Because it’s Christmas, we’re taking a break from our alphabetical trek through my vinyl collection. Instead, it’s something seasonal—and perhaps the most beloved modern Christmas song of all time. It took the Pogues more than two years to write “A Fairytale of New York” because they just couldn’t get it right.
It wasn’t until producer Steve Lillywhite suggested to his wife, Kirsty MacColl, to have a go at the female part on the song in the summer of 1987 that the song finally gelled into something that worked. As you listen to this, keep in mind that Shane McGowan and Kirsty were never, ever in the studio together. Their parts were sung completely separately.