The Pogues and Kristy McColl’s 1987 song “Fairy Tale of New York” is my absolute favorite Christmas song. On December 11, an indie-rock super group made up of Iron & Wine, Calexico, Kathleen Edwards and Glen Hansard got together and performed the song live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which you can watch above.
Looking into the song more, I came across this great article in the Guardian from last year that details the history of the song. I didn’t realize the making of the song involved a two-year process that began with Elvis Costello and ended with Steve Lillywhite. The original demo of the song, which has original Pogues bassist and future Elvis Costello wife Cait O'Riordan singing McColl’s eventual part, is featured within that article as well. Knowing the history makes the song even better, if that were even possible. Below is the original version of the song, starring a young Matt Dillon in the roll of the NYPD officer that throws Pogues lead singer Shane MacGowan in the drunk tank. Merry Christmas!