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For The Love Of God, Please Stop Covering 'Fairytale Of New York'

For The Love Of God, Please Stop Covering 'Fairytale Of New York'
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Fairytale of New York is the best Christmas song out there.

It's an absolute classic. There is nothing quite like being in a pub in this country when it comes on during the festive season, with the entire establishment joining in.

While everyone loves singing the song, it has been very rare that we have seen a good cover of it.

Down through the years, countless musicians have tried their hand at doing their own version. It often comes out rather poorly.

We had a prime example on last night's Late Late Show. Glen Hansard and Imelda May are two excellent musicians, but their version of the song certainly left a lot to be desired.

Not great.


They certainly aren't the only ones to fall foul of this trend over the years.

Jon Bon Jovi 

We're going to start with the worst version.


There's no easy way to say it: Jon Bon Jovi's version of Fairytale of New York is an absolute abomination.

He absolutely butchers it from beginning to end, with 'you've lost all your swagger' perhaps one of the worst lyrics ever written.



Ed Sheeran & Anne Marie


Ed Sheeran get a lot of hate, the majority of which is probably unjustified. Even if you're not his biggest fan, you have to admit that he has had some bangers down through the years.

In saying that, this cover isn't one of his finer moments.


Himself and Anne Marie do a poor job at the song, especially once it gets into the more up tempo parts.


Ronan Keating

A classic of the genre, Ronan Keating has an absolute nightmare here.


Jimmy Fallon & Saoirse Ronan

This is perhaps a harsh inclusion, as this version was always intended to be a tongue-in-cheek one.

In saying that, it deserves its place due to how bad that Shane MacGowan impression is.


Paolo Nutini

This one is just a perfect example of why the song should never be covered.

Paolo Nutini is a fantastic musician, but he absolutely murders this. The crowd joining in this add something to it, but it's otherwise completely lifeless.

Leave 'Fairytale of New York' alone

In the end, it's clear that Fairytale of New York should just be left alone.

It's a unique song, one that gets most of its charm from the one of a kind voices of Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl. That is probably what makes it so difficult to cover, with any other versions just lacking the charm of the original.

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