I like the juxtaposition of optimistic love and grimy realism:
When I first heard the Pogues' version, I assumed that the song was about Dublin. But it was really written about postwar Manchester, England. The Midlands. A place that really is no more.
Ewan MacColl had no connection to the Pogues that I know of, but his daughter, Kirsty MacColl, sang that famous duet with Shane MacGowan called "Fairy Tale of New York."
*MacColl was a stalwart communist to the death and even wrote songs in support of Stalin and Ho Chi Minh.