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Priests defend working with Pogues star Shane MacGowan

By on Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Singing trio The Priests have defended their decision to collaborate with Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan after criticism from fans.

They teamed up with MacGowan, a former heroin addict and famously misbehaving rock star, to produce their Christmas single The Little Drummer Boy.

Fans online described the collaboration as “distasteful” and criticised the Irish singer’s “scandalous character”.

But Fr David Delargy said it was a privilege to work with him and that he had a “depth and sincerity” that is not picked up by the media. At the end of the recording session, Fr Delargy said, he asked the priests for a blessing.

“He came across as a deeper, richer and more complex person than he’s often portrayed,” he said.

Fr Delargy said their management team suggested the collaboration initially as a joke but that he and his fellow singing priests, Fr Eugene and Fr Martin O’Hagan, were keen on the idea. “A lot of my family and friends are big fans of his,” he said.

But he said it was not “a comment or judgment” on MacGowan’s past behaviour and was not intended to “give approval to things people may object to”.

The single is from The Priests’ third album, Noël, a compilation of Christmas carols which will be released on December 6.

Shane MacGowan is perhaps best known for the 1987 festive hit, Fairytale of New York, featuring the late Kirsty MacColl.

  • Ratbag

    It's a good job they weren't singing that famous seasonal chart ditty with the lines: You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy 'f…..famous Bristolian recipe meatball' … merry Christmas your *** …

    Personally, I can't listen to Little Drummer Boy without a straight face 1. because it gets on my nerves – all that prruumpapumpump… and 2. it sounds like someone breaking wind.

    Does anyone remember Bing Crosby singing the song with David Bowie? Now, THAT was outrageous back then.

  • Macca P

    Anyone who listens to the songs written by Shane can obviously tell he's inextricably linked to the Roman Catholic faith.He may not be your more judgemental po faced Christian's cup of tea but whether they like it or not God will be his judge not them.He's always promoting prayers like the Rosary in his songs- check out 'The Dunes'(sung by Ronny Drew),'the Broad Majestic Shannon','A Body of an American' etc or even the Church of the holy spook where he makes his confession in a song!

    He always sings about an 'age' that celebrates the Catholic way of life in an upbeat positive manner instead of apologising for it.I for one am proud that he's colaborated with 'the priests'….its about time someone with an enormous amount of charisma and street cred sticks up for thier faith directly rather than trying to distance themselves from it.

    I only hope he rereleases the 'Wild Rover' with the Priests and in the middle of the chorus chant “God bless the Pope” ………..something authentic Pogues fans have been singing for years at their gigs.

    God bless Shane

  • Jill

    surely understanding and forivness are key?

  • Paul O'Neill

    'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone' I believe the Big Man himself once told us. 'Scandalous lifestyle?' Those people sound very much like they should concentrate on the plank in their own eye before looking at the speck in their brother's! Shane MacGowan is a flawed person, as we all are, but he's a real character and a deeply creative songwriter for whom I have a great deal of time. The Priests are witnessing their faith by not judging him, and show a kinder, more Christian and much more likeable side to the Church. Well done fellas, and Shane too!