Sunday, December 23, 2007

80s Music Video Sunday #47

Life wasn't easy when I first went off to college in Boston. I had just spent a year abroad in Israel and, having already gotten used to living away from home without having my parents around, I found it more than a little disconcerting to find myself surrounded by people undergoing a rite of passage that I had gone through one year previously, in a foreign country, no less. It probably didn't help matters that I wasn't much of a party-person, and certainly wasn't a big drinker. It took me a while to find the friends who would remain as such for the duration of my years at BU, as even though I was being dragged (not kicking and screaming, but certainly not with any degree of wholeheartedness) to parties with my floor mates, the realization that the people I needed to meet couldn't be found at those parties I disliked so much was a long time in coming.

Fortunately for me, I had a fabulous RA (resident assistant) that year, a first-year graduate student whose quirky sense of humor matched my own, who apparently sensed that I was having a hard time finding my niche. Not only did he make me laugh, but he also managed to keep me relatively sane. While I did eventually find my place, I owe him a great debt of gratitude for helping me to get through those first few months in such a big, strange place.

And, I also owe Tim a debt of gratitude for introducing me to one of the greatest bands ever – The Pogues. I'd never heard of them before meeting Tim, and thanks to him, I not only now have a small collection of Pogues albums, but I found that I can impress nearly any Brit or Irishman (or at the very least, I can impress Anglosaxy, who is, anyway, easily impressed ;-P) by making them aware of my musical tastes (at least with regard to The Pogues – I tend to shy away from mentioning that I've also got a few Andy Gibb tracks, but that's neither here nor there…).

So, in the spirit of the season, today's entry for 80s Music Video Sunday is The Pogues' charming little Christmas song, " Fairytale of New York".
Merry Christmas!

Fairytale of New York
The Pogues

It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won't see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in AT 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 big as 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 a 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 howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

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
Lying 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

The boys of the NYPD choir
Still singing "Galway Bay"
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

I could have been someone
Well 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

The boys of the NYPD choir
Still singing "Galway Bay"
And the bells are ringing out
For Christmas Day


as said...

classic choice!
i'm impressed!

lisoosh said...

Never really liked the Pogues but that song always made me laugh.

Didn't Kirsty McColl die a couple of years ago?
(sorry for the downer).

tafka PP said...

Yes Lisoosh, she did.

Nice one Liza, perfect Xpat Xmas fodder!

RR said...

I feel silly admitting this...but I first heard of The Pogues from an episode of "Degrassi High School" and was intrigued enough to find out more about them! *blushing with embarrassment* They weren't exactly mainstream in the US, that's for sure.

I remember hearing that song for the first time and being all "the hell???" at the part with the insults. Not at all like the usual stuff that played on the radio back then! Great "carol"!

Finnspadre said...

What a song. Justly revered as possibly the best Christmas track of the pop era. Kirsty Maccoll (indeed now deceased in a controversial boating accident in 2000. The Pogues re-recorded the track with Katie Melua last year to raise money for a private investigation into her death; great intentions, crap remake...) was never meant to do the vocal, Cait O'Riordan (Pogues bassist) was, but Kirsty was married to the producer and did such a good scratch vocal during pre-production that they kept it. The rest is history. The policeman who pushes Shane Macgowan through the door in the video: Matt Dillon. The NYPD actually has no choir; that's their pipe band and they're singing the Mickey Mouse Club theme in the video. The Pogues sacked Shane, rehired Shane, and played Brixton a few nights ago. Shane now has no teeth. Such is Rock 'n Roll...

Inspired Choice, Mrs Liza!

Anonymous said...

Love it. The BBC tried to censor it this year by dubbing out the "f-word" but gave up when popular opinion told them to just play it as is. It's number one on Irish iTunes right now. ;)

the dame said...

One of my all-time favorite songs to listen to at Christmas.

I have entire friendships that would never have started if my friend or I hadn't been wearing a Pogues T-shirt or made a reference to them during our friest meeting. One now-close friend and I immediately dropped everything the first time we met and got into an enormous discussion about The Pogues, which led to Flogging Molly which led to the Dropkick Murphys and Black 47 and on and on. Everyone around us was staring as if we were speaking another language.

I love their music but I also love meeting people who share that love.