Author Topic: Fairytale of New York - cancelled  (Read 8894 times)

Johnny Textface

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Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« on: November 20, 2020, 11:18:50 AM »
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/nov/19/should-the-bbc-have-censored-fairytale-of-new-york

I think I hate it so I say ban it from everywhere. Maybe allow it again in a few years?

Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2020, 11:39:25 AM »
I have no issue with it being played or not played, but it shouldn't be censored.

Glebe

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 12:04:15 PM »
It's political incorrectness gorn barnarnas.

buzby

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2020, 12:14:00 PM »
I have no issue with it being played or not played, but it shouldn't be censored.
It's not like it's the first time. They did the same thing in 2007 (R1 playing the censored version, R2 playing the original). and they recorded a 'clean' version of it when it was re-issued in December 1991 that was sung live on TOTP.

daf

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2020, 12:22:54 PM »
Aw - I thought that was going to be the 'you taped over Taggart' line - Boo!

Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2020, 12:41:37 PM »
Aw - I thought that was going to be the 'you taped over Taggart' line - Boo!

Let’s all think up new alternatives to sing over it. The shittier the better.

“You irk me, dagnabbit!”

“Sweet bargain, I’ll grab it!”

“I like Lenny Kravitz!”

“When’s dinner? I’m famished!”

Utter Shit

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2020, 12:55:54 PM »
I have no issue with it being played or not played, but it shouldn't be censored.

Why shouldn't it be censored? It only brings it in line with every other song played on radio. And, just as with every other song that's censored on the radio, you can easily listen to it uncensored in another medium if it means that much to you.

I get that the censored version dampens the impact of the song a little, and that people can prefer the uncensored version without supporting the use of that word generally. But radio airplay means that children will hear it, and we are trying to guide children away from the sort of casual homophobia that is exacerbated by the use of that word.

I think that's the point that seems to be missed in these debates...the point of it being censored isn't so that grown adults don't hear it, it's so that young people who aren't able to fully grasp different contexts don't hear it and think it is suitable in different contexts where it is liable to hurt people. Not to mention the gay audience, many or most of whom probably don't really want to hear the casual use of a word that originates from the idea of them being burned alive.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2020, 01:44:29 PM »
Let’s all think up new alternatives to sing over it. The shittier the better.

“You irk me, dagnabbit!”

“Sweet bargain, I’ll grab it!”

“I like Lenny Kravitz!”

“When’s dinner? I’m famished!”

“Hopped-mead is called braggot”

Fr.Bigley

  • Shall I boil this kettle dry?
Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2020, 01:49:28 PM »
"You eat Cheap lousy faggots"



Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2020, 01:51:40 PM »
You cheap, lousy gaylord

Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2020, 01:54:45 PM »
Does anyone kick up a stink about them censoring fuck, shit, n*gga the rest of the year? Or, for that matter, f*ggot?

It just seems like a pointless culture war. The War on Christmas probably doesn't have much mileage left in it, so now we can have some PC Gone Madness for people who fail to recognise that f*ggot is a swear word that always gets censored before the watershed. Except for in the unique case of Fairytale of New York.

Worst Pogues song anyway. I turn the radio off when that comes on, and not because I'm offended. In fact fuck all non-hipster Christmas songs. Sufjan Stevens and Mongolian throat singers doing Jingle Bells please.

Isn't the word 'slut' also a controversy in this song? Maybe nobody gives a shit about slut. 

I know the Pogues don't need defending - nobody's mad at the Pogues - but I'm pretty sure when they wrote it, they were using f*ggot to mean 'a contemptible person' and the fact that it's also an anti-gay insult was probably not even a factor. It feels like, even in my lifetime, the definition of f*ggot has shrunk. Obviously nowadays it is perhaps the second-worst slur in British English and it is unremarkable that it's censored on the radio; one use of it is probably enough to give a movie a 15 rating.

I can remember 15 or 20 years ago, f*ggot was all over Eminem lyrics and South Park episodes, which were two of the biggest cultural forces for youngsters. It's remarkable how it has now become an unacceptably fierce homophobic slur in such a short period of time. 

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2020, 02:15:54 PM »
What I found surprising about the R1 policy is less they took the line "youths are more likely to find it offensive as it's not culturally relevant to them" and more that they consider the song relevant enough to play to youngsters at all.

Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2020, 02:20:34 PM »
I think all songs should be censored - take John Denver for intstance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A9as5bQx6w


You cheap, lousy gaylord

Aww, Dad!


gilbertharding

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2020, 02:22:15 PM »
What I found surprising about the R1 policy is less they took the line "youths are more likely to find it offensive as it's not culturally relevant to them" and more that they consider the song relevant enough to play to youngsters at all.

It's Xmas - they play all kinds of shit they wouldn't do at any other time of year. IIRC (we used to have Radio 1 on quite quietly in the office most days) a couple of Xmas songs per hour.

They're talking about a Radio Edit. Loads of songs have Radio Edits. What is the problem?

Panbaams

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2020, 02:39:45 PM »
Quote from: Wikipedia
Although the song finished 1987 as the 48th best seller of the year despite only a month's sales, it was denied the UK Christmas number one by the Pet Shop Boys' cover of "Always on My Mind". MacGowan was reported to have said "We were beaten by two queens and a drum machine".

I mean, it's possible that Shane MacGowan just doesn't like gay people.

Fr.Bigley

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2020, 02:49:42 PM »
I think all songs should be censored

Money For nothing references Faggot twice in one line. Dire Strats-Cancelled.

buzby

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2020, 02:52:28 PM »
Isn't the word 'slut' also a controversy in this song? Maybe nobody gives a shit about slut. 
The new censored version is going to omit that as well.
Quote
I know the Pogues don't need defending - nobody's mad at the Pogues - but I'm pretty sure when they wrote it, they were using f*ggot to mean 'a contemptible person' and the fact that it's also an anti-gay insult was probably not even a factor.
It should have been censored back in 1987, but the LGBTQ community didn't have the standing in society at that time for people to consider their opinions.

There were at least 3 demo versions of the song that were recorded before the released version, none of which include the offending lyrics. I've seen many people trying to offer different explanations and meanings for the use of the word, but MacGowan knew what it meant when it was written in 1987, when the homophobic connotation was pretty much set. The song is written 'in character' as two Irish Americans (or Americans, as I like to call them) having a domestic. The word was in common usage as a slur in the US at that time. Whether he would use the word personally rather than in lyrics written 'in character' who can say. though as Panbaams points out, there is evidence to show he probably would.

Mark Knopfler has been through the same thing over the use of the word in Money For Nothing, which has been banned and unbanned in it's original form by many broadcasters over the years. In his case the song is written in the character of a delivery man he saw in a New York electrical store while he was waiting to pay for something. The store had MTV piped to the display TVs and the delivery man was talking about the videos. Knopfler asked the cashier for a pen and piece of paper and wrote down what he was saying, much of which ended up in the song's lyrics (including the offending line). After all the controversy it caused, Knopfler vowed never to write a song 'in character' again.
Quote
I can remember 15 or 20 years ago, f*ggot was all over Eminem lyrics and South Park episodes, which were two of the biggest cultural forces for youngsters. It's remarkable how it has now become an unacceptably fierce homophobic slur in such a short period of time.
It always was offensive. In 20th century America at least it has always been used as an homophobic slur (first recorded use in 1913 according to the OED) - why do you think South Park and rappers use it?

On related news, we have at least got The Pogues official twitter account calling Laurence Fox a 'herrenvolk shite' out of it.

Money For nothing references Faggot twice in one line. Dire Strats-Cancelled.
See above, though it's actually 3 times in the same verse, two of which are on consecutive lines.

Captain Z

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2020, 02:56:57 PM »
I want to know when they'll start censoring that other famously foul-mouthed Christmas song:

https://vocaroo.com/17yzXpwUerZL

Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2020, 02:58:55 PM »
It always was offensive. In 20th century America at least it has always been used as an homophobic slur (first recorded use in 1913 according to the OED) - why do you think South Park and rappers use it?

Okay, it was homophobic. I guess it's a bit like 'gay' to mean 'crap'. You would've given people the benefit of the doubt a few decades ago. Nowadays you would be highlighting yourself as a gay-basher. There was a dissonance between the etymology of the word and use of the word, but that no longer exists. People knew it was a homophobic word but didn't think their use of it was homophobic.

Money For nothing references Faggot twice in one line. Dire Strats-Cancelled.

again direct speech and written 2 years before Fairytale of New York.

I think the song Les Boys by Dire Straits is a little weirder and potentially troublesome. It's a good song, and it sounds like it was supposed to be supportive of gay people, but the lyrics are really odd nowadays. It aged really badly. "These boys are total stereotypes of the most flaming homosexuals, and that's alright with me!"

Quote
Late at night when they've gone away
Les boys dream of Jean Genet
High heel shoes and a black beret
And the posters on the wall that say
Les boys do cabaret
Les boys are glad to be gay

I spent over £50 on a ticket to see Mark Knopfler and it convinced me never to see any of these old-timer has-beens again.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2020, 03:07:33 PM »
It's Xmas - they play all kinds of shit they wouldn't do at any other time of year. IIRC (we used to have Radio 1 on quite quietly in the office most days) a couple of Xmas songs per hour.

They're talking about a Radio Edit. Loads of songs have Radio Edits. What is the problem?

Fair enough, I've not listened to daytime R1 since I was a teenager.

For the sake of pedantry I don't think it is an edit, they're choosing a different recording from 1991 that omitted the lines.

buzby

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2020, 03:10:15 PM »
Okay, it was homophobic. I guess it's a bit like 'gay' to mean 'crap'. You would've given people the benefit of the doubt a few decades ago. Nowadays you would be highlighting yourself as a gay-basher. There was a dissonance between the etymology of the word and use of the word, but that no longer exists. People knew it was a homophobic word but didn't think their use of it was homophobic.
They knew it was homophobic but didn't care, just like all the other myriad of homophobic slurs that people used to use. Like gay, it's use as an insult comes fom the connotation that being homosexual is defective or sub-normal.

Fair enough, I've not listened to daytime R1 since I was a teenager.

For the sake of pedantry I don't think it is an edit, they're choosing a different recording from 1991 that omitted the lines.
Nope, the new one omits the 'slut' line as well apparently, which the 1991 edit did not. In 2007 they used a version that dropped the vocal for those words (presumably by editing in the relevant chunks of the instrumental version)

Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2020, 03:11:59 PM »
Not to mention the gay audience, many or most of whom probably don't really want to hear the casual use of a word that originates from the idea of them being burned alive.

It doesn't. It was originally used as a term of disparagement for (usually) a woman, and the application to gay men is an extension of this.

For what it's worth, OED assigns the Fairytale in NY quot. to this sense, rather than to the 'homosexual man' sense. Not that this would be a good argument for playing the uncensored version.

Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2020, 03:14:10 PM »
It doesn't. It was originally used as a term of disparagement for (usually) a woman, and the application to gay men is an extension of this.

For what it's worth, OED assigns the Fairytale in NY quot. to this sense, rather than to the 'homosexual man' sense. Not that this would be a good argument for playing the uncensored version.

Yeah it's a false etymology. In fact I've heard that the taboo of homosexuality is as recent as the Victorian era, despite it appearing in the Bible. I think it was like "anal sex with a man is a sin, but it doesn't make you gay if you do it." Sexual orientation wasn't really a thing.

buzby

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2020, 03:20:31 PM »
It doesn't. It was originally used as a term of disparagement for (usually) a woman, and the application to gay men is an extension of this.

For what it's worth, OED assigns the Fairytale in NY quot. to this sense, rather than to the 'homosexual man' sense. Not that this would be a good argument for playing the uncensored version.
If the man was saying it to the woman in the song I could see how the old Irish use of the word could be attributed by the OED, but it's the woman saying it to the man. It's almost as if they've used the lyrics and the fact the writer is Irish as reference but never heard the song.

NoSleep

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2020, 03:31:29 PM »
My earliest recollections of the word were as a derogatory term for a woman. Can't think when I first heard it used otherwise; probably some time in the 70's. The modern meaning is an americanism (from around 1910), so not surprising that the older usage still persisted for so long in the UK.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 03:45:53 PM by NoSleep »

Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2020, 03:41:36 PM »
Money For nothing references Faggot twice in one line. Dire Strats-Cancelled.
that's problematic because mark is assuming working-class people are homophobic towards rock stars they're jealous of.

which they probably were. but still.

Utter Shit

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2020, 03:43:19 PM »
It doesn't. It was originally used as a term of disparagement for (usually) a woman, and the application to gay men is an extension of this.

Wasn't aware of this, cheers - every time this has come up most of the discourse has mentioned the burning aspect. I'm a bit of a nerd for etymology stuff so I'll look into this I think.

turnstyle

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2020, 03:52:01 PM »
that's problematic because mark is assuming working-class people are homophobic towards rock stars they're jealous of.

which they probably were. but still.

More like Dire STRAIGHTS.

Thanks.

Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2020, 04:16:50 PM »
I am currently reading Lenny Bruce's autobiography and his use of the term is making me want to chuck it in the bin. John Lennon also used it gratuitously, the loveable fake peacenik that he was.

Dirty Harry also used it IIRC.

It's possible that MacGowan just liked the rhyme with maggot and was not known for his progressive social views.

imitationleather

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Re: Fairytale of New York - cancelled
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2020, 04:33:27 PM »
Next thing you know Radio 1 will stop playing Rape by Peter Wyngarde.

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