Fairytale of New York Lyrics and Chords

Greatest Christmas song ever? ~ How it was written ~ Painful birth of classic ~ Shane as Sinatra
Producer Steve Lillywhite ~ Kirsty MacColl vocals ~ Kirsty MacColl stage fright
Unofficial NYPD choir ~ Lure of Big Apple ~ Not just for the Irish ~ Alternative Christmas
Most played Christmas song ~ Lyrics censored ~ The video ~ Lyrics and chords

Final-version

The first draft of the lyrics to Fairytale of New York was written by Jem Finer of the Pogues. The words were then refined several times by both Finer and Shane MacGowan before they emerged as the version of the song we know today.

The chords are presented here in the key of D Major, the key used by the Pogues on their classic recording featuring Kirsty Mccoll in1987.

Lyrics and Chords

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
Got on a  
D 
lucky one Came in eigh
G 
teen to one
 
I’ve got a  
D 
feeling This  
G 
year’s for  
A 
you and me
 
So happy  
D 
Christmas, I love you  
G 
baby
 
I can see a  
D 
better time When  
G 
all our  
A 
dreams come  
D 
true 
 
 
A 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
They’ve got
D 
cars,
 
Big as  
A 
bars
 
They’ve got  
Bm 
rivers of  
G 
gold
 
But the  
D 
wind goes right through you
 
It’s no place for the  
A 
old
 
When you  
D 
first took my  
Bm 
hand
 
On a  
D 
cold Christmas  
G 
Eve
 
You  
D 
promised 
 
me
 
Broadway was  
A 
waiting for  
D 
me
 
You were  
D 
handsome – You were pretty
 
Queen of New York  
A 
City
 
When the  
D 
band finished  
G 
playing
 
They  
A 
howled out for  
D 
more, Sinatra was swinging
 
All the drunks they were  
A 
singing
 
We  
D 
kissed on the  
G 
corner
 
And  
A 
danced through the  
D 
night
 
The  
G 
boys of the NY  
Bm 
PD 
 
 
A 
choir
 
Were  
D 
singing Galway  
Bm 
Bay
 
And the  
D 
bells were  
G 
ringing
 
A 
Out for Christmas  
D 
day 
 
 
A 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
D 
You’re a bum – You’re a punk
 
You’re an old slut on  
A 
junk
 
Lying  
D 
there almost  
G 
dead on a  
A 
drip
 
In that  
D 
bed

You scum bag – You maggot

 
You cheap lousy  
A 
faggot
 
Happy  
D 
Christmas your  
G 
arse
 
I pray  
A 
God
 
It’s our  
D 
last
 
The  
G 
boys of the NY  
Bm 
PD 
 
 
A 
choir
 
Were  
D 
singing Galway  
Bm 
Bay
 
And the  
D 
bells were  
G 
ringing
 
A 
Out for Christmas  
D 
day

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
A 
I could have  
D 
been 
 
someone
 
Well, So could  
G 
anyone
 
You took my  
D 
dreams
 
From me when I first  
A 
found 
 
you
 
I kept them  
D 
with me babe
 
I put them  
G 
with my own
 
Can’t make it  
D 
all 
 
alone
 
I’ve built my  
G 
dreams 
 
 
A 
around 
 
 
D 
you

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
The  
G 
boys of the NY  
Bm 
PD 
 
 
A 
choir
 
Still  
D 
singing Galway  
Bm 
Bay
 
And the  
D 
bells were  
G 
ringing
 
A 
Out for Christmas  
D 
day

The Pogues had originally written the song in the key of C Major. But shortly before recording they changed to D Major. Guitarist Phil Chevron said that might seem like a small change but the band felt that it gave the song an extra energy.

Greatest Christmas song ever? ~ How it was written ~ Painful birth of classic ~ Shane as Sinatra
Producer Steve Lillywhite ~ Kirsty MacColl vocals ~ Kirsty MacColl stage fright
Unofficial NYPD choir ~ Lure of Big Apple ~ Not just for the Irish ~ Alternative Christmas
Most played Christmas song ~ Lyrics censored ~ The video ~ Lyrics and chords

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