What’s your favourite song of all time? An almost rhetorical question, because of the impossibly saturated market of music it emerges from. I answered it a long time ago, and have never strayed from that same answer since. My favourite song of all time, without a shed of doubt and with my love for it only growing with every second of airtime, is Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.
I love Christmas with an an almost chemically-imbalanced intensity, and I find myself at the beginning of a 2 month long hazy happiness the second the 1st of November falls and the last of the pumpkins have rotted away, but my reasons for loving the song are far beyond Christmas. This year, for some strange reason outside the realms of my understanding, I’ve heard so much backlash towards the song, with friends and radio presenters and writers slamming it with very little support to back up their claims. My theory is that the world has become a little too hipster, and people find it more enjoyable to hate on something enjoyable with all of their energy rather than to simply enjoy it. I’m not buying it for a second.
Yesterday my dad collected me from the train station after work and greeted me with the song at speaker-blowing volume, and my mood was instantly elevated as Shane McGowan and Kirsty MacColl began to tell me of a fairytale in New York through bittersweet memories and uplifting melodies. The opening notes transform me, back to my childhood innocence watching the Shane McGowan documentary on Christmas Eve and feeling giddy at the wavering of the “no cursing” rule for that famous “ya scumbag ya maggot” line. It transforms me to the dance floor of Swifts Nightclub at the end of a messy night surrounded by the best of friends as we sing and stomp and scream our da da da da da da’s together, long after the song has faded away into tomorrow. It creates a unity, forcing us all to abandon our shite talk in the smoking area or our sharing of secrets in the girls toilet cubicles, to join a group hug that warms our hearts before we retire into the cold. It makes me feel so insanely lucky.
This year I’ll carry it into 2018 with me, but for now, happy Christmas, I love you baby, I can see a better time when all our dreams come true.