back to article Beeb censors Fairytale of New York

The BBC has censored The Pogues' xmas classic Fairytale of New York lest the lyrics offend homosexuals, the Telegraph reports. The line in question is, of course, "You scumbag, you maggot you cheap lousy faggot, Happy Christmas your arse I pray God It's our last", now gracing the airwaves with "faggot" beeped out. A Beeb …


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  1. Dave

    Hell in a handcart, etc

    One wonders what parents of the 1950s would have made of the fuss over a meatball being considered "offensive" while "scumbag", "arse", etc. are all fine for innocent youthful ears...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Only half a job

    I heard it yesterday morning and couldn't believe they would censor Faggot but leave in Arse..

    What next Censor the word Mother and Leaver in Fu....


  3. Alex

    I find the term BBC offensive, can you Bleep that out too??

    ... I honestly thought Faggots were meat balls made partially from offal? How the Grand Jury's Knackers can this be offensive?!

    Censorship.. Pah. I'm adult enough to decern (just!)

    Go Shane & Kirsty (Gawd bless 'er in Peace)!!

  4. Jon

    Just heard the full version...

    Radio 2 just played the uncensored version. I'm not at all offended, and apparently I'm the very type of person that should be!

  5. Ian Loveridge

    Scumbag not offensice? They have lost the plot as usual.

    I wonder how many complaints they received before they censored it?

    My colleagues and are penning our complaints that to bleep/blank part of this classic song is far more offensive - that is 5 complaints right there.

    I wonder how many more people will complain...go for it!

  6. Jon Double Nice
    Thumb Up

    Only a very small percentage of the job

    I think that removing this word, or indeed any word from this 'song' is an admirable beginning. We need now to gather speed and remove all the other words, the melody and all existing copies of this 'song' stored on or in any media or format, then that guy with the bad teeth who sings in said 'song', and for good measure 'The Boogaloo' pub in Highgate where I think he hangs out sometimes.

    Thumbs up on a job well started there Aunty Beeb, lets see if we can finish it off.

  7. Mike Landers

    Horse. Stable door.

    Only 19 years worth of exposing our kids to the word "faggot", then.

  8. ben
    Thumb Down

    It's not just the BBC

    A local secondary school censors the entire verse when the song is performed at the Christmas concert, because the parents of some year 7s (11 y/o) may be offended that their children hear such language... As if their darlings didn't hear and use much more offensive words day by day in the playground.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fairytale of New York

    How long before "Fairy" is removed from the title?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    The beeb has double standards

  11. Mike Hartley

    Hypocrisy in the Beeb

    Radio 1 edit it - but Radio 2 have left it in....

    And then newsbeat keep repeating Faggot in every news break anyway to discuss the whole issue so you probably hear it more times in one day than you would anyway.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    I see the BBC proves once more how it truly has it's fingers on the nation's pulse and relishes it's role as our moral$eholes.

  13. Jason Aspinall

    Dear "god" !!!

    I find it offensive that other take offense at the smallest petty things... This is taking the PC brigade to new levels... Be off with their heads, I say!

  14. Bez


    Let's just hope the BBC never licenses Futurama.

    Though they're clearly not always so politically correct: If I recall, one of Heston Blumenthal's recent programmes involved the mention of a mincer.

  15. Dan
    Dead Vulture

    Not enough editing

    Personally I don't see how anyone can like this song. Its full of "swear words" its not a proper festive cheer song. Its just about to drunk Irish. Edit the entire song burning all copies of it and not playing it.

    Then you can get started on Cliff Richards xmas hits list. Not because they are offensive, but because they are just annoying !!!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Great editing.

    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 scumbag, you maggot

    You cheap lousy f______

    Happy Christmas your arse

    I pray God it's our last

    Of all the content to filter.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    If I had children, I'd be asking someone to think of them!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Only half a job

    Sorry AC if I'm missing the sarcasm, but they already censor the word mother and leave in fu... on TV broadcasts. Yippe-kay-yay <bleep>fu... regularly appears on Die Hard 2

  19. Nige

    Plotical Correctness Gone Mad

    Its just another step along the same slippery road to PC madness that insisted on changing the well known nursery rhyme "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to "Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep" (see

    I once read an article that said all this PC Gone Mad to avoid offending anyone of any race, religion or gender is now becoming Offensive to the indiginous native population as our 'common use' language has to be modified in light of the increasing number of non-indigenous arrivals that CHOOSE to come here then OBJECT to what they find here and INSIST that *WE* change to accommodate them.

    Makes perfect sense to me.

  20. AJH


    I belong to a small and repressed minority group. For us, beeping is the gravest insult someone can make.

    It's enough that we have to put up with car horns and mobile phones insulting us all day... now it's the BBC too, inserting beeps into songs.

    I bet they think it's funny. But it is appalling. I thought the BBC were supposed to be PC.


  21. Anonymous Coward

    Love this song

    I'm gay, and yet I love this song. As mentioned in the report, it's about two old friends bickering with each other. I take no offence to the use of this word in this song at all.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Ban all Christmas Songs

    especially Cliff Richard

    If you have ever worked in a shop, pub or anywhere else where this pathetic lift music is played on a loop from the middle of November then you will understand why.

    And if you have any suggestions about how to eradicate children laughing and playing then I would be glad to hear them to.

  23. Simon Cornish

    Only the faggot?

    So faggot can't be heard but the 'old slut on junk' line is perfectly acceptable?!?

  24. Pete James

    How to look foolish at Christmas

    I'm curious to know if the word was red-ruled after extensive consultation with a broad representation of the homosexual community? Or was this done after 10 seconds with Peter Tatchell (which is long enough for anyone to be exposed to The Noxious One). Or perhaps was done by some faceless North London nonce desperate to be seen as on-message to their pluritan bosses and thinking they were doing the gay community a huge favour.

    I know this is coming over all Daily Mail but it really is a bit pathetic as well as irrelevant to a certain extent; faggot is an American term, not British.

    We are allowed to still use the term Christmas aren't we? Just thought it may be offensive to someone so it might be dropped. Or beeped out or blanked.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is anyone else getting tired of feeling like we have to justify ourselves to a country that no longer cares about the people it's here to serve.

    I've become so apathetic to the whole thing that I feel like swimming in quick-sand and getting it over with..least it would be quicker than this slow-strangulation of our rights.

    When struck with the need to voice my concern, seconds later I feel overwhelmed with an urge to take some generic branded "happy-pill". Maybe it's a sympton of the times - maybe we are too used to doing what we want, that, like a petulant-child, we have to be reminded every now and then that our freedom is about is real as cold-fusion.

    There isn't even an emoticon that comes close to how this makes me feel...Jesus, does that mean I'm already gone!

  26. Richard

    @Only half a job

    Of course, on the original appearance on TOTP, they censored it the other way - Kirsty Maccoll had to sing "ass".

    Plus ca change!

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. Dave Edmondston

    Quest for coverage by the BBC?

    Mmm, so the BBC has banned some lyrics. How can we survive? Wait, what's this? It's cheeky chappy Chris Moyles, everyone's fave podger (who's got a new book out) come to save the day...!

    So the BBC looks good in the eyes of the parents, the kids empathyse with fatso - all claim the free advertising, doubles all round!

  29. Huw Jenkins

    It's a dogshit tune

    so who cares?

  30. Chris Morrison

    Radio 2

    I read this article just as BBC Radio 2 played the full track unedited.

  31. T. O'Hara

    Mugs! The lot of you.

    Get real! This is obviously a Moyles plan to ensure his Christmas choice is number 1. How else could he get the publicity. No one listens to that shit (can I say that;-) radio station anymore.

  32. Damian Gabriel Moran

    as my friends t-shirt says


  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was offended

    When they gave Chris Moyles a radio show.

  34. Eddie Edwards

    @ AC

    "And if you have any suggestions about how to eradicate children laughing and playing then I would be glad to hear them to."

    One word. Skynet.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    I object to the objection

    What we need is a standing list of those that object to any PC objections. Call it the sanity list. Then whenever one of the 'think of the children' crowd shouts out their objection, it can be counted against the sanity list and nobody thinks of taking any action until the net number is positive.

    Of course the real reason for all this wouldn't be to get some publicity, and for the Beeb to be able to push the song above the x-factor dross, from the other side, in the christmas chart...

    Cynic, moi?

  36. Mostor Astrakan


    Well yes, but there wasn't such an animal as a rainbow sheep, so now the correct version should read:

    Rainbow trout Rainbow trout Have you any wool

    No, boss, no boss I am a fish.

    Wool is for mammals and I am a trout.

    Just give my best to the PC crowd

    Rainbow trout Rainbow trout Have you any wool

    No, boss, no boss I am a fish.

  37. Paul A. Walker

    Now new here...

    I worked retail a few years ago and this was on the piped Xmas music we got sent by head office, it wasn't beeped out instead there was a gap where faggot was!

    Might as well ban the whole song anyway, its awful!

  38. DirkGently

    Ban Christmas!

    is the only solution. It no longer means what it's supposed to anyway. Let's just have a day when we all give a lump sum to the charity of our choice.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    So long, and thanks for all the fish....

    Just another indication (as if we didn't already know) that the lunatics have taken over the asylum...

    God help us all

  40. Nick

    What about...

    Dire Straits' Walk of Life - "See the little faggot with the ear ring and the makeup? ... that little faggot he's a millionaire"

    Looks like a publicity stunt for BBC if you ask me.

  41. Joe Stalin
    Thumb Up

    @Only half a job

    Your not wrong. I have a clipping from the "Metro" about the time when Ali G used the work motherF***er on Radio 1. The Metro got it wrong and the published M****fucker, if I were at home I'd post it.

  42. Steve Sutton
    Thumb Down

    @ old slut on junk

    I heard this, last night, and IIRC they have censored "slut" too.

    Not that I consider censoring either word acceptable.

    3. (countable) (derogatory) a slovenly, untidy person, usually a woman.

    4. (pejorative, US, slang) A male homosexual.

    Just because they happen to broadcast to the US on satellite radio, doesn't mean that they should censor the version broadcast to the vast majority of their listeners.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    I'm offended

    Speaking as crack addicted prostitute, can I register my offense at the use of the derogatory term "slut on junk"

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember concerning offense

    In a liberal democracy you do not have the right to not be offended!

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Double standards

    They play Soldier Boy (f**king awful rap song).

    The main lyics consist of "Superman dat ho"

  46. bluesxman
    IT Angle

    Inconsistent censorship?

    What with lots of people querying the logic of censoring "faggot" (for example) but not "arse" it brings to mind a broadcast I saw of Courtney Love reading Kurt Cobain's suicide note (bear with me).

    Basically she was reading bits out and commenting on them and at a couple of points, where she seemed to strongly disagree with what he'd written, she called him an "asshole". At least I presume that's what she was saying as only the word "hole" was bleeped out. Go figure.

  47. Nick
    Thumb Up


    I'm so cock-a-hoop about this news, I'm going to have a gay-old time enjoying some faggots tonight, love spuds too. All topped off with some creamy gravy.

  48. Doug

    BBC Censorship

    Never mind about words in songs - how about they completely censor some of their shows? If I see another f*ing cookery show or another Crap in the Attic show I'll go postal.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    re: Just heard the full version

    Jon: "Radio 2 just played the uncensored version. I'm not at all offended, and apparently I'm the very type of person that should be!"

    What, you're a meatball? How did you type that out with no arms?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I really object to this imported middle eastern death cult called Christmas anyway.

    why should I pretend to be a Christian once a year so I can celebrate the winter solstice.

    After all pagan festivals are a lot more fun, they are all about food, beer and fertility which is much more fun then guilt, sin and death.

    Am I to be labelled politically correct because I would rather decorate a phallus and be visited on Christmas eve by a fertility goddess in suspenders then fill my house with symbols of Roman torture an coke advertisements?

    P.S. see fertility goddess pictured left, a lot more fun then a fat man who bribes small children to sit on his knee.

  51. Jim Jones
    Dead Vulture

    How about this one then?

    Perhaps the BBC should also "adjust" their own web site as well...

  52. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    A certain irony....

    ... In the quote from the Telegraph:

    "You scumbag, you maggot you cheap lousy faggot, Happy Christmas your a*** I pray God It's our last."

    So they're quite happy to print "faggot", but they won't print "arse"?!?!

  53. Steve Sutton

    @ old slut on junk

    Oooh, have I just been too impatient?

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "non-indigenous arrivals that CHOOSE to come here then OBJECT to what they find here and INSIST that *WE* change to accommodate them."

    No, you have got it all wrong. None of the are objecting as far as I know, and never have done to anything like this. It's the BBC / Government / whoever who take it upon themselves to censor / change things because they are scared of offending them in the first place... fools.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Oliver's Army

    On a tangent, I wonder if Elvis Costello's "Oliver's Army" is ever censored in a similar way, to remove the N-word ("only takes one itchy trigger etc")? Do Costello's slightly blemished PC credentials overwhelm the word? Was it the first top ten single to have the N-word in it? Hmm?

  56. Andrew Garrard

    Censoring by word, not meaning

    As has been said, of all the lines to censor...

    Mind you, it's not just the BBC. Virgin are currently playing "Rock star" with the lines "Hire eight bodyguards who like to beat up assholes" and "I'm gonna dress my ass in the latest fashions" beeped, but no issue with "Everybody's got a drug dealer on speed dial" or "Gonna pop my pills from a Pez dispenser".

    They might, quite rightly, assume that the people who are going to object to this kind of song are those who aren't listening to the lyrics properly - and are almost definitely objecting on the basis that they imagine someone *else* will be offended.

    I've given up on predicting sensibilities after someone called in a radio show to complain that the Cadbury's advert with a gorilla playing the drums was on just after a black guy won Big Brother. (I've never watched Big Brother, and I'd always assumed that , if anything, the gorilla ad was a dig at Phil Collins being bald, but in a million years I'd not have thought it was racist.)

  57. Martin McNulty
    Thumb Down


    The BBC never play the 'faggot' line from Dire Straits' Walk of Life - in fact they drop the whole verse. That one's been pissing me off for years!

  58. g e
    Thumb Down

    Censor the BBC, quick!

    I think the 'BBC' should henceforth be known as '' because B, B & C could possibly stand for B*****d, B****r and C**t and may cause offence to people with young children. So, Happy C****tmas to everyone at the beeb. Oh, and Christmas should be renamed because it's Christian and may cause offence to all the other religions in the UK who forget they're actually living in a non-<insert your non-christian religious denomination here> country. Dunno what it could be renamed to... suggestions, anyone?

  59. F Cage
    Thumb Down

    BBC pandering to US English

    The Video has had faggot blanked out on MTV/VH1 etc. for years, but I always put that down to their copies being the American versions, having been censored for fear of litigation over the pond.

    This however is the UK, and the BRITISH Broadcasting Corp.

    Stop pandering to American English usage!

  60. Mark Reed

    As one of those who the line is mean to offend..

    I would like to say that this has been one of my all time Christmas favourites, simply because its full of arguing (really gives a true representation of how Christmas usually pans out).

    The BBC should stop wasting our licence fees on censoring songs which have been around decades and spend more time fixing their programming schedule.

    I shall be continuing to listen to the song on my non BBC controlled CD player.


    More irritated by the censorship than the song.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hate-slurs - appropriate?

    The song is a creative work, in which two *characters* argue, and it's one of the *characters* who is inclined to use a pejorative word, "faggot", at the other. In the way that old (and maybe ex) friends might do, if having a pop at each other.

    And we censor this as inappropriate for general daytime broadcast? "Sorry - that character can't say that."

    Obviously we as broadminded sensible people throw our hands up in the air - "it's political correctness gone MAD!"

    But what if, say, it wasn't an anti-gay pejorative word, but a racially pejorative word, that these two arguing old/ex-friend characters were using - "you cheap lousy nigger", say?

    Ah, most of you would say. Unsuitable for general daytime broadcast.

    I encourage you to think a little deeper. If your only reasoning is "well, the n-word, that's not generally allowed is it, but 'faggot', that's not generally seen as being in the same league", well, that ain't good enough: one is an expression of hatred/disdain towards gays, and one towards blacks. "X is OK because it generally has been OK, but Y isn't OK because it generally hasn't been" - nope, not good enough, I'm not asking you to reflect on what people have until recently got away with and declare that to be "reasoning", I'm asking you to defend, logically, the use of "faggot" if you wouldn't defend the use of "nigger".

    If your only difference is that "nigger" would cause a larger outcry, then you are exactly the same as the BBC controllers, except that they've set their bar a little lower, in terms of allowable outcry; you're not doing it through any reason, but through practicality. Through politics: "*this* would only cause a ripple, so let's go with it, but *that* would cause an outcry, so let's not."

    I contend that either all forms of hate-slurs are appropriate for use *in character* in general daytime musical entertainment, or none are.

  62. Ferry Boat

    and that's not all...

    ...some people burn faggots. Not only are they beeped out of a song but people throw them on the fire. Make the 25th Faggot Freedom Day.

  63. Taskis

    @Anonymous Coward

    << I really object to this imported middle eastern death cult called Christmas anyway.

    why should I pretend to be a Christian once a year so I can celebrate the winter solstice.

    After all pagan festivals are a lot more fun, they are all about food, beer and fertility [...] >>

    And, incidentally, the death and resurrection of the sun god, according to modern pagan thinking; but feel free to ignore all that if it helps you complain about someone ELSE'S 'death cult'...

    Where's the eye-roll icon when you need one?

    Hey ho. Maybe you're being facetious, I dunno - but I know the predictable indignant bleating of some neo-pagans around this time of year about how the Christians 'stole' their midwinter festival does a perfectly good job of satirising itself.


    Taskis (pagan)

  64. David Adams
    Paris Hilton

    Won't someone think of the.......

    .... IPhone??

    I was going to ask where the PH angle was but then I saw "You're an old slut on junk" and that question was answered.

    Faggot is also a term used for a bundle of sticks, usually firewood.

  65. Anonymous Coward


    Actually, the nursery in question did not change 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' to 'Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep', they merely *added* extra verses to it which included "Rainbow Sheep" (

    As per usual the 'Daily Mail' crowd edit the story to fit their own preconceptions...

  66. Eponymous Cowherd

    How the HELL........

    can the BBC censor Fairytale of New York as offensive when they employ Moyles.

  67. Cris Page

    Wrong song

    Umm no.. its not "Walk of Life" that has the "faggot" lines - they come from "Money for nothing", if you have been listening for them in "life" that would explain why you say they have been cut from the song.

    The BBC never learn do they? This really does make them look stupid.

  68. Mike

    Let the people decide.

    Surely unless a lot of people have complained about this, and if they had we would have seen their complaints, the BBC deciding that certain groups will find this word offensive is just being patronising?

    Insulting certain groups by saying that they are too fragile and can't handle such words.

    Sad really, as one of the gay blokes I know is the strongest minded person I have ever met and finds this being told what offends him the biggest insult going.

  69. Richard

    Please dont offend me

    Has the whole country gone completely insane?

    When did we become such a nation of soft skinned losers that get offended by insignificant things.

    I mean bloody hell we survived the plague and who knows how many wars, recession and natural disasters only to end up a nation of whiners just because someone interprets something in a manner that upsets them.

    GET A BACKBONE AND SOME HARD SKIN you pansies, better still slide under a rock and let the rest of us get on with our lives without being made to feel selfish for not considering other peoples feelings whenever we do anything

    ahhhh much better rant over.

    P.S anyone offended by what i said can meet me outside! lets settle this the old fashioned way, or does the fact you have no backbone and bruise easily mean you'll back off?

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Kirsty would be happy, still stirring the shit. The Beeb should be nominated for the old Jobsworth award on Esther toothsome Rantzen's show.


  71. kerr smith


    I find it more offensive that they think I would be offended by the lyrics of a song!

  72. Stuart

    RE: hate-slurs - appropriate?

    I think the main point here is where do you draw the line, personally I think its all crap we should never sensor words at all. WHY?

    Well 'faggot' is only rude because we believe it to be as with all the rest of them, it's about time we as a nation started to grow up, at the end of the day a four letter word is a four letter word, if it be cock, slut or slow it's just a bloody word!

    For those of you thinking 'nigger' or 'faggot' are any different you are wrong, yes the word 'nigger' has a history but then so does the Holocaust but are we banned from using it, NO! People should not be lined up & shot for the use of it, CONTEXT is what is important here not arrangement of a few simple letters.

    It infuriates me to see all this fuss over a few letters, ok I don't really like the use of them & I wouldn't want my kids using them but thats another issue the sooner we accept the use of words like this the sooner we start to accept them as normal.

    So in light of the above have a good xmas you fekers. :P

  73. Fenwar
    Thumb Up

    you scumbag, you mucker...

    The bleep is great. Just sing along and insert even ruder words according to [lack of] taste.

    And of course the more bleeps, the more funny it gets. In my head is now playing the following version:

    You're a b**

    You're a p***

    You're an old s*** on j***

    Lying there almost dead on a d*** in that bed

    You s******, you m*****

    You cheap lousy f*****

    Happy C******** your a***

    I pray G** it's our last

  74. Joe

    The BBC should be consistent

    I have a friend who can understand Jamaican patois, and he tells me that he's often heard homophobic lyrics broadcast on Radio 1 and 1Xtra calling for death or violence towards gay men.

    Presumably it escapes the censors because they don't understand it. I've certainly heard Buju Banton and Capleton on the BBC, but - like the censors - I don't understand most of the lyrics!

    Perhaps it's a storm in a teacup, but it doesn't sit right with me.

    To be fair, however -

    Yet they bleep out Kirsty MacColl?

  75. Shakje

    I've been waiting for someone to mention

    Winterval, after QI the other night.

  76. Derek Williams

    Anyone remeber the Ronan Keating version

    No? Anyone? Not surprised......

    but he was too keen to have his sexuality questioned (again) so the lyrics were changed to "you're old and you're haggard".... seiously

  77. EvilFairy

    @hate-slurs - appropriate

    if they were both black, then her calling him a nigger would have been fine as apparently they're alowed to call each other that its just others that aren't

    take some Jackie Chan + Chris Rock film (no idea what it was) they walk into a bar Chris say "yo my nigger", gets a handshake type thing, Jackie copies and gets a dirty look

    so far as I'm concerned no word should be censored if its use is appropriate to the situation, and as she was deliberately insulting him HE was supposed to be offended, so using a word that may be offensive is appropriate and therefore should not be censored

    the songs been played for 20 years why all of a sudden does it need censoring?

    (C)Rap music is much more offensive to anyone with any taste and all "lyrics" should be censored form that so people can enjoy what's very occasionally a good tune spoilt by some talentless ex/soontobe-con talking about drugs sex and violence

  78. Test Man

    A couple of posters...


    Re: Double standards

    It's "Soulja Boy"

    Re: Plotical Correctness Gone Mad

    Actually, the "non-indigenous arrivals" don't demand it, it's the "native" PC people that *thinks* stuff like this to be offensive to them, which of course is completely wrong and they would find out if they had actually ASKED them beforehand.

  79. Robinson


    "This step has been taken as this is a word that members of our audience would find offensive."

    Rubbish. Look at the poll on their website. Over 95% of people think it should *not* have been edited. As usual, this is nothing more than the PC bullshit typical of the BBC.

  80. Steve
    Thumb Up

    BBC is getting a few comments too

    This story is carried on the BBC news website. Stats for the "debate" as they quaintly title their forum are:

    Total comments: 1740

    Published comments: 759

    Rejected comments: 25

    Moderation queue: 955

    Busy moderator :)

    Story at if El Reg will permit the URL.

  81. archie lukas

    The problem with cheap faggots

    The beeb really shouldn't buy cheap faggots,

    the best ones are from prime cuts of Angus organic steaks you know......

  82. David Shaw
    Thumb Up

    The Pogues

    Has Auntie Beeb yet realised that "the Pogues" is derived from Pogue Mahone — being the Anglicisation of the Irish póg mo thóin, meaning "kiss my arse"

    they were awesome by Lake Annecy in 1987 and Shane was only perfectly drunk

  83. Andromeda

    I couldn't be arsed giving a title

    This political correctness is absolute bullshit. Radio 1 has been paying this song every CHRISTMAS for the past 26 years without censoring out the word FAGGOT without a single complaint about offence being taken by the word FAGGOT being broadcast to the general population of this country and now anyone who wishes to listen around the world via the internet.

    If there is anyone out there that takes offence the word FAGGOT being used within the context of this song should turn of the radio for the duration of the song as soon as it starts just so they cannot be offended by it.

    As usually it is the majorities enjoyment that is spoit by the opinions of the minority (but not in this case), it is happening far too much in this country and the NANNY state that the goverment is producing is now rubbing off on normal institutions, as they now believe that they can censor what ever they want with out any backlash from the majority.

    I could carry on forever but I suppose I should stop there, but I have just a few more words to say.

    FAGGOTS, ARSE, BOLLOCKS censor that you fuckers.

    Grumpy old man getting coat, going to car, putting "Fairytale of New York" on at full blast WITHOUT ANYTHING BEING BLEEPED OUT.

  84. Colin Millar

    If Auntie has the vapours over this

    it's a good thing they never released Bottle of Smoke as a single.

  85. sue

    @ Andrew Garrard

    Re: 'Rock Star' - was channel hopping during adverts about 5am and MTV 1 I think were playing it, and blanked out 'drug dealer'

    All the networks are inconsistent because everyone is trying to be goody two shoes and pre-empt the next addendum to some oddball law. In my opinion anyway.

  86. Colin Millar

    @ Steve

    Just followed that link - if the Beeb are worried about offensive material they need to have a think about that pic of MacGowan

  87. Vulpes Vulpes

    Baby was a black sheep, baby was a whore,

    baby, baby, baby, was a Rock 'n' Roll ni............

    ooops, sorry.

    Pattie Smith will laugh herself silly if she reads this story, wondering whether her storming song from the triumph that is "Easter" will ever get aired on Radio Doh! again.

  88. Anonymous Coward

    @ Taskis

    Ow no. now I've upset the pagan fundamentalists, They'll be round measuring the length of my wife's beard and dig up my phallic symbol from the front garden.

    I am pretty sure that it's supposed to be about the rebirth of the Sun and renewed life not about the suns death and beginning of the after life. If I'm wrong then sorry although I think perhaps the Christians have corrupted you. Still my winter solstice is about celebrating life by drinking eating and beeping not about the birth of a martyr to masturbation.

    The point is it's not being PC not calling it Christmas, It's just being honest because it isn't Christmas unless you happen to be a Christian and in this country they are in short supply.

    This is NOT because of immigration, Christianity itself is not native to this country, it's because of education.

    It's not being British to call it Christmas it's just cowardly hiding behind tradition, not having the guts to establish your own identity (unless you happen to be a Christian). If anything calling it Christmas is politically correctness gone mad to avoid offend the Christians.

  89. Mark

    Re: Great editing

    "Happy Christmas your arse-hole"

    Is I think the right line. Though that may have been an improv change over the official lyrics.

  90. Mark

    What do we do to faggots?

    Burn them!

    But only if they are dry wood...

  91. Martin Beckett Silver badge

    The irony

    The band's name comes from "Pogue Mo Chone" meaning "kiss my arse" in Gaelic.

    They had to change it when the BBC finally got a producer who spoke Gaelic -

    after years of English DJs carefully pronouning it.

  92. Mark

    Rainbow Sheep?

    That's some serious shit you're smoking if you can see *them*!

  93. Anonymous Coward

    Not surprised..

    that the BBC has its priorities wrong. Not long ago in a program about neonazis, the c*ns*r deemed it necessary to beep out all the Fuck and Shit instances, but happily left in the N-word (derog: person of african descent).

    A group of people that lets a term of abuse for part of our fellow man uncensored whilst removing terms that describe the procreative act cannot reasonably be expected to have any idea what they're doing.

  94. This post has been deleted by its author

  95. Anonymous Coward

    @ hate-slurs - appropriate?

    From the comments on here and on the BBC it appears the word 'faggot' does not actually offend homosexuals so I think it is ok for it to appear in a silly oft played song on the radio.

    Of course, going up to a homosexual and venemously spitting the word 'faggot' at them is probably not ok, and is likely to cause offence.

    The word 'nigger' is offensive, it is understood to be offensive, and we understand that people in US movies who are black call each other by this word nobody else would use the word because it would be offensive to do so.

    Political correctness is about context and circumstance.

    The can Beeb play rap songs late at night that contain black gangsta rap stars chanting about 'niggers' beating up 'ho's' and 'sniffin crack' and doing unpleasant things to their mothers (or somebody elses mother) before shooting pigs etc. It is allowed at certain times and nights of the week by the Beeb.

    Given all of this fuss over a word homosexuals appear not to find offensive, it appears that either the Beeb have gone as mad as our government have (they are mad, that or unbelievably corrupt and incompetant at the same time, a dangerous combination); or it is a publicity stunt of some kind.

  96. Anonymous Coward

    @ T. O'Hara

    I'm with you! I wonder if they're going to check the betting activities of BBC employees over the Xmas No. 1?

  97. Anonymous Coward

    @ El Reg censored me

    IMO the Reg is not censoring this or even moderating it, IMO they are not reading or editing the comments.

    This can be proven by my own post with two instances of me typing words the wrong way round.

    What they appear to be doing is letting any post in so long as it doesn't say c*#t.

    Which I think is rather boll**k*ng m*ther f***ingly bloody liberal in my view.

    I wonder if the El Reg bot notices m**ge or tw@t or fud?

  98. Pete James

    Must be a stunt then.

    ITV has some spotty kid winning a phone-in. Said adolescent records mildly tweaked song to make his svengali lots more wonga in time for the New Year sales (30 pais of high-waisted slacks, and make them elasticated!).

    BBC decides to wee on his bonfire and gets everyone talking about some old Christmas song instead. Outraged population, headed by the fatsome Moyles, inadvertantly cause the old song to scream up to the top of the charts instead of acne-riddlled virgin and so Cowell's festive domination is ruined by a rather naughty little demonstration by a rival network on how to mobilise people to stop a rival making any dosh.

    I'm dreaming of course, it would never happen. No, never.....

  99. Keefey

    At Last!

    As a bender I for one welcome an end to this maddening outrage; I can now put away my placards, and I'm glad I don't have to burn an effigy of Kirsty MacColl, it took me so long to get the make-up just right. Still, I think it would have been better if they'd "replaced" the offending word with something more appropriate, like they did to Ghostbusters ("Forget you!"), for example: "You scumbag, you maggot, you're a - *male brummie voice* WATCHER OF TAGGART"

    Now, excuse me, I'm off to sing some non-denomination, non-judgemental winterval carols, while I think of other as-yet-intact songs that have been going for the best part of 20 years that can be the focus of my rage.

  100. Anonymous Coward

    I really hope ...

    .. they work through that moderation queue in the Beeb's Have Your Say page for this. Took me ages to carefully spell the C-word in the left hand column to just fit the page layout.

    I also don't buy the conspiracy theory of this being a publicity stunt. As much as I'd love to believe that, I just don't think the people who made this decision are that cunning.

  101. Paul Lee

    BBC backs down!

    A triumph for common sense over stupidity!

  102. This post has been deleted by its author

  103. P. Lee
    Paris Hilton

    Not thinking of the children

    Think of the poor record industry execs, singing actors (sorry, "artists") and massive multinational corporations who might make a few million less than they would otherwise do if the "song" got to #1 the Sunday before Christmas!

    Its a good job we're all thinking about someone who didn't get his song played on one radio station (we must live in communist state) rather than, oh I dunno, government misplacing data or starving people or something.

    The PH icon is because the porn and music and fame industries are as sad as each other.

  104. Highlander

    Heaven help- the BBC if...

    ....they ever repeat any comedy greats from the 70's or 80's. The accumulated political incorrectness will probably kill one or more BBC execs out of shock.

    *sigh* The BBC rejects this song because of the word faggot, but it's OK for Torchwood to more or less shove homosexuality in our faces every week? What about the segment of the population offended by male-male or female-female passionate kissing? Barely a week goes by on Torchwood without one or other of the nominally heterosexual characters having a homosexual moment.

    I think this pandering to political correctness has gone a little too far. Certainly we appear to have gone from tolerating homosexuality as a choice some people make to promoting it as a valid choice for all. Excising words like faggot from older tracks and TV shows is one more step in that direction to me. Seems like the balance would be that if you are going to allow folks like Russel T. Davies to push their personal agenda on viewers and listeners, then there is no reason to censor other content because it uses terms that may, or may not, be expressing an alternate view.

    Good grief, what happens if they replay Are You Being Served? I'm almost certain that the word faggot has been uttered many many times on that show, along with a legion of other slang terms for male homosexuals, euphemisms for various parts of male and female anatomy - not least of which is Mrs. Slocombe's pussy(cat). Are characters in contemporary programs to be banned from having a puff on a fag now? That's always been one of my favorite shock jokes here in the states. A 'fag' here is not a cigarette, yet in the UK no one stops to think twice about the phrase. I guess that will be changing now too?

    I'm so sick and tired of this political correctness bollocks. I went to watch Hairspray recently and laughed my ass off because there was this utter silence when they sing about there being a 'negro day' on the Corny Collins show. Honestly there was a sharp intake of breath and a silence that lasted seconds while people tried to process the fact that a bunch of kids on screen just sang the word 'negro'. I thought it was a brilliant use of a word that at the time the movie was set would have been commonly used. Yet today it is a word so laden with potential offense that people recoil in fear when it is used, especially as in the movie the first time it's heard it's almost like a verbal exclamation mark in the song. I'll tell you though, sitting in a busy movie theater in the south (of the USA) you actually feel the sense of shock and awe that the younger folks experience because the word is even uttered, never mind thrown into a song and used to punctuate the verse. So very funny, so very hard to keep from laughing out loud at the reaction of people.

    Some other wonderfully British phrases and words that I guess will soon elicit a similar response...


    Oh bugger!

    Buggery, Buggery Bollocks!

    Sodding hell!

    Sod off!

    Bugger off!


    ...and so on, and so forth...

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Dear BBC

    I find your decision to censor Kirsty __on the anniversary of her murder__ to be the most offensive decision ever. Please castrate the official responsible.

  106. Keefey

    Someone needs to stop watching Torchwood...

    ... if he's so offended by the gayboys. You have a plethora of other channels to watch, exercise your thumb rather than rant on about an "agenda". Personally, I love having a bit of homosexuality shoved in my face.

  107. Highlander


    You missed the point, must be all that Torchwood in your face.

    The point was not that Torchwood should stop, it was more thatn if you're going to on the one hand allow RTD to indulge in his fantasies, and agenda, then you can hardly ban the word faggot from a song on Radio 1. Neither should be banned, neither should be removed from the air. I personally don't like having such a havily agenda driven show as Torchwood, I'd prefer Torchwood if they spent more time actually 'catching aliens' instead of snogging them. But that's not the point, the point is taht you can't be politically correct by banning a word in the context of a classic song, any more than you can by pushing one agenda or another. If the beeb is going to attempt to be even handed then they need to pointlessly ban things from either side of an issue.

    Personally I don't favor banning either. If viewers don't like Torchwood, they won't watch. That's as much censorship as is required.Just as if they don't like the Pogues, they won't listen.

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The answer to this madness is that the whole farrago is a round of Censored Songs from 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' that's run out of control.

    ...and so, as the Wee Willy Winkie of time pops out of the nightgown of eternity...

  109. aaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Nottin' New

    Ronan Keating did a cover a while back for the, the lyrics where changed from "You cheap, lousy faggot" to "you're cheap and you're haggard". A bit stupid considering that Dustin the Turkey (A Irish television CHILDREN'S entertainer who is a puppet), sang it will the full lyrics.

  110. Adrian Esdaile
    Thumb Down

    No respect.

    I would guess that the clueless bootlicking BBC munter who did the editing also thinks tearing around in speedboats is a jolly thing to do, what ho!

    Funny how the exact words of the song describe the censoring fool "You're a bum.. etc."

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not air a "clean" version of the song instead?

    The Pogues should consider taking the original version of the song and editing in audio from this version performed on Top of the Pops by Shane and Kirsty back in 1992:

    In the TOTP version, Kirsty uses the lyrics "you're cheap and you're haggard" instead of the offending line.

    (These are the same lyrics that Maire Brennan used a few years back, so there is a bit of a history for this.)

    I love the song as originally recorded, but frankly, some people really don't want to hear "cheap lousy faggot" on their Christmas radio, much less have their kids sing along to it or think it's okay for them to use the expression frequently.

  112. Brett


    Have a satisfactory, non-denominational, capitalist, gift giving season! This Christmas has meant nothing to me so far (last year was really bad but not this bad). Its actually gotten to the point where all the magic has truly been sucked out. Now it just means heavy traffic, obnoxious people and marketing at a level man wasn't meant to endure psychologically. I am looking forward to political correctness bringing in some laws that will hopefully kill it. After all we live in a multi cultural society and it isnt fair to force Christmas on our diverse friends. Or I'll kill someone on the road for blinding me or cutting me up to get presents for little billy and bobby.

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Who mentioned Winterval?,,1967367,00.html

    It's last year but it doesn't really seem to matter now does it?

  114. J

    @hate-slurs - appropriate

    "I'm asking you to defend, logically, the use of "faggot" if you wouldn't defend the use of "nigger" "

    Well, I'm not for banning either one in creative work, but I can think of a logic that would keep faggot but not nigger: you can call any guy a faggot, but you can't call any guy a nigger. You know, in the name of equal opportunity "offendability"... :O)

  115. Scott

    @Mostor Astrakan & AC

    great work Mostor, might have to teach the kids that one if I find them being taught the "new and improved version"

    At AC in regards the the use of the N-word. If used in the same context as it is in the song I don't think most people would have a problem with it. Calling your mate a nigger when they are listening to rap music isn't that offensive.

    But you are also comparing apples to oranges in a way. There is much more history and negative energy associated with Nigger than Faggot.

  116. AlfieGoodrich

    Bleep out Chris Moyles

    If the BBC decided to edit Chris Moyles out of the radio I would be happy. Odd that the corporation chooses to take out one word from a song to apparently appease one group of people, let they leave Moyles' offensive personality intact for the duration of his show, citing the reasons as his popularity and his almost single-handed saving of Radio 1 every time people complain about him.

    I havent listened to him or Radio 1 since about December 2000, when I heard him throw a cheap, racist, curry-related gag at a young Indian lady who had phoned in to his show.

    My complaint to Matthew Bannister, controller of R1 at the time, was returned with the usual: "Chris has a big listener base and is liked by his public".

    If someone as irritating as him is untouchable, why touch a perfectly decent song like "Fairy Tale.."? Sorry, "Homosexual Tale of New York".....

  117. Chris Barrett

    EL Reg censors itself

    Judging from the title, El Reg is on the side of the BBC.

    How times are a-changin'. How many Christmasses have gone by with the song being broadcast in all its naked glory? How anal the world is getting.....

  118. Shakje

    @AC about Yule

    Animals hibernate, trees are bare, crops don't grow, so naturally winter is seen as the season of death before the circle of life is completed in the new year. Death is a perfectly natural occurrence and was never so taboo as it is now. Personally I'd say that it's got a lot to do with atheism, although I'm not going to say whether death being taboo is a good thing or a bad thing. I guess it makes us value what we've got more but feeds consumerism. Part of it's probably down to Easter being incredibly similar in story to that of the sun god dying and being resurrected, except without the personal touch. ie the circle of life applies to everyone, Jesus' death only applies to his own follower's.

    Also, Christian Christmas has nothing to do with death, I'm not exactly sure where you're going with that one, maybe you're just thinking of Easter. However, since Christmas is all about the birth of who Christians believe is the saviour of earth, I'd hardly call that a sombre celebration. I'm pretty sure that Christian Christmas used to be a festival of drinking and eating because it integrated with Yule.

    Just random bletherings, don't have a go if my mind wandered in the wrong direction.

    Shak (agnostic with pagan sympathies)

  119. Andy Blackburn
    Thumb Up

    BBC decision reversed

    Following numerous complaints, el Beeb have reversed their decision:

  120. Eileen Bach

    Fags is bad

    I always thought a faggot was a down and out butt scrounger. (You know those yellow filter thingys left in the kerbside.

  121. Slaine

    Censorship is the Castration of Creativity.

    "down and out butt scrounger. (You know those yellow filter thingys left in the kerbside" ... er no mate - that's a Traffic Warden.

  122. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Well now we know for certain

    That there's no hope of the BBC ever repeating The Goodies. Personally I love the show in all its non-PC glory. Episodes like "South Africa" may well soon be disowned by the BBC if it continues down this road. And as for The Diaries Of Alan Clark and the infamous "Bongo Bongo Land" quote...

    Can I say I had four faggots last night and they were delicious?

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The dubious sexual persuasion song of New York

    I don't know any "cheap lousy faggots". I know a few gentlemen who might adequately be referred to as being "light in the loafers" or "batting for the opposite side" and indeed I have been asked to go out on a date with one or two of them in the past... I'm flattered, but not that way inclined. I know of "gay" singer/songwriters, performers, comedians (or should that be comediens?), live DJ's, social workers, care workers and bereavement councillors, nurses and in fact of all the homosexuals that I have ever met, not one was "cheap" or "lousy". They were all polite, well dressed and above all, generous with both their financial means and their affections. Meethinks therefore that the song MUST refer to Chris Moyles.

  124. Slaine

    the LAST word(s)

    Got on a lucky one - offensive to gamblers

    Came in eighteen to one - you fekkin peadophile

    Ive got a feeling - sexual reference

    This years for me and you - okay - let that one pass

    So happy christmas - offensive to muslims

    I love you baby - reference to sexual activities

    I can see a better time - offensive to the blind

    When all our dreams come true - offensive to realists

    Theyve got cars big as bars - offensive to the poor

    Theyve got rivers of gold - offensive to the poor

    But the wind goes right through you - offensive to people with a flatulence problems

    Its no place for the old - offensive to the aged

    When you first took my hand - dealing in body parts are we?

    On a cold christmas eve - offensive to muslims

    You promised me - okay - let that pass

    Broadway was waiting for me - offensive to anyone who isn't a film star

    You were handsome - offensive to ugly people

    You were pretty - offensive to ugly people

    Queen of new york city - offensive to same-sex relationship pursuers

    When the band finished playing - okay - let that pass

    They howled out for more - offensive to werewolves

    Sinatra was swinging, - offensive to "liberated" couples

    All the drunks they were singing - offensive to those who joined alcoholics anonymous

    We kissed on a corner - sexual reference

    Then danced through the night - body contact, can't have that and cetainly no staying up late

    The boys of the nypd choir - peadophiles

    Were singing galway bay - irish comment and therefore racist

    And the bells were ringing out - okay - let that pass

    For christmas day - oops - muslims again

    Youre a bum - intimate body part, no way

    Youre a punk - okay - let that pass

    Youre an old slut on junk - no way

    Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed - offensive to the living

    You scumbag, you maggot - insect abuse

    You cheap lousy faggot - mmmm well now, is this a reference to meatballs?

    Happy christmas your arse - nope, naughty bits again

    I pray God its our last - prayer - can't have a pro-religion either

    I could have been someone - offensive to unachievers

    Well so could anyone - okay - let that pass

    You took my dreams from me - back to altered states again

    When I first found you - yeh - let that pass

    I kept them with me babe - peadophile

    I put them with my own - promoting theft

    Cant make it all alone - negativity, mustn't let the masses think negative thoughts

    Ive built my dreams around you - altered state and delusional

    leaving us with ...

    This years for me and you

    You promised me

    When the band finished playing

    And the bells were ringing out

    Youre a punk

    You cheap lousy faggot

    Well so could anyone

    hardly a song is it?

  125. This post has been deleted by its author

  126. Steve Sutton

    @ old slut on junk

    Oooh, have I been moderated for copying an pasting text from wiktionary???

    Okay, the bit I mainly wanted to mention was that I heard it on the radio last night, and IIRC, they actually did censor the word "slut"

  127. Charley

    @ Slaine

    When the band finished playing

    And the bells were ringing out

    - Offensive to the deaf.

    Not that they'd have known that if you hadn't written all the words down for them.

    Is it still offensive if the potentially offended are never exposed to it?

  128. Ralph Hodgson

    @ the world of censorship in general.

    As children we are taught the popular saying "Sticks and stones, etc.....

    Why then is anyone offended at any word, and feel the need to censorship?

    Some people need to grow up and get some backbone.

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