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Stirring version of Fairytale of New York in Welsh and English resurfaces following death of Shane MacGowan

01 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Bronwen Lewis

A stirring rendition of The Pogues’ Christmas favourite, Fairytale of New York, in Welsh and English has resurfaced following the tragic death of Shane MacGowan on Thursday.

The bilingual version was recorded during the festive period in 2022 by Welsh singer Bronwen Lewis, and her acoustic live version adds a perfect touch of melancholy to the celebrated Christmas favourite.

Neath native, Bronwen has firmly established herself as one of the most unique voices from Wales, in large part thanks to her unwavering commitment to spreading the word about the Welsh language to the thousands who follow her across social media.


Fairytale of Newyork – BILINGUALLY! Added a Welsh twist to this classic. Enjoy ❤️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🎄 #christmas #cover #duet #guitar #welshtiktok #cymraeg #thepogues #nadolig

♬ original sound – Bronwen Lewis Music

Bronwen, a former contestant on The Voice, has made something of a name for herself with her videos that promote the Welsh language on social media platforms such as TikTok and Twitter with her Welsh language interpretations of popular songs.

Her tours across the UK quickly sell out, but act fast – there are still some tickets left for next year’s tour and a special Christmas concert in Llandaff this month.

‘I could have been someone..’

Irish singer, Shane, died at 3am on Thursday 30 November after being discharged last week from St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, after being diagnosed with encephalitis.

MacGowan was born on Christmas Day in Pembury, Kent, in 1957 to Irish parents and later moved to rural Tipperary where he was immersed in an Irish culture of ceili bands and showbands.

He became involved with the burgeoning punk movement in 1970s England and formed his own punk band before a revival in ethnic musical influences led him to form The Pogues in 1982.

A statement posted on behalf of his wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, his sister, Siobhan, and father, Maurice, on The Pogues’ official Instagram account said: “It is with the deepest sorrow and heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Shane MacGowan.

“Shane died peacefully at 3am this morning (30 November, 2023) with his wife Victoria and family by his side.

“Prayers and the last rites were read which gave comfort to his family.”

The Pogues’ enduring Fairytale of New York, featuring vocals from MacColl, was released on 23 November 1987 and has been a permanent fixture of the Christmas sonic landscape ever since.

Fairytale Of New York consistently re-enters the UK singles charts over the festive period and regularly tops polls for the best Christmas song.

Bookmakers have slashed odds on its chances of being this year’s Christmas number one. A fitting tribute for a man who really was someone.


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Sarah Good
Sarah Good
6 months ago

Can something recorded in 2022 by one of Nation Cymru (and Cymru’s) favourite online singers be considered to be “unearthed”.
No protests other than that. It’s lovely

Arthur Owen
Arthur Owen
6 months ago

His namShane.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
6 months ago

Da iawn Bronwen…you’re a real National Treasure!!!

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