Glen Hansard and Imelda May's cover of the Pogues' song "Fairytale of New York" on RTÉ's The Late Late Show has been described as "brutal."

Hansard and May, both Irish singer-songwriters, performed a cover of the Pogues' classic Christmas hit on the festive edition of "The Late Late Show" on December 16, and viewers were quick to voice their displeasure. 

Many fans took issue with the decision to swap out the word "f*ggot," which has been the source of many debates in recent years, and replace it with the word "crackhead."

"Two eejits making bigger eejits of themselves by not singing the actual song," one Late Late Show viewer said on Twitter.

Another fan viewer described the decision to change a lyric written by Shane MacGowan as "the 8th Deadly Sin."

The 8th deadly Sin - changing a Shane MacGowan lyric. #latelate #LateLateShow

— Dónal de Paor 🇮🇪 (@ThePware) December 16, 2022

Others questioned whether the change of lyrics made the song any less offensive. 

"I’m not sure 'you cheap lousy crackhead' is any better or worse than the actual lyrics," one viewer tweeted. 

I’m not sure “you cheap lousy crackhead” is any better or worse than the actual lyrics 💀😬 #latelate #LateLateShow

At the end of the day it’s a song, sing the real lyrics, poetic licence etc etc

— Niall Horan (@niallhoran) December 16, 2022

"A brutal rendition of a beautiful song," another person tweeted. "Like something you'd hear outside a pub at 3am in the morning."

Despite the swift criticism, Shane MacGowan and his wife Victoria Mary Clark have come to the defense of Hansard and May and their performance.

"At least they are singing it and raising money for the homeless that is what matters!" Clark tweeted.

"They did a heartfelt version with guts and gusto! Shane likes it too!"

Hansard and May are reportedly set to partake in this year's Christmas Eve busk on Dublin's Grafton Street, which returns in person for the first time since 2019. The event is in support of the Dublin Simon Community, an Irish homeless charity.