It's a world famous Christmas classic, but how much does The Pogues' famous festive tune really make the band each year?

Did you know that "Fairytale of New York" is the second most lucrative Christmas song of all time - even more than Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You"! 

The Celtic punk band, fronted by Shane MacGowan, make an estimated $509,000 worth of royalties each festive season.

In fact, the band's classic earns more than Bing Crosby's "White Christmas", "Last Christmas" by Wham! and Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime".

The only song that pips The Pogues to the post is Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody". 

The 1987 hit, which reached number one in the Irish charts that year, is considered one of the most beloved and most played Christmas songs of all times.  

MacGowan (60) previously said, "Given that I don’t particularly like Christmas songs: I don’t even like White Christmas, it is strange I ended up writing A Fairytale of New York- a Christmas song that gets played every year."

Fairytale of New York is hands down the best Christmas song ever, absolutely no debate about it

— Ryan (@8Ryanmillar) December 4, 2018

The song, which MacGowan co-wrote with fellow band member Jem Finer, features the inimitable voice of the late singer Kirsty MacColl.

MacGowan paid tribute to MacColl, who died just before Christmas 2000, saying,

“I am grateful people like it so much, I’m very grateful to Christ and his Holy Mother and Joseph and the saints, including my family, that have passed on, And I was very grateful to Kirsty MacColl. It would never have been such a big hit without her."

The song came under fire recently as a well-known radio presented questioned whether the word "faggot" should be censored. The statement caused widespread debate, forcing MacGowan to defend the meaning of the original lyrics.

(For context, this was posted to indicate there was not a homophobic intention to the controversial word in A Fairytale of New York, after Shane McGowan said he didn't have a problem with it being beeped out)

— Naomi O'Leary (@NaomiOhReally) December 8, 2018

Read More: Readers say 'Fairy Tale' shouldn't be censored - MacGowan defends song

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