MacGowan wrote “Fairytale of New York” with his Pogues bandmate Jem Finer, and their original recording also features Kirsty MacColl on vocals. In addition to becoming perhaps the band’s best-known single, it’s also become a Christmas mainstay, keeping its hold on the UK charts every year around the season.
Backed by members of The Pogues, Hansard and O’Neill gave a faithful rendition of “Fairytale of New York,” even getting audience members to stand up and dance in the aisles. Watch an emotional video of the moment below.
Elsewhere during MacGowan’s funeral, Spider Stacy led The Pogues in a performance of “The Parting Glass,” and Nick Cave gave an emotional rendition of “A Rainy Night in Soho.” And as funeral procession made its way through Dublin, mourners sung some of his iconic songs.
MacGowan died on Thursday, November 30th at the age of 65 from what was later revealed to be complications from pneumonia and viral encephalitis. Nick Cave also performed at his funeral, while Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, and Bono, and more paid their own tributes. Read Jonah Krueger’s essay on the legacy of “Fairytale of New York.”