How apt is it that Shane MacGowan's birthday takes place on Christmas Day? One of Ireland's finest songwriters will celebrate his 60th birthday in 2017. This year's festive season coincides with the 30th anniversary of the release of his Christmas classic, "Fairytale of New York." Although MacGowan has tempered the celebrations this year, telling the Irish Independent that his birthday would be "just another day." MacGowan went on to talk about how this would be his first Christmas and birthday without his mother, Therese.
On New Year's Day 2017, Therese MacGowan became the first person to be killed on Ireland's roads. The car that she was driving hit a wall in the town of Ballintogher, County Tipperary. She was 87 years old. Therese MacGowan was survived by Shane, her husband Maurice and daughter, Siobhan.
MacGowan revealed his birthday plans to the Irish Independent saying, "I am going down to Tipperary on Christmas day to see my old man [Maurice]. This will be my first Christmas without my mam. So that’s how I will be spending my birthday." Coming up in January is MacGowan's real celebration, a concert honoring his life and works being held at Dublin's National Concert Hall. He told the Independent, "It’s a great honor and I’m really looking forward to them singing the songs I wrote." Those appearing at the show include Johnny Depp, Nick Cave and Glen Hansard.
Despite being regarded as one of Ireland's greats, MacGowan was born in England. MacGowan told the Daily Telegraph that the only reason for this was because he was born on Christmas Day. He says, "I was born in England, but only because I was born on Christmas Day. My parents lived in Ireland but in 1957 they went over to visit my father’s eldest sister, and I ended up being born in a nearby maternity hospital, down in Kent. It’s a pain in the a*** being born on Christmas Day, so I celebrate it on Christmas Eve, if I celebrate it at all." MacGowan says he lived for the first few weeks of his life in a drawer in his aunt's house until his parents could return to Ireland. Though by the 1960s, his parents opted to return to England with their children in search of work.