Frank Murray, former manager of The Pogues has backed a campaign to see their song “Fairytale of New York” reach No 1 in the charts on the 25th anniversary of the song’s release.
Dublin native Murray, who managed the London Irish band for eight years, says that the song is more popular than it ever has been and the ongoing popularity of the song is a testament to its greatness. He told the Irish Independent, “Fairytale is more popular now that it was 25 years ago when we released it. It’s become an iconic tune which is up there with Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas.’”
He added, “People in the UK and Ireland know it’s Christmas when they hear it on the radio. I hope it goes to No 1 this year.”
To celebrate the song’s 25th anniversary, ‘Fairytale’ has been re-released on both vinyl and digital formats. The re-release includes a cover featuring MacGowan and MacColl performing in March 1998. The re-release may be the final thing to push “Fairytale” to the No 1 spot this year. “Fairytale” has re-entered the Top 20 every December since 2005.
Shane MacGowan co-wrote the song with Pogues banjo player Jem Finer. MacGown said the song was a “great record” and he is “proud to be involved in” with the song. He said, “What I love most is hearing people singing it in bars and things.”
MacGowan told the Guardian about writing the song, “It was by far the most complicated song that I have ever been involved in writing and performing. The beauty of it is that it sounds really simple.”
MacGowan is anxious for the song to reach No 1. MacGowan said, “Going to No 1 in Ireland was what mattered to me. I wouldn’t have expected the English to have great taste!” Producer Steve Lillywhite disagrees. He said, “I love the fact that it’s never been No 1. It’s the underdog.”
‘Fairytale’ lost the No 1 spot in 1987 to Pet Shop Boys’ cover of ‘Always on My Mind.’ The Irish Christmas No 1 will not be known until December 21. The Pogues will play a show this Christmas to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
Watch the official video of “Fairytale of New York” featuring Kirsty MacColl here: