Search icon


06th Dec 2018

DJ calls for the lyrics of Fairytale of New York to be censored

Paul Moore

He tweeted that staff members are uncomfortable with its use of the word ‘faggot’

Following the recent decision by some radio stations to stop playing ‘Baby it’s Cold Outside’ due to the song’s controversial lyrics, RTÉ DJ Eoghan McDermott has called on the broadcaster to censor the lyrics to The Pogues classic, ‘Fairytale of New York’.

As is the norm, the track will consistently be played on Irish radio throughout December but McDermott has stated that the use of the word “faggot” upsets gay members of staff at the station.

“This debate rolls around again. I asked the two gay members of my team how they feel, since faggot is their N word. If people want to slur the gay community, this is their most powerful weapon. One favours censoring, the other outright not playing it. Neither like it. Simples,” he said.

After expressing how his colleagues felt about the song, McDermott said that things need to change. Since its release in 1987, the song has regularly been played in its current (unedited) version.

“The fact this song is a classic isn’t a strong enough defence to not at least censor it. We censor shit, fuck, ass, weed and loads of other comparatively benign words in songs. It’s not a big ask,” said the broadcaster.

Of course, Ronan Keating covered the track and changed that particular lyric to “you’re cheap and you’re haggard”.

The Pogues hit, featuring Kirsty MacColl, has consistently been voted as the greatest Christmas song of all time but in 2007, BBC Radio 1 edited the words “faggot” and “slut” from the track to “avoid offence”.

At the time, MacColl’s mother, Jean, called the ban “too ridiculous”, while The Pogues said they found it “amusing.”

The BBC explained their decision by saying: “We are playing an edited version because some members of the audience might find it offensive.”

Here are McDermott’s tweets in full.