Shane MacGowan’s Farewell: A Musical Homage at the Pogues Singer’s Funeral
In a poignant ceremony held at St. Mary’s Of The Rosary Church in Ireland, family, friends, and notable figures bid farewell to Pogues singer Shane MacGowan, who passed away at 65. The emotional event saw a gathering of influential personalities such as Bono, Johnny Depp, and Nick Cave, paying tribute to the iconic musician.
Father John Gilbert led the service, describing MacGowan as not just a singer but a “poet, lyricist, singer, trailblazer” who fearlessly challenged societal norms through his music. He acknowledged MacGowan’s ability to reflect life as it unfolded, questioning accepted norms in a way that often made the seemingly unacceptable, acceptable.
The service took a chilling turn when Glen Hansard, renowned for his work in “Once,” and singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill performed a cover of MacGowan’s masterpiece, “Fairytale Of New York.” The rendition served as a moment for mourners to clap and cheer, celebrating the singer’s unparalleled contribution to music.
The cover of “Fairytale Of New York” was a fitting tribute, encapsulating MacGowan’s musical legacy and allowing those present to relive the magic of one of the Pogues’ most iconic tracks. The song, co-written by MacGowan and bandmate Jem Finer, holds a special place in music history, often regarded as the Pogues’ equivalent of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Glen Hansard and Lisa O'Neill performed "Fairytale of New York" to close Shane MacGowan's funeral today.pic.twitter.com/bG7mCSusmC— CONSEQUENCE (@consequence) December 8, 2023
Jem Finer, in a 1988 interview with NME, shed light on the song’s origin, revealing the collaborative effort that birthed this timeless piece. “Fairytale Of New York” was born from the fusion of Finer’s tunes and MacGowan’s Broadway melody, resulting in a song that has resonated with audiences for decades.
As friends and collaborators bid farewell, the funeral ceremony underscored MacGowan’s indelible mark on the music industry and provided a platform for both somber reflection and joyful celebration of his life and work.