People aren't all too impressed with Jon Bon Jovi's cover of the Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York.'
On December 7, Bon Jovi announced “an early gift” by way of his new three-song 'A Jon Bon Jovi Christmas,' which is now streaming everywhere:
Included in his “early gift” is a cover of the Pogues' Christmas classic 'Fairytale of New York,' in which the New Jersey rocker exercises a considerable amount of artistic liberty, including rewriting the lyrics, donning a bizarre accent, and omitting a duet partner.
You can listen to Jon Bon Jovi's 'Fairytale of New York' cover here:
'Fairytale of New York,' recorded by the Pogues with a special feature from Kirsty MacColl, was first released in November 1987 before later being included on the Pogues' 1988 album 'If I Should Fall from Grace with God.' The song is often regarded as the best Christmas song of the 20th century.
Though popular, 'Fairytale' not without controversy, mainly due to these lyrics, which are sometimes censored:
You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last
MacGowan has defended the original lyrics, saying: "The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character.”
"She is not supposed to be a nice person or even a wholesome person," says MacGowan of the character in his song, "She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history and she is down on her luck and desperate."
"Her dialogue is as accurate as I could make it but she is not intended to offend! She is just supposed to be an authentic character and not all characters in songs and stories are angels or even decent and respectable, sometimes characters in songs and stories have to be evil or nasty in order to tell the story effectively."
"If people don't understand that I was trying to accurately portray the character as authentically as possible then I am absolutely fine with them bleeping the word but I don't want to get into an argument.”
Jon Bon Jovi, however, has taken it upon himself to rewrite the lyrics in his new 2020 version:
You’re a bum, you’re a braggart,
you’ve lost all your swagger.
And the word around town is you ain’t much in the bed.
Called a squirrel cos you’re nuts,
you’re a kick in the guts.
Happy Christmas my ass
I pray God it's our last.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Bon Jovi's new Christmas cover has been met with less than stellar feedback;
I've listened to Jon Bon Jovi's Fairytale of New York---- its an actual war crime - up there with Gal Gadot (and friends) Imagine .......this will not go unpunished......— Tom Dunne (@tomhappens) December 9, 2020
Listening to the Bon Jovi cover of Fairytale Of New York makes me feel like I’m having a stroke— Laura Jane Grace (@LauraJaneGrace) December 8, 2020
BREAKING New study shows listening to Bon Jovi’s version of Fairytale of New York counteracts the effects of the COVID vaccine pic.twitter.com/8pxfIXbUeC— Mallow News (@MallowNews) December 8, 2020
Just listened to the Bon Jovi version of Fairytale of New York and I can honestly say, with no exaggeration whatsoever, that my day is ruined.— Dublin By Pub (@dublinbypub) December 8, 2020
On the radio just now, they turned off Jon Bon Jovi's cover of Fairytale of New York halfway through because it's just too awful.— Mark A Latham (@aLostVictorian) December 8, 2020
Just heard Jon Bon Jovi's Fairytale of New York cover and I hope that Henry Mount Charles and all the people who thought bringing him to Slane that time was a good idea are reevaluating themselves tonight.— Faa Side ☪️ (@thefaaside) December 8, 2020
Bon Jovi’s attempt at covering the Christmas classic coincides with the debut of the new Shane MacGowan biopic ‘Crock of Gold,’ produced in part by MacGowan’s longtime pal Johnny Depp, which, unlike Bon Jovi’s cover, is being met with rave reviews.
Back in October, Bon Jovi raised a few Irish eyebrows when, during an appearance on Dax Shepard's 'Armchair Expert' podcast, he said that U2 frontman Bono grew up with Orangemen "walking through his neighborhood.”