RTE won’t drop ‘fag­got’ from Pogues clas­sic

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY RE­BECCA BLACK

RTE has said it will not cen­sor the lyric “fag­got” from The Pogues’ Christ­mas clas­sic Fairy­tale Of New York.

It is­sued a state­ment fol­low­ing a week of con­tro­versy dur­ing which a num­ber of peo­ple spoke out against the use of the word, a deroga­tory term for gay peo­ple.

The hit, which also fea­tures Kirsty Mac­coll, has be­come one of the most played songs of the fes­tive pe­riod across the UK and Ire­land.

Ir­ish coun­try star Daniel O’don­nell de­scribed it as “one of the best songs ever writ­ten” and his spir­its lift when he hears it.

The 56-year-old said: “I think we need to stop now and just slow down.

“Like that song Baby It’s Cold Out­side has been around for 50 years and I don’t think it in­cited any­body to do any­thing.”

Ir­ish broad­caster Eoghan Mc­der­mott raised con­cerns about the im­pact of the word be­ing played as part of the song which was orig­i­nally re­leased in 1987.

In a tweet the RTE DJ said he had asked two gay mem­bers of his team how they felt about the use of the word. He added one favoured censoring it while the other pre­ferred the song not be­ing played. He added: “Nei­ther like it. Sim­ples.” In a state­ment song­writer Shane Mac­gowan, who mar­ried his long-term part­ner Vic­to­ria Mary Clarke last week, de­fended the use of the word in the song, say­ing it suited the char­ac­ter. The 60-year-old wrote: “The word was used by the char­ac­ter be­cause it fit­ted with the way she would speak and with her char­ac­ter.

“She is not sup­posed to be a nice per­son, or even a whole­some per­son. “She is a woman of a cer­tain gen­er­a­tion at a cer­tain time in his­tory and she is down on her luck and des­per­ate.

“If peo­ple don’t un­der­stand I was try­ing to ac­cu­rately por­tray the char­ac­ter as au­then­ti­cally as pos­si­ble then I am fine with them bleep­ing the word but I don’t want to get into an ar­gu­ment.”

An RTE spokes­woman said: “Fairy­tale Of New York will be con­tin­ued to be played with­out any omis­sions on RTE ra­dio.” Boy­zone singer Ro­nan Keat­ing dropped the word on his cover of the song which was sav­aged by crit­ics.

DUET Kirsty Mac­coll and Shane Mac­gowan PANNED Ro­nan Keat­ing’s ver­sion

FES­TIVE FAVOURITE Pogues song was re­leased in 1987

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