Advent Calendar Day 22: Fairytale of New York

Probably my absolute favorite Christmas song.  It’s ugly, depressing, and raw, a story about two spectacularly broken addicts who’ve torn their lives apart and have nothing left but each other to cling to, and the hope that maybe things will finally turn around.

It’s also incredibly uplifting, because here’s two spectacularly broken people who’ve still got each other when everything else is gone, and the bells are ringing out for Christmas Day.

It’s impossible for me to hear the song and not thing of the tragedy of Kirsty MacColl, who died too soon.  It’s also impossible now for me to hear it and not think of one of the high points of Garth Ennis’ masterpiece, Preacher: in the middle of an epic saga of secret societies, renegade angels, vampires (the vampire Cassidy is pretty blatantly drawn from Shane MacGowan’s blueprint, come to that), invincible killing spirits, and a more forceful call for answers from the Almighty than is found in the book of Job, the real fulcrum of the story is the love between Jesse Custer and Tulip O’Hare.

Is there a moral to this love story?  Maybe that love’s a two-edged sword.  Maybe that if each other’s all we’ve got, we’d best look to it that it’s enough.  Maybe it’s that we’ll never be enough, not without help from outside.  Or maybe, if nothing else, it’s that next year if we’re lucky we’ll get another shot, and we can make the most of it.

I don’t know.  Let Shane and Kirsty speak for themselves, and take what you find.


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