The Pogues’ anthem Fairytale of New York is in a battle for number one in the UK charts against Wham! and Mariah Carey following the death of the band’s frontman Shane MacGowan, the Official Charts Company in the UK has said.
Originally released in 1987, Fairytale of New York has never reached the top spot in the UK charts. It peaked at number two in the year of its release and lost out on the Christmas number one spot to the Pet Shop Boys’ Always on My Mind. Fairytale of New York did, however, top the charts in Ireland at Christmas 1987.
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Last Christmas by pop duo Wham!, which consisted of the late singer George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, is currently on track to take the UK top spot next Friday after climbing four spaces, according to the Official Chart Company’s first look.
However, Mariah Carey’s classic All I Want for Christmas Is You is less than 1,500 chart units behind at the moment, climbing from sixth to second.
Fairytale of New York by The Pogues featuring the late Kirsty MacColl has seen an even greater surge up the charts following the death of Shane MacGowan, rising 15 places since last week to claim the third spot.
Its jump in the last seven days puts it in contention for the Christmas title, which will be announced in less than three weeks on 22 December.
Fairytale of New York was written by Shane MacGowan with fellow Pogues founder Jem Finer and later rerecorded to have Kirsty MacColl duet with Shane MacGowan, which led to the best-known version of the track.
It has returned to the UK Christmas top 40 every year since 2005 but has never reached the top spot, according to the Official Charts Company.
Victoria Mary Clarke told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday that she is in favour of the band’s best-known song reaching the milestone in his honour.
She said: “It would be nice, wouldn’t it? It should be the Christmas number one, it absolutely should. I’m very much in favour of that.”
The wife of Shane MacGowan, Victoria Mary Clarke, tells @MarthaKearney on #R4Today she hopes Fairytale of New York will be Christmas No 1.
Hear her memories of The Pogues frontman, who died this week aged 65, and how he enjoyed watching programmes about the Royal Family.
Eurovision star Sam Ryder’s new festive offering, You’re Christmas to Me, is currently placing at number four in the first look at the UK singles chart, while Jack Harlow’s Loving on Me has fallen four places to number five.
The UK Christmas number one is set to be announced on 22 December live on BBC Radio 1’s The Official Chart show.