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Jon Bon Jovi changes a few lyrics and 'loses all his swagger' in Fairytale of New York rewrite

Bon Jovi penned an alternative version to get around any words or phrases that might be deemed offensive.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

WE’VE ALL BEEN living on a prayer, in one way or another, this past year, but no one could have imagined this modus operandi would summon Jon Bon Jovi. 

Just when things were looking up on the vaccine front, the 80s rocker announced the release of his new Christmas EP. 

Among three festive covers on the album is the Pogue’s 1987 Fairytale of New York with Kirsty MacColl – the much-loved hit which is regularly subject of controversy. 

The newly released version proves that rewriting a Christmas classic is no bed of roses, even for a Grammy award winner. 

In an effort to skirt around the annual controversy that follows the song, the New Jersey rocker’s alternative omits any words or phrases that might be deemed offensive. 

As we know, Bon Jovi has a penchant for reimagining Irish history and culture. Back in October, he falsely claimed Bono had been subjected to threats of violence by Orangemen marching through his neighbourhood as a child. 

This time around, his take on an Irish classic is equally questionable. Not only did he record an anodyne duet with himself but the choice of lyrics only give him a bad name (end of excessive puns). 

The biggest change to the lyrics is in the fifth verse which reads: 

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 bed

You’re a squirrel cause you’re nuts

You’re a kick in the gut

Happy Christmas, my arse

I’ll be glad it’s our last.

Source: Bon Jovi - Topic/YouTube

The song’s release naturally earned it some negative reviews online. 

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Whatever your take on this new version, writer Shane MacGowan seems to like it, with his partner Victoria Mary Clarke tweeting his approval. 

“Shane says @BonJovi is a talented guy and he likes the version and he thinks it’s interesting and soulful,” Clarke tweeted. 

No word yet on whether Bon Jovi’s version will be bleeped. 



About the author:

Adam Daly

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