The Pogues' Shane MacGowan at 50: "Fairytale of New York"

After so many lessons, it's time for a carol.
Happy birthday to Irish singer-songwriter Shane MacGowan, born December 25, 1957, who will turn 50 on Christmas Day. He is currently touring Ireland with his reunited Pogues. Kirsty MacColl, who sings the duet with MacGowan on "Fairytale of New York" from 1987, died in a boat wreck off the coast of Cozumel in 2000. The song has legions of fans, with many claiming it as the best Christmas song ever written.

See a story about hard-drinking MacGowan's miraculous approach to 50 in The Guardian.

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