A classic Christmas pop song in the United Kingdom won’t be airing in its original form this holiday season after BBC Radio 1 opted to go with an edited version of the tune to avoid controversy.

According to BBC News, the tune, “Fairytale of New York,” by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, which they originally sang in 1982, is being pulled from the station because it is believed that younger listeners could be offended by derogatory terms in the song that have to do with gender and sexuality. Instead, a version from 1992 which MacColl edited will play instead.

The verse which sees changes occurs a few verses into the tune, which is sung as the form of a major fight between an alcoholic and a heroin addict, is being played with two terms in particular changed as they are seen as potentially being offensive, specifically to the homosexual community. The edited version of the lyrics can be seen below.

You’re a bum

You’re a punk

You’re an old gal on junk

Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed

You scumbag, you maggot

You’re cheap and you’re haggard

Happy Christmas your arse

I pray God it’s our last

The lyrics have also been edited in a modern cover by Ed Sheeran and Anne-Marie, where she changes the slur to “cheap lousy blagger.”

However, a BBC spokesperson did reveal that the original version would still play on BBC 2.

“We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience,” a spokesperson told BBC.

Some took to Twitter over the news to express that they were confused by the decision, since they didn’t think it really was all that offensive, with some questioning who could possibly even get offended for different reasons.

The song is far from the only holiday tune that has faced criticism over the years, with the song “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” which originally appeared in the 1949 film “Neptune’s Daughter,” after starting as a party song by the composer and his wife, and has been covered several times since often also the subject of criticism for lyrics which have since been deemed as glorifying sexual assault.

Several edited versions of that song have since been released as well, including one by John Legend and Kelly Clarkson.

Christmas Music
One holiday song won’t be hitting the airwaves this year.  Islem Benzegouta/Pixabay