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Bon Jovi's Christmas Cover Causes a Stir

At least some of the Pogues apparently not pleased with redo of 'Fairytale of New York'
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2020 12:09 PM CST
Updated Dec 13, 2020 10:25 AM CST

(Newser) – Jon Bon Jovi's new sanitized version of a politically incorrect 1980s Christmas hit has the song's originators, the Pogues, feeling scrappy. That's per the Irish Mirror, where it was reported that the Irish rock legends retweeted a message Wednesday referring to Bon Jovi's rendition of "Fairytale of New York" as "the worst thing to ever happen music," among other insults. The outrage stems, at least in part, from changes Bon Jovi's version makes to the 1987 original, which includes a derogatory term for gay men, among other NSFW language. According to the Daily News, the controversy was tempered somewhat Friday when the wife of Pogues frontman, the song's writer Shane MacGowan, tweeted a video of her husband appearing to affirm Bon Jovi's version of the song.

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She also tweeted that her husband "likes the version and he thinks it's interesting and soulful." The Pogues tune is one of three songs out from Bon Jovi in a release that also covers Christmas originals by Elvis Presley and Tom Petty. Adding to the fray was BBC Radio 1's recent announcement it would only play a censored version of original in deference to young listeners who are "particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality," per Billboard. Rocker Nick Cave blasted the decision as the mutilation of "an artefact (sic) of immense cultural value." In Bon Jovi's version, he swapped in lyrics such as, "You’re a squirrel ‘cause you’re nuts / You’re a kick in the gut," per RadioX. (Read more Jon Bon Jovi stories.)

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