Monday, 17 December 2007

Happy Christmas Your Arse

As the trees and lights go up around me and the sound of Cliff Richard is piped through the PA in the malls, I am reminded of why I’m a fully paid-up card-carrying member of the Scrooge party.

I’m not a Christian so the birth of baby Jesus does nothing for me. And neither does the more secular concept of the season of goodwill and peace on earth. Don’t misunderstand me - I’ve nothing against goodwill and peace on earth in general. In fact I’m all in favour of it.

What I can’t stomach is the hypocrisy and sanctimonious sentimentality that surrounds this time of year. For a few days it obscures what is actually happening in the world by smothering us all with saccerine.

You know the kind of thing: An office party and a Christmas hamper - but we’ll be downsizing in the New Year. Visit your elderly relatives for a few hours - and then abandon them to fend for themselves till next December. Buy a copy of the Big Issue out of drunken guilt - but carefully step over the homeless on the way home when you’ve sobered up. Or come to that, a 24 hour Christmas Truce in the trenches and four years of otherwise sane and decent men being persuaded to kill each other.

As an antidote to all this, and reflecting the true spirit of Christmas: here are the lyrics to the greatest ever Christmas song by the Pogues and the late Kirsty 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
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 a corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Still 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 scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last


I could have been someone
Well 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


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