Once upon a time a band set out to make a Christmas song. Not about snow or sleigh rides or mistletoe or miracles, but lost youth and ruined dreams. A song in which Christmas is as much the problem as it is the solution. A kind of anti-Christmas song that ended up being, for a generation, the Christmas song.

That song is Fairytale of New York . It is loved because it feels more emotionally "real" than the homesick sentimentality of White Christmas or the bullish (=optimistic) bonhomie (=cordiality) of Merry Xmas Everybody.

The song was performed by Irish group The Pogues and English singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl. It was recorded in 1987 and is often voted the number one best Christmas song of all time in various TV, radio and magazine polls in Ireland and the UK.

Exercise HERE. Lyrics and vocabulary HERE.

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