BBC Radio 1 decided to censor The Pogues Fairy Tale of New York this year because of "gratuitous vulgarity." But after a massive public outcry, the beeb was forced to reverse its decision. "Listeners are smart enough to distinguish between maliciousness and creative freedom," said BBC1 controller Andy Parfitt.
My two political cents: It’s nice to see democracy at work. A government-run radio station censors a beloved, if raw, tune, but a strong constituent response forces a reversal in favor of free speech. This scenario probably wouldn’t happen here. Clear Channel would never play Fairy Tale of New York in wide distribution, and even if they did, they could censor the song and few would complain. NPR would probably censor the song too, with little complaint.
So much for the soapbox. Here’s the music video for one of the greatest overwrought New York love letters in history: