EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is aiming to tell the untold story behind The Pogues’ festive classic of Fairytale of New York, to support its mission of recognising the vital contributions and monumental impact Irish people have made worldwide.
Claimed to be the most played Christmas song of the 21st century, Fairytale of New York features the classic chorus “…the boys of the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay” – but there was never a NYPD choir, nor did they ever sing Galway Bay; until now.
So, 36 years after the initial Pogues’ release, Dublin-based independent agency The Public House, in conjunction with EPIC, has recruited a handpicked group of retired NYPD officers, joined by a local amateur choir, to gather in a recording studio in the heart of New York City to lend their voices to Galway Bay.
The result is a breathtaking rendition of the timeless Irish song, penned by emigrant Dr Arthur Colahan as a tribute to his homeland and his brother, complemented by a music video that Irish diaspora all over the world can resonate with.
The campaign includes a special limited edition 7″ vinyl and is supported with social, digital, press, and OOH.
From December 1 until the end of January 2024, EPIC will be running a supporting exhibition titled, “They Gave The Walls A Talking – the Extraordinary Story of The Pogues and Shane MacGowan” developed in collaboration with Hot Press.
The campaign supports EPIC’s to encourage the diaspora – many of who are in the United Sates – to return to their homeland and visit the museum.
The idea was the brainchild of The Public House founder and executive creative director Colin Hart, who said: “In theory, the Irish have no right to have had such an impact on the world, but you only need to listen to the talent and creativity in songs such as Fairytale of New York to understand why it has.
“Rather than making a traditional ‘ad’ this December, we erred on the side of meaningful by building on Ireland’s greatest ever Christmas anthem, which just so happens to have multiple tales of emigration at its core.”
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum chief executive Aileesh Carew added: “At EPIC, we take immense pride in highlighting the stories and accomplishments of Irish emigrants, demonstrating that Irish identity transcends the geographical boundaries of our island.
“With that in mind, what better way to celebrate this than by giving life to an Irish emigrant ballad, performed by retired NYPD officers, all of whom proudly share Irish heritage. This Christmas, we hope that the NYPD Choir’s rendition of ‘Galway Bay’ will be shared far and wide, both at home and abroad.”
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