Radio 1 Will Refuse To Play The Original Version Of ‘Fairytale Of New York’ This Christmas

You know why.

We’re rolling into the end of November and you know what that means – it’s not going to be too long until you start hearing Christmas songs all over the radio and everywhere you go.

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However, given that we’re still in a lockdown – and conceivably could be for most of December as well – then it might actually be possible to avoid hearing ‘All I Want For Christmas’ etc about a million times involuntarily in the run up to the big day. Just don’t turn on the radio – although it seems like Radio 1 are looking to help out with this problem in their own way too after the BBC announced that they’ll be refusing to play the original version of ‘Fairytale Of New York’ because of the offence that the derogatory slur featured in the song could cause to its audience. You know the one I mean.

Here’s what the official statement from the broadcaster had to say about the issue:

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.

Young listeners are particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality and as such the original version of the song will not be played on Radio 1. It will still be played on Radio 2 and 6 Music DJs can play whichever version they choose at their own discretion.

Well, I’m not really sure what to say about this. It really seems like the BBC are failing to take a firm stance on the issue by banning it on one station and not the other, but I can kinda see why they would do that as you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t here really.

So many people are going to get upset if you don’t play the original version – saying that they’re censoring art and defiling sacred music and all kinds of nonsense – and a whole different plethora of people are going to go mental that they’re essentially giving a platform to hate speech or whatever they want to call it if they do play the original – remember how many people were upset about its use in the ‘Gavin And Stacey’ Christmas special last year?

For what it’s worth I appreciate the song in its original form as a sign of the time and within the context of an argument between a drunk and a heroin addict, but I can also see why it’s problematic to air that word on the radio and inadvertently encourage its usage. The alternate versions don’t exactly ruin the vibe of the song and I think if you’re actually getting upset enough to complain to a radio station about it then you probably don’t have any real problems and should use your time more productively. Get a life basically.

So I’m happy to accept the BBC’s decision on this one, but probably think they should have gone further and banned the original version everywhere if they were going to do so on just one of their platforms. If people are really so mad about it then can just listen to it on Spotify or their old CD/tape of it anyway – imagine most people complaining are that old they probably have it on one of those formats.

For more of the same, check out when Shane McGowan got his teeth fixed. They looked spectacular.


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