Several of Ireland’s most famous characters have joined to pay tribute to Shane MacGowan and his achievements to Irish music.
The Pogues frontman was a guest on the Late Late Show and performed a rousing rendition of his most famous song Fairytale of New York.
It is many people’s famous Christmas song but each year the debate resurfaces about some of the offensive language in the song’s lyrics, and whether it is still acceptable to radio stations and broadcasters today.
MacGowan himself has always been very tolerant of all views about his song.
However, many feel he has been unfairly persecuted for the lyrics, which were written more than 30 years ago.
There is no doubt that MacGowan is an absolute legend of Irish music, and Ryan Tubridy and his team decided that he should be honoured.
They arranged for various personalities from music and Ireland to record short video clips to tell MacGowan what he and his work have meant to them.
Paul Simon said of MacGowan: “His voice revealed something beautiful about the Irish soul.”
Hollywood legend Liam Neeson was also full of praise for MacGowan, saying: “He took aspects of Irish culture and Irish music, kicked it up the arse with a great sense of pride and joy and rebelliousness, and sent it out into the world and it was feckin great, it stopped us all moping into our pints or our Baileys Irish Cream and took pride in ourselves.”
Irish actor Tom Vaughan Lawlor, and Primal Scream musician Bobby Gillespie also featured in the video with words of praise and gratitude for MacGowan and the influence his music has had on their lives.
MacGowan spoke with host Tubridy about his success throughout his career and revealed what it first was that attracted him to Irish music.
He said: “It was the energy, the melody, the violence, the anger. I felt it just hit me in heart, the gut, and the soul.”
Take another look at the Christmas favourite and MacGowan’s most famous song Fairytale of New York.