

Our all-time favorite Christmas song – that would be the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s “Fairytale of New York” – is in the news today. Apparently the BBC just realized (20 years after the song first came out!) that MacColl calls Pogues’ frontman Shane MacGowan a “faggot” at one point. (In case you’re not familiar with this most excellent tune, it tells the story of a pair of drunken, junkie lovers who can’t live with, or without, each other.) BBC’s Radio 1 has banned the offending word and has replaced the original song with an edited version that snips the “faggot.” We’re not exactly sure what the BBC thought it was hearing for the past two decades (Zagat?). But most of all, we’re totally jealous the Brits even get to hear the song on their radios. Our DJs are too busy spinning Josh Groban’s repulsive “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” to make room for “Fairytale.”

-- Michael Gallucci

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.