More Than A Fairytale: The Pogues

Clash readers pick their favourite tracks...

Success can often be the cruellest fate.

Ask any random person in the street (particularly at this festive time of year) to name a song by The Pogues and you'll often face just one reaction: 'Fairytale Of New York'.

Initially released in 1987, this duet – boasting an incredible cameo from the late Kirsty McColl – remains a perennial Christmas staple. It's easy to see why: perfectly produced, it's mixture explicit honesty and teary-eyed nostalgia speaks to the bar room drunk in each and every one of us.

Yet in some ways this does The Pogues an enormous dis-credit. A vital, continually probing force, the Anglo-Irish group fused traditional songcraft with punk energy, while Shane MacGowan tore up the rulebook for rock lyricism and aimed instead for contemporary movements within Irish culture.

Clash asked its readers to name their favourite (non-'Fairytale…') songs by The Pogues. Here are seven choice picks…

– – –

Arun Ghost (@arunghosh) chose 'Sally MacLennane': "Unrequited love, friendship, drinking, music, more drinking…& death. It's got it all!"

Mark Grainger (@MarkGrainger) chose 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda'

Pádraic Grant (@padraicg15) chose 'Thousands Are Sailing': "beautiful tune and, I'll controversially say, better than 'Fairytale Of New York', from the same album."

Thom Moore (@thommoore) chose 'Body Of An America'.

Alan Proctor (@procdoc3) chose 'Rainy Night In Soho'.

Chris Molyneux (@cjmolyneux) chose 'Sickbed Of Cuchulain': "No contest!"

The new issue of Clash magazine is out right now. It's always on the money with breakthrough acts worth listening to. So, go and see.

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.