Merry bloody Christmas.
If you have the good fortune to live in the UK, you may have noticed that last night’s primetime Christmas Day programme was a special edition of Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow. Whether you like or dislike him is a discussion for another day, but he did manage to raise my hackles by pretending to not know the words to one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time – The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale of New York
My feelings towards this song have cooled inrecent years. I swear that ten years ago it wasn’t as well known and it seemed like a kind of exclusive miserablist anthem but maybe I’m being overly nostalgic.
Anyway the premise of this “gag” is that nobody knows the words to this song and so let’s all sing along even though we don’t know the words lol!1!!1!1
Except he clearly does. From about 3.50 in. Enjoy eating jar after jar of delicious chutney to this!
It seems that Armistice Day has taken on greater poignancy in Britain in the past couple of years. This is probably to do with the fact that, for the first time in generations, young men and women are coming back from overseas conflicts with horrific injuries and worse.
It’s beyond the remit of this blog to eulogise on the rights and wrongs of wars, but there are some songs which have hit home with me harder than any news report or Top Gear special. Granted, these are both from a liberal perspective but I urge you to take a few minutes and give them a listen – today especially. I literally can’t bring myself to play them because I find the content too moving. The Pogues’ one in particular I used to skip when listening to the album because I found it too sad. The line “The young people ask ‘what are they marching for?’, and I ask myself the same question” gets me every time. This was originally written by Eric Bogle but I’ve included The Pogues version just because it was the first version I knew.
The second one is by The Dixie Chicks. This is as much a love song as it is about war but it sets me off. As the harmonies in the chorus kick in my eyes well up like a baby. I think you can place this in a fairly definitive context given the Dixie Chicks’ stance against the Iraq war.
There are more but to stop me getting depressed I’ll save them until next year.