THE POGUES icon Shane MacGowan has defended Jon Bon Jovi’s cover of the band’s 1987 Christmas classic Fairytale of New York.
Bon Jovi sparked fury online after announcing he had “an early holiday gift” for fans.
The Livin on a Prayer star released a three-song festive EP earlier this week featuring covers of Tom Petty’s Christmas All Over Again and Elvis Presley’s If I Get Home on Christmas Day.
However, it was his take on The Pogues’ signature hit that dominated much of the online chatter.
“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,” one angry fan wrote.
Another tweeted: “2020 has been pretty terrible, but nothing comes close to how terrible Bon Jovi’s version Fairytale of New York is!”
Despite the backlash that has accompanied the reworked version of the song, MacGowan has sought to defend Bon Jovi’s efforts.
Shane’s wife Victoria Mary Clarke wrote on Twitter: “Shane says @BonJovi is a talented guy and he likes the version, and he thinks it’s interesting and soulful.”
Clarke added: “I think everyone who wants to judge others for their versions should have to sing it themselves to qualify!”
Shane says @BonJovi is a talented guy and he likes the version and he thinks it’s interesting and soulful #FairytaleOfNewYork #shanemacgowan Fairytale Of New York https://t.co/GM5QJRq9Bd via @YouTube
— @victoriamary (@Victoriamary) December 9, 2020
MacGowan’s viewpoint contrasts that of the band themselves, who were less than complimentary on the official Twitter account.
They retweeted several comments from Irish musician Rob Smith, who called dubbed it “the worst thing to ever happen (in) music… Thanks a lot, Jon. Kid’s crying now saying “Christmas is ruined”.
The Pogues Twitter account simply replied: “What Rob said.”
Bon Jovi’s version of Fairytale of New York is also notable for the fact it removes the song’s controversial lyrics, which continue to spark debate among fans.
In place of the infamous exchange between MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl, Bon Jovi sings, to himself: "You’re a squirrel ‘cause you’re nuts / You’re a kick in the gut."