It's not Christmas until "The Fairytale of New York" pops up on my Funky Xmas playlist. Shane McGowan and Kirsty MacColl bounce gritty lyrics off each other, painting a grim picture of two people who used to love each other with every thing they had, and then the guy lets his girl down again. Sounds familiar. In 2005, the song topped VH1's favorite Christmas song ever, beating the perennial favorite, Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You." Twenty years after The Pogues' banjo player Jem Finerwrote it, and another seventeen after McKoll and McGowan sang it.
Today also marks the day she died when a speed boat driven by Guillermo González Nova, multimillionaire president of the Comercial Mexicana supermarket chain, veered his speedboat into a marked-off area of water in the Chankanaab reef, of Cozumel, Mexico where McKoll and her family were diving.
MacColl, then 41, saw the boat coming, got her son out of the way, but wasn't able to save herself. She died on the scene in front of her kids. A boathand took money from Nova to testify that he was driving (witnesses confirm that Nova was behind the wheel). The boathand, José Cen Yam, took the blame, paid $90/£61in lieu of his 2 year, 10 month prison sentence, and gave McKoll's family $2,150 in restitution, a percentage based on his wages.