ABC Music News

BBC Radio 1 to play edited version of The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York"

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BBC Radio 1 has announced that it will be playing an edited version of The Pogues‘ Christmas classic “Fairytale of New York” during this holiday season.

According to BBC News, the change removes the homophobic slur from the 1987 original, in which guest vocalist Kirsty MacColl sings “You cheap, lousy f***t.”

However, BBC Radio 2, which generally has an older audience than the more youth-oriented Radio 1, will still be playing the original, unedited song. The alternative-focused BBC Radio 6 Music station will leave it up to DJs to decide which version to play.

“We know the song is considered a Christmas classic,” says a BBC spokesperson. “We will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience.”

BBC News reports that the edited version, which was provided by The Pogues’ record label, uses the word “haggard” in place of the slur, which is how MacColl would sing it during live performances of “Fairytale of New York” in the years following its release.

As BBC News notes, BBC Radio 1 previously announced that it would be playing an edited version of “Fairytale of New York” in 2007, though it went back to the original due to listener protest.

By Josh Johnson
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