The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" has been a beloved Christmas song for decades - but now, after growing complaints about a certain verse in the track, Amazon's Alexa has made a controversial move.
Here's the full story...
Now, "Fairytale of New York" isn't your average Christmas song.Rather than trilling on about snow, sleigh rides, mistletoe, or miracles, Shane MacGowen and the late Kirsty MacColl drone on about a lost youth, ruined dreams, and a particularly nasty Christmas-time break-up.
It's a somewhat anti-Christmas song...That just so happened to become perhaps the most beloved Christmas songs of all time.
Since its release in 1987, "Fairytale of New York" has gone on to sell over 1.5 million copies...And it manages to make its way back into the charts every year without fail.
However, in more recent years...There has been a slightly more sour tone surrounding the usually beloved song.
One particular verse has sparked a fierce debate over its use of a "homophobic" slur...With many arguing that the outdated words need to be scrapped for good.
Every year, the debate is reborn...
And every year, people online descend into heated arguments as to whether the lyrics should be changed, or whether the song should be banned entirely.
For crying out loud, it's November! The 'Fairytale of New York' debate seems to start earlier and earlier every year 🙄— Ian Rutson (@Ian Rutson)1605803784.0
Well this year, the world has officially taken action.BBC Radio 1, a station that airs across the United Kingdom, revealed earlier this month that they will be playing an alternate version of the song that omits the "offensive" lyrics at the center of the debate. And, as you'd guess, opinions are seriously divided.
Obviously, many are completely outraged by the decision.
@BBCNews Holy crap.....just imagine banning all songs that had 'other meanings' or terms people don't like. We'd have no music to listen to.— fens cycler 🚲 (@fens cycler 🚲)1605777705.0
@BBCNews may be. It's time these people grew up, if someone cannot handle a song then they are the problem, not the music.— lostcreatives (@lostcreatives)1605777926.0
@BBCNews Uncool 👎🏻— DarylGraŷ 🍕🏆 (@DarylGraŷ 🍕🏆)1605781615.0
@BBCNews Ridiculous 🤫— Paul Spink (@Paul Spink)1605791710.0
But, on the other hand, some people are pleased that the "homophobic" slur has finally been omitted.
This is all I’m gonna say on it for the whole year: the word itself being in Fairytale Of New York doesn’t bother o… https://t.co/Ny62Lp1S8W— Harrison Brocklehurst (@Harrison Brocklehurst)1605781720.0
My only contribution to the annual Fairytale of New York discussion is this: If you’re taking to Twitter to whine… https://t.co/8kpVdAiRIH— 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈 Max 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈 Max 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️)1605779637.0
It's admirable that people are so upset by the use of a word that offensive to LGBQT people in Fairytale of New Yor… https://t.co/K1WFaFgaob— Flic Everett (@Flic Everett)1605790872.0
regardless of whether or not lgbtq+ people are offended of that line in fairytale of new york - and they have every… https://t.co/9PJG9DmC2E— martha (@martha)1605794079.0
These are the changes the BBC have made:The new version of the song has replaced the lyrics: "You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap, lousy f****t" with "you're cheap and you're haggard." The slur, "sl*t" has also been muted.
Alternate BBC radio stations will continue to play the original version, however.
Speaking to local media, a BBC spokesperson said this: "We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience."