Shane MacGowan shares the story behind Fairytale of New York

Shane MacGowan and Victoria Mary Clarke Pic: VIPIreland

It’s truly an iconic Christmas song, as soon as you hear that first refrain you and everyone around you are singing the song word for word.

But where did Fairytale of New York come from?

Well VIP Magazine sat down with Shane MacGowan earlier this month, where he revealed that the Christmas classic was one song that had him ready to throw in the towel.


Pic: Andrew Catlin

“Elvis Costello made a bet with us that we couldn’t write a Christmas song,” he explains before going on to add, “so we wrote Fairytale of New York.”

However, it was no easy process!

“It took me a few years to write the lyrics, it was the longest I have ever spent on a song.”

And sure isn’t it a classic!

Pic: VIPIreland

It was around this time that Shane met his wife for the first time. He explains: “It was in my twenties that I met Victoria I fell in love with her the minute I saw her,” he tells us.

“She told me to ‘f**k off’ the first time I spoke to her and I was mesmerised.

“We didn’t get together for four years,” he went on to say.

To read our full chat with Shane pick up the December issue of VIP Magazine on shelves nationwide

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