The Pogues' />

A boozy ballad of love and regret was voted Britons' favourite Christmas song for the second year running in a poll released last week.

The Pogues' Fairytale of New York was selected by British viewers of music channel VH1, edging out Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You.

Opening with the line "It was Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank," the song features Pogues singer Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl swapping insults in a foul-mouthed but tender tale of enduring love.

A British hit on its release in 1987 and still a seasonal radio favourite, the song gained added poignancy with the death of MacColl, who was killed in a boating accident in Mexico in December 2000, aged 41.

Wham's 80s hit Last Christmas came third in the poll of more than 7000 VH1 viewers. Cliff Richard had two tracks in the top 10 - Mistletoe and Wine and Saviour's Day.