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Why the BBC's pop music station won't play the original 'Fairytale of New York'

November 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Shane Macgowan Of The Pogues With Kirsty Maccoll, Shane Macgowan Of The Pogues With Kirsty Maccoll (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

BBC pop music channel Radio 1 won't play the original version of the popular Christmas song "Fairytale of New York" this year because it includes derogatory lyrics.

London (CNN Business)BBC pop music channel Radio 1 won't play the original version of the popular Christmas song "Fairytale of New York" this year because it includes derogatory lyrics.

The song, which was first released by The Pogues and singer Kirsty MacColl in 1987, is one of the most popular Christmas songs in the United Kingdom.

The BBC said on Thursday that the original version of the song won't be played this holiday season on Radio 1, which attracts an audience of almost 10 million listeners weekly, according to recent figures released by the broadcaster.

An edited version of the song that does not include the offensive lyrics will be played instead.

However, other BBC radio stations will be allowed to air the original version.

"We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience," the BBC said in a statement.

The original track will still be played on Radio 2, the BBC reported, while DJs at Radio 6 Music can choose between the two versions.

But the broadcaster reported on its own website that Radio 1 "has decided younger listeners who are unfamiliar with the track would find some of the words stark and not in line with what they would expect to hear on air. "

"Fairytale of New York" imagines an argument between a drunk and a drug addict on Christmas Eve, and includes the words "sl*t" and "f*gg*t. * The lyrics were censored by the BBC in 2007 but the broadcaster reversed course after listeners criticized the decision.

The debate resurfaced in 2019 when the BBC aired a Christmas special of the show "Gavin and Stacey" during which two characters sung a duet of the original song, prompting criticism on social media.

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