Ronan is most definitely Irish, and Jimmy gets in touch with his roots (as well as his house band of the same name) for a rousing take on The Pogues’ immortal Fairytale of New York.
While Saoirse naturally takes the Kirsty MacColl part, Jimmy tries to rough his voice up to approximate some of Shane MacGowan’s gruff swagger. They also stay well away from the now-controversial name-calling verse.
It’s OK, but not a patch on the rousing original, which we just so happen to have right here:
As for that controversy over the use of a particular word beginning with the letter ‘f’, MacGowan was recently moved to issue a statement to Virgin Media TV addressing it. Unlike some claims that the word is an Irish slang term for a lazy person that have been offered up by others, he was quite straight-up in his explanation.
“The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character,” he said. “She is not supposed to be a nice person, or even a wholesome person. She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history and she is down on her luck and desperate.”
MacGowan went on to explain that the dialogue was “as accurate as I could make it, but she is not intended to offend! She is just supposed to be an authentic character and not all characters in songs and stories are angels or even decent and respectable. Sometimes characters in songs and stories have to be evil or nasty in order to tell the story effectively.”
He also offered a simple solution to avoid the presence of the word i nthe song causing any offence in future.
“If people don’t understand that I was trying to accurately portray the character as authentically as possible then I am absolutely fine with them bleeping the word”.