Xmas songs no. 23: No Use for a Name – “Fairytale of New York”

More Betterness!Since I just reviewed The Songs of Tony Sly, I’ve chosen No Use for a Name’s cover of “Fairytale of New York” as today’s holiday song. The song is originally by Celtic punk group The Pogues, from their 1988 album If I Should Fall from Grace with God. It’s a duet featuring English singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl singing with Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan. The original is a classic, and when No  Use for a Name covered it for 1999’s More Betterness! they enlisted Cinder Block from Tilt to sing MacColl’s parts, while Sly handled MacGowan’s. I’ve color-coded the lyrics below to indicate the vocals.


Tony’s parts
Cinder’s parts
Duet parts

It was Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank
An old man said to me “we won’t see another one”
And then he sang a song, a rare old mountain dew
I turned my face away and dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one, came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling this year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas, I love you baby
I can see a better time when all our dreams come true

They’ve got cars, they’ve got bars, they’ve got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you, it’s no place for the old
When you first took my hand on that cold Christmas Eve
You promised me Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome, you were pretty, queen of New York City
When the band finished playing they called out for more
Sinatra was swinging, all the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner then danced through the night

And the boys of the NYPD choir were singing “Galway Bay”
And the bells were ringing out for Christmas Day

You’re a bum, you’re a punk, you’re an old slut on junk
Laying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap, lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse, I pray God it’s our last

And the boys of the NYPD choir were singing “Galway Bay”
And the bells were ringing out for Christmas Day

I could have been someone, but so could anyone
You took my dreams from me when I first found you
I kept them with me, babe, I put them with my own
Can’t make it all alone, I’ve built my dreams around you

And the boys of the NYPD choir still singing “Galway Bay”
And the bells were ringing out for Christmas Day

And the bells were ringing out for Christmas Day

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