The "homophobic slur" in the 'Fairytale of New York' lyrics is dividing the internet again
7 December 2018, 17:36 | Updated: 10 December 2018, 13:09
Here we go again.
Another year, another round of problematic Christmas songs are being debated on the internet. This year a familiar foe has come up yet again, 'Fairytale in New York'. The popular Celtic rock tune has been accused of having "homophobic" lyrics and people have called for it to be banned.
The song – which was released in 1987 by The Pogues – goes: "You scumbag, you maggot// You cheap lousy faggot." Now, this debate heats up annually but this year one student brought it to attention again in an essay, in which he claimed that singing the lyric would be just as bad as using the N-word. Meanwhile, Irish DJ Eoghan McDermott called on his radio station RTE to censor the word, because it made gay people feel uncomfortable.
However, others believe that the word isn't used in an offensive context, which can also be used to describe a person that is lazy. The Pogues frontman Shane McGowan confronted the Christmas anthem backlash in a statement.
Shane McGowan gives us a statement with his reaction to the #FairytaleofNewYork censorship calls @VirginMedia_One #TonightVMT pic.twitter.com/LudzWjZK9l— The Tonight Show (@TonightVMT) December 6, 2018
Nonetheless, people believe the word should be censored across all platforms or banned altogether.
Its December 7th 2018 and people are still trying to justify use of the F-word in Fairytale of New York? Like this is really the hill you’re gonna die on? Fighting for the right to sing a slur that hurts thousands of people we all already have a history of mistreating? I can’t.— Holly x (@hollyshortall) December 7, 2018
Gay people: the use of the word Faggot in Fairytale of New York is somewhat problematic— Caoimhín (@yascaoimhin) December 6, 2018
Straight people: *Losing their fucking minds*
Someone: I think the slur in Fairytale of New York should be bleeped— Rachel (@MinnesotaShrike) December 7, 2018
Someone else: HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY BE OFFENDED BY THAT THATS SUCH AN OVERREACTION STOP BEING SO DRAMATIC ITS LITERALLY THE BEST SONG EVER WRITTEN
The irony pic.twitter.com/yyxkinI00H
I'm not entertaining straight people's opinion pieces on whether the word "faggot" is offensive in The Fairytale of New York. You don't get to define what is offensive to Queer people. Ever.— JJDodders (@JJDodders) December 4, 2018
🎄🎁 Holiday season tip: in December, always carry a baseball bat in case you hear a straight person sing the slur in Fairytale of New York 🎁🎄— alma (@knifebisexual) December 1, 2018
Y’all who justify the F word in Fairytale of New York would also be the first ones to lose your shit when white people are criticised— Jingle Bellainas 🎄🎁 (@ilainabananas) December 6, 2018
and THAT is the tea ☕️
But others insisted the word meant something else and it was from a different time.
Before the inevitable “Fairytale of New York is homophobic” tweets start spilling in, I gotta tell you that “faggot” means “lazy person” in Irish (the song’s origin), in case you don’t know— Christian (@Smithy_Chris_) December 2, 2018
Seeing all these tweets saying fairytale of New York shouldn’t be played cause it’s homophobic is gas cause it actually means lazy but they are to lazy to do a bit of research pic.twitter.com/1qFn4AcODI— colin dowling (@colindowling02) December 4, 2018
Literally laughing at all the Americans who think the use of the word f*ggot in Fairytale of New York is homophobic. In Irish terms, and intended meaning of the use of the word, it means a lazy person. “You cheap lousy f*ggot” literally means “you cheap lousy lazy person” pic.twitter.com/RwnjYcO1cW— Zoë Michelle (scorpio) (@fringyswiftie) December 5, 2018
Can I just say that I have no objection to the word ‘faggot’ being used in Fairytale Of New York. It is a character based song and in that context the use of the word works. Just saying.— Mark “HUMBUG” O’Halloran (@markohalloran) December 6, 2018
The amount of people who are complaining about Fairytale of New York is starting to piss me off.— Jay Finlayson (@FinlaysonFilm) December 2, 2018
If you analyse the song, it’s used as a term for repellent male.
Causing a disgust.
So please stop trying to ruin a brilliant song cause you’re “offended”
grow up. pic.twitter.com/8Pq8tUhtW7
Why the FUCK is 2018 ruining Christmas songs? ‘Baby, it’s cold outside’ and ‘Fairytale of New York’, they were written in different times, you’ve listened to them your whole life, grow up@— Dj Paul McArdle (@Djpaulmcardle) December 5, 2018
Now is probably not the best time to mention the other messy lyrics in the track, which include the mention of "an old slut on junk".