My Kirsty – End of the Fairytale (2014)

Published on 6 November 2014

My Kirsty, 2014 book by Jean Newlove
My Kirsty, 2014 book by Jean MacColl

Buy My Kirsty: End of the Fairytale from

“The short life and tragic death of Kirsty MacColl – Kirsty MacColl led a dazzling life – tender, creative, heroic and full of love. This book, by her mother Jean MacColl, charts with moving insight Kirsty’s early years, and celebrates her brilliant career at the front rank of the music business in the 1980s and 1990s, with such hits as the Pogues collaboration ‘Fairytale of New York’. It mourns her tragic and untimely death – killed by a speedboat in Mexican waters in December 2000. It also tells, with heartfelt truth, the shocking story of the elaborate cover-up and gross miscarriage of justice that followed and appeals for justice to be done in her name.”

This is a republished version of ‘Sun on the Water’, which was first published in 2008. Highly recommended!

Welcome to freeworld

This is the 2014 incarnation of the ‘freeworld’ Kirsty MacColl web site, now almost 19 years old! You can now easily add to the body of knowledge by leaving comments on virtually any part on the site, or continue to send messages to me via the Contact Us page. I hope you enjoy exploring the new site.

All I Ever Wanted (April 2014)

Salvo Records have announced a new 2 CD collection which spans Kirsty’s career from They Don’t Know to Tropical Brainstorm.  It’s nicely put together in the Salvo reissue house style.

“With a delightful, highly dexterous voice and a delicious sense of humour informing a songwriting flair that could rival any of her contemporaries, Kirsty MacColl enjoyed a sparkling career spanning over twenty years before her tragic and untimely passing in 2000.  This thoughtfully-curated selection makes for a detailed study of that career, one that draws together all the hits, album cuts, rare b-sides, live sessions and more.  The accompanying, fully illustrated 52-page booklet features generous and insightful notes.”

Available 7th April 2014

Sid n Susie cover They Don’t Know

Sid n Susie (YouTube clip)
Sid n Susie (YouTube clip)

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs (of the Bangles) recently  released their third ‘Sid & Susie’ covers album, including a cover of ‘They Don’t Know’.  “It’s very good, I think, with a neat baroque-pop feel to it (complete with harpsichord). And unlike some other TDK covers, the BAY-BEE! is there in all its glory” – Rich

Yum Di Dee Dah

New book by Kirsty’s mother, Jean, now available in paperback!

Yum De Dee Dah — The life story of Theatre Workshop’s choreographer Jean Newlove, Discovering Laban, working with Joan Littlewood and her marriage to writer and singer/ song-writer Ewan MacColl.

This book follows Jean’s story until the birth of her daughter Kirsty (MacColl).

Buy Yum Di Dee Dah (Kindle) from (or from



A New England for Record Store Day

“A New England” was to be reissued as a 7” single on coloured vinyl for Record Store Day on 20th April 2013 (cat no. salvosv004 barcode 698458860477)

1985’s standard seven inch was available in two picture sleeves, by far the most common of which featured a monochrome portrait of Kirsty. Much more scarce was the sleeve featuring a man hoisting a Union Jack flag among the ruins of a bombed-out building. Salvo / Stiff have announced it is their “resounding pleasure to reissue this wonderful record in its rarest colours in an individually numbered, limited run of 500 pieces on blue vinyl.”

The original b-side was “Patrick”, but Salvo have opted for “I’m Going Out With An Eighty Year Old Millionaire” instead (we think a good choice). This was a “typically humorous MacColl composition with a marked Caribbean influence that was previously only available on vinyl on the b-side of the 12 inch single”.

As songwriter Billy Bragg says, “Whenever we had to sing A New England together live, Kirsty always sang it in another key that was really hard for me. I think she thought that I didn’t try hard enough with my singing. You know she’s right! She had an incredible voice. The mark that she made has not dulled in any way since her tragic death. I always say to the crowd at the end of the second verse of A New England that we are going to have a sing a song for Kirsty MacColl and everybody cheers.”