Whatever your definition of roots music, for me there can only be one #1 Roots Song of Christmas, “Fairytale of New York,” released in 1987 by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. It is a beautiful sounding song with crushing lyrics and a give-and-take duet that seems all too natural. The song is re-released annually, and most recently hit the top 15 (yet again) in Ireland and England.
The song is that much more poignant as Kirsty died at the front of the Christmas season in 2000.
The original video is here, and a live version from 1998 is here; there is a recent newspaper story encapsulating the history of the song here. It was the highest charting song for both The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. To learn more about Kirsty MacColl, visit Freeworld.
“Fairytale of New York.” Nothing more needs to be said. Brilliant all around.