A Conversation for Peer Review

A88006863 - 'Fairytale of New York' - Festive or Offensive?

Post 1

Bluebottle

Entry: 'Fairytale of New York' - Festive or Offensive? - A88006863
Author: Bluebottle - U43530

For all those wishing to go carol singing smiley - angelsmiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote

Probably a bad idea, but I was surprised that the filther didn't object to the entry...?

WARNING - this does use multiple uses of a word often found offensive. The word 'offensive' is in the title and it is only used in a section headed with a warning that is in bold that the word is approaching.

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A88006863 - 'Fairytale of New York' - Festive or Offensive?

Post 2

You can call me TC

An interesting angle on this. I often wonder why he says "faggot".

Have you listened to the interview with Steve Lillywhite? I learned quite a lot from this. E.G., that they had trouble transitioning from the intro to the song itself, so he got them to record them separately and he cobbled them together with his production wizardry.

However, this entry is about the lyrics, so it may not be relevant.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05rjpl3


Shouldn't Radio 6 be called 6music?
Would you think it too much to mention that James Corden and Ruth Jones play Smithy and Nessa in Gavin and Stacey?


A88006863 - 'Fairytale of New York' - Festive or Offensive?

Post 3

SashaQ - happysad

Yes, interesting Entry nicely done smiley - ok

Fascinating that the Filther had no objections smiley - rofl

Educational indeed - like you, I didn't realise the word 'junk' was in there smiley - laugh

smiley - ok


A88006863 - 'Fairytale of New York' - Festive or Offensive?

Post 4

Bluebottle

Thanks for your comments, I've made some tweaks, added a bit more details of the song's recording and a 'Gavin & Stacey' smiley - footprintssmiley - musicalnote

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A88006863 - 'Fairytale of New York' - Festive or Offensive?

Post 5

Bluebottle

I added another paragraph to include a mention of the highly-controversial song, 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'.

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A88006863 - 'Fairytale of New York' - Festive or Offensive?

Post 6

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

Hi BB, thanks for writing this upsmiley - ok
It's an interesting debate and I personally detest the Pogues' version of the song, but I know it's very popular. I didn't know that The Pogues were named after the popular Irish expression Pogue Mahone, meaning 'kiss my arse'smiley - rofl

smiley - tea

>>In 2018 1944 duet 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' hit headlines. <<
I think that should be "In 2018 the 1944-written duet 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' hit headlines." I lost count of how many times I heard/saw the Tom Jones/Cerys Matthews version last month. It was the only version I was familiar with and I am surprised to learn of its history!smiley - snowball

smiley - tea

PS my personal distaste of people shouting and swearing at each other, drunk or not, is my own view, not an editorial one. It stems from having lived next door to a married couple who constantly row, verbally abuse each other very loudly and slam doors, etc, it's 19 years this year that we've been neighbourssmiley - steam


A88006863 - 'Fairytale of New York' - Festive or Offensive?

Post 7

Bluebottle

Thanks for reading this through even though you hate the song smiley - hugSorry to hear that - I can imagine that is smiley - grrsmiley - steam indeed, not what you want from your neighbours at all...

That was a good point about the Sir Tom Jones & Cerys Matthews version of the song - I must admit that I hadn't heard the song before their cover and that version definitely dominates, particularly in the UK, so I tweaked that bit.

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A88006863 - 'Fairytale of New York' - Festive or Offensive?

Post 8

SashaQ - happysad

Just reading this again smiley - ok

"The song was recorded as if it were two separate songs, with the slower introduction up until the line 'and dreamed about you' recorded separately to the main and faster body of the song beginning with MacColl's first line." - this paragraph is difficult to read if the reader doesn't know the song very well. Would a youtube link help, perhaps?

'newspaper'. - well put

I know the term Lazy F..... but haven't pondered what the F means in that case until now - lazy lazy? I can imagine that's what I hear as 'lousy' is, in which case it would come across as less offensive, unless the lazy person is actually having a homophobic slur used against them in that phrase smiley - huh Ah, good inclusion of the quote from the BBC about the antiquated word for laziness smiley - ok

"Following this broadcast newspapers reported that there were over 800 complaints about the use of the song on the BBC's social media, yet broadcast regulator Ofcom – the Office of Communications – announced that they had only received 11 official complaints." - is this not always the case, that the BBC will have received over 800 complaints, but only a proportion are escalated to Ofcom? I see this type of phrase used in clickbaity articles online these days and it makes me wonder...

Interesting to ponder the distinction between 'banned' and 'not included in playlists' but that is the usual thing, that controversy around songs increases their popularity in shops!

I don't quite follow the reference to rohypnol - it was first marketed in 1975 so wouldn't have been referred to in the 1944 song?

The paragraph about Dire Straits - "the same criticism" is the criticism levelled at Fairytale of New York, not Baby It's Cold Outside, I see.

"The song's lyrics would still make sense if the most offensive word was not used as a homophobic insult in America." - I'm not sure I understand this - is it saying the lyrics still make sense if the f..... word is replaced by one of its less offensive synonyms?

"changing the world, not a word " - great phrase smiley - ok


A88006863 - 'Fairytale of New York' - Festive or Offensive?

Post 9

Bluebottle

Thanks for re-reading, I've made changes accordingly.

I tweaked the two separate songs section so hopefully it is a clearer. It is possible that a youtube link might help, but youtube doesn't particularly like me.

There is a word 'fagged' which means tired or exhausted, as used in a phrase such as 'I am fagged out' meaning 'I am in need of a rest'. So for a definition of 'faggot' to mean lazy – someone who rests too much - seems quite reasonable.smiley - winkeye

With the complaints the BBC's social media page had attracted 800 comments, whereas 11 people contacted Ofcom – two separate organisations, one a broadcaster and one a regulator. You can complain to Ofcom directly on Ofcom.org.uk/complaints. Making a negative comment on social media I think is quite a minor response, making an official complaint to Ofcom shows the complainer is actually quite serious. Obviously it is possible to do both, but in the context of Ofcom's website saying they received 25,327 complaints about an episode of 'Celebrity Big Brother' in 2018, to receive 11 complaints out of 17 million viewers isn't that many.
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2019/most-complained-tv-2010s

"The song's lyrics would still make sense if the most offensive word was not used as a homophobic insult in America." – what I mean is that if the word had never been used in a homophobic context and only ever meant 'lazy' (or 'meatball'), this song's lyric would still make sense.

My view – not saying it is a right one and other views are valid - is that while I applaud those who wish to cure the world's problems, it is better if they use a scalpel than an axe. Words themselves aren't the problem, context is key. Any word has the potential to be used hurtfully because the English language is flexible. So you probably know these word games. Take a word, any word –words I've used in this post include 'rohypnol' and 'big brother' but choose any word you wish. If you end the word with 'ed' and say 'I got well' before it and 'last night' after, the word will always sound like it means 'drunk'. Alternatively if you whisper the word slowly and then add ' – by Calvin Klein' after, it will always sound like the name of a perfume.smiley - shrug
'I got well rohypnoled last night' / 'rohypnol – by Calvin Klein'
'I got well big brothered last night' / 'big brother – by Calvin Klein'

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