Hansard and O’Neill’s performance of the 1987 festive classic, backed by members of The Pogues, had audience members and members of MacGowan’s family dancing in the aisles of the church.
Fans of the song are rallying to get the track to the Christmas Number One spot. It has never gone above second place in the UK charts, peaking there on its initial release in 1987. The song originally featured the vocals of Kirsty MacColl.
MacGowan’s widow Victoria Mary Clarke has now joined the campaign, saying she was “very much in favour” of the track topping the charts. “It would be nice, wouldn’t it?” she said. “It should be the Christmas number one. It absolutely should.”
Nick Cave also performed at the funeral, playing a powerful version of The Pogues‘ ‘A Rainy Night in Soho’.
The Australian musician was visibly moved during the performance. Cave adapted the song’s lyrics, singing: “Now this song is over / We’ll never find out what it means,” in place of: “Now this song is nearly over / We many never find out what it means.”
Johnny Depp delivered a personal reading to the man he descirbed as the “maestro” at the funeral, while Irish singers Mundy and Camille O’Sullivan performed a rendition of ‘Haunted’, the duet recorded by MacGowan and Sinead O’Connor in 1995.
The actor Aiden Gillen also spoke at the service, reading Revelations Chapter 22, verses one to three, while MacGowan’s wife shared symbols of his life including a book of MacGowan’s art and lyrics, a statue of Buddha, some teabags and a copy of ‘Led Zeppelin II’.
It was announced that U2 frontman Bono was unable to attend the service, however, a recording was played out in his absence – with the Irish singer reading out the Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians.
Fans has also lined the streets of Dublin earlier in the day to witness a coffin procession around the city, singing songs such as ‘Dirty Old Town’ and ‘Fairytale of New York’ in his honour.
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