Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

December 25, 2007

My Christmas Gift to You

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 11:01 am

Here’s a YouTube version of what is now my second favorite Christmas song. Second to Darlene Love’s “Christmas”–see post below. Thanks to the commenters who brought it to my attention. It’s so beautiful and so sad and so shamelessly human and transcendent. It’s the Pogue’s“Fairy Tale of New York”.

Hat tip: Scott Miller at the Dylan site “Expecting Rain”



  1. Your beautiful song is featured in Julian Schnabel’s wonderful film “Basquiat”, when the artist visits his mother at the asylum. Never fails to bring a tear. Per Robert Lowell, Lord Weary sits in his castle trying to get up the strength to throw another log on the fire.

    Comment by charlie finch — December 25, 2007 @ 11:55 am | Reply

  2. Tying it all together: Kirsty MacColl died pushing her child out of the way of an oncoming speedboat seven years ago. Her father Ewan MacColl can be seen in Dylan’s hotel room in “Don’t Look Back”. Justice plus memory divided by sacrifice equal the blues.

    Comment by charlie finch — December 25, 2007 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  3. A wonderful treat to find this morning… This is by far my favorite Xmas song… has been for years… calls for a hearty mazeltov or something… I hear Shane is now able to stay away from the sauce for two or three days at a time. May he live long and prosper. Punk and folk make a potent combination. The only punks I ever really loved were the Pogues and the Clash.

    Comment by Martin Grossman — December 25, 2007 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

  4. Just saw this:

    Comment by Martin Grossman — December 25, 2007 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

  5. Was Ewan MacColl really in Dylan’s hotel suite in Don’t Look Back? I don’t recall noticing him, although I could pick out several of the faces seen there. I do recall, however, that MacColl had a very low opinion of Dylan’s songwriting abilities, which he described as something like “second-rate attempts at schoolboy verse. History disagrees, it seems. Despite having many disagreements with MacColl’s politics myself (he was something of a Stalinist), I do love some his songs, especially “Shoals of Herring” and “Dirty Old Town.” His most well-know song, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” is mawkish and sentimental in comparison.

    Comment by Martin — December 26, 2007 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

  6. I could be wrong. I think MacColl’s heavy frame, beard and bald dome can be seen in the room, but maybe it was “Eat the Document”. In 1965 MacColl called Dylan “the perfect symbol of the anti-artist in this time” and he was married to Pete Seeger’s sister. I am too busy, like everyone else, thinking about where the Ivy League meets Al Qaeda: Benazir Bhutto. One leader per every 300 million people just doesn’t work any more, if it ever did. Think Huckabee will be out firing a gun again tomorrow morning?

    Comment by charlie finch — December 27, 2007 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  7. The Pogues version of Waltzing Mathilda, a story of a WW I veteran who lost legs at Gallipoli, is another tear jerker.
    (Galipoli replaid in Slovakia recently, and I had forgotten that a young Mel Gibson was in it.)

    Errol Morris is indeed great…

    But knowing that B. Bhutto has been murdered casts a pall on my holiday for now. Another tragedy in the Muslim world.

    Comment by Tom Grey — December 27, 2007 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

  8. Cahrlie,

    If my memory serves me well, you may be thinking of Derroll Adam, Jack Elliot’s friend and sometimes performing partner from his time as England’s resident American cowboy singer. The news from Pakistan weighs heavily on us all this morning. It may be nearly time to choose in this battle and put aside the moral nitpicking. The idea in war is to win; If don’t win, there will be nothing to argue about–only the choice to submit or die. May as well act now before the beast gets stronger, hungrier, and more lethal.

    Comment by Martin — December 28, 2007 @ 1:19 pm | Reply

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