Spider Stacy of the Pogues has contributed vocals to a festive new song from New York punks the So So Glos titled ‘This Could Be Christmas’.
Stacy – who sang and played tin whistle in the Pogues from the band’s inception in 1982 until their first breakup in 1996, and then again from 2001 to 2014 – begins the song with his trademark whistling.
So So Glos frontman Alex Levine then paints a sombre portrait of the holiday season in the Big Apple. “I’m sure it’s warm in southern California / but back in New York, they’re lighting up the tree / They’re selling dope outside the Salvation Army / there might be hope next year for you and me,” Levine sings. Listen below:
Given the song’s themes, and that it features a former Pogue, it’s difficult not to view the track as a kind of spiritual counterpart to the Pogues’ 1987 Christmas hit with Kirsty MacColl, ‘Fairytale of New York’.
“We wrote this Christmas song during a time of isolation and total uncertainty,” Levine told Rolling Stone of the song – So So Glos’ first since 2016’s ‘Going Out Swingin”. “It illustrates the disconnect between holiday cheer and a darker reality.”
“The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’ is quite possibly the best Christmas song ever, and so we are honored to have a Pogue on tin whistle and vocals, keeping it in that punk holiday spirit.”
Speaking of ‘Fairytale of New York’, it was reported earlier this month that BBC Radio 2 would play the song without its controversial homophobic slur for the first time this festive season.
“On Radio 2 we are reflecting what we are hearing back from many of our listeners who love the song, but find some of the lyrics jarring in 2022, and playing an alternative version provided by the record company,” a spokesperson said.