Song Lyric Sunday: Duet – ‘Fairytale of New York’

This week for the Song Lyric Sunday challenge she hosts at her blog This Thing Called Life One Word At A Time, Helen has invited us to post the lyrics of a duet.

My initial thought was the Jagger/Bowie version of ‘Dancin’ In The Streets’ but, let’s be honest, it isn’t that great. More to the point, is it even, strictly speaking, a duet?

While it’s true that all duets are songs performed by two people, it doesn’t follow that all songs performed by two people are duets. Just harmonising doesn’t make it a duet, so that pretty much ruled out Simon and Garfunkel and also, unfortunately, Scotland’s alternative national anthem, ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ by The Proclaimers (and every wedding band north of Carlisle).

Wikipedia has a list (well of course it does) of famous pop duets. About half of them I’d never heard of – 1995 seems to be my cut-off point – and most of the rest were too saccharine to be given house room here. But then I remembered this modern classic by The Pogues and Kirstie MacColl:

It was Christmas Eve babe in the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won’t see another one
And then he sang a song “The Rare Old Mountain Dew ”
And I turned my face away and dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling this year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas I love you baby
I can see a better time when all our dreams come true

They’ve got cars big as bars they’ve got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you it’s no place for the old
When you first took my hand on a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome you were pretty Queen Of New York City
When the band finished playing they howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging, all the drunks they were singing
We kissed on the corner then danced through the night

The Boys of the NYPD choir were singing ‘Galway Bay’
And the bells were ringing out for Christmas day

You’re a bum you’re a punk you’re an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scum bag you maggot you cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas you arse I pray God it’s our last

I could have been someone so could anyone
You took my dreams from me when I first found you
I kept them with me babe I put them with my own
Can’t make it all alone I’ve built my dreams around you

Written by Jem Finer & Shane MacGowan

Song Lyric Sunday 16 July 2017

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