The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’ re-enters Top 40 following Shane MacGowan’s death

The Pogues‘ Christmas hit ‘Fairytale of New York’ has re-entered the Top 40 following the news of frontman Shane MacGowan‘s death.

On November 30, it was announced that MacGowan passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and friends. Since the news, fans have begun rallying to get the song to Number One.

MacGowan’s wife Victoria Mary Clarke has now joined the campaign, saying she was “very much in favour” of the track topping the charts. “It would be nice, wouldn’t it?” she said. “It should be the Christmas number one. It absolutely should.”


She also called MacGowan “the kind of husband that would tell you how beautiful you are every single day”. “He was always buying flowers, he was a really romantic man,” she said.

Now, the Official Charts has revealed the song entered the Top 40 Charts at Number 18 – and is expected to climb higher and higher. It could garner the single its first ever Number One spot, having previously peaked at Number Two upon its release in 1987.

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Martin Talbot, Chief Executive Officer of the Official Charts said: “The terribly sad news about Shane MacGowan’s death will hit hard all lovers of his music, as well as the fans of Fairytale Of New York, which is consistently one of the UK public’s favourite Christmas songs – and which has become a festive staple since the advent of the digital era made it available to download and stream.

“As usual, it was already heading back into the Official Singles Chart Top 40 this week and, while it is currently too early to give an indication of the scale of the streaming surge, we would very much expect it to rise back into the Top 20 over the coming days, perhaps even higher. It is a genuine contender for this year’s Christmas Number One – a chart position which this classic has never previously reached. What a fitting tribute to Shane that would be.”

In what would be one of his last interviews, MacGowan claimed that ‘Fairytale of New York’ was not one of his favourite songs from the band: “It pisses me off when people always talk about it.”


When he was asked what his favourite song was, he added: “I’ve got a few, but that’s not one of them,” he said before adding: “’White City’ I like a lot.”

Meanwhile, Bruce Springsteen and Nick Cave have joined the huge wave of artists paying tribute to The Pogues icon. For a full running list, read here.