Jon Bon Jovi has, surprisingly, opted to cover the Pogues’ classic Christmas-themed song Fairytale of New York. However, if you were wondering how the singer would tackle some of Shane MacGowan’s more blasphemous language, rest assured, he’s changed it.
Jon Bon Jovi is releasing a Christmas EP. There’s nothing shocking about that. Many rock singers and crooners have released their own versions of holiday jingles in recent years. Many people genuinely enjoy these songs. As a consequence, there’s still a thriving market for this kind of music.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Elvis Presley are the other artists Jon Bon Jovi opted to cover. However, his rendition of The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York is the most unexpected.
Frankly, it’s not a poor rendition. It’s sung well and orchestrated tastefully. But, it also marks a distinct break from the song’s original, gloomy Xmas message. While the Macgowan & Kirsty MacColl duet was both hopeful and desperate, Bon Jovi’s version leans heavily on the former.
Predictably, the singer also opted to change some of the lyrics. These are the words that tend to get censored anyway each time the festive tune is played on the radio.
You’re a bum, you’re a bragger, you’ve lost all your swagger and the word around time is you ain’t much in the bed. Those are the replacement lyrics. And, while few would see Bon Jovi as a worthwhile poetic competitor to Mr. Shane MacGowan, the version is bound to lift the spirit of many this holiday season.
Meanwhile, Julien Temple’s documentary about Shane MacGowan has been receiving unanimously positive reviews. Crock of Gold tracks MacGowan’s story from his childhood to the formation of the Pogues, and to more recent times.