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Fay Feeble Women

I was driving Tilly down to her nursery today for their Christmas party.  It’s a short drive, more of a walk really, but it was raining, which didn’t stop me just doing a run by the way, oh no a little drizzle never stops me, I am now shivering and my fingers are hopping frantically over the keys  as if coming out of rigour mortis. I digress (don’t I always? Isn’t that the fun of it? You never quite know where this drivel is going).  So anyway. We had the radio on. Absolute radio as it happens, but it was an ad and it was boring and Tilly wanted music.

So I switched to Radio One, something I rarely do because I don’t like listening to 17 year olds singing about love and heartbreak because they should be singing about rebellion and drugs, but that’s just my opinion.  So anyway Radio One.  It was playing the Power of Love but not as I knew it. Of course I’ve heard the hype about that retailer’s advertising and of course I’ve seen the ad (presumably they made use of the prime time X Factor slots to show us their dancing snow couple?), but I hadn’t truly appreciated the song.

I’m probably in the minority but I don’t think that the sound of a fey, feeble woman who probably needs a good meal, some good news and a night in with a Pheonix Nights box set to cheer her up is what was intended for Holly Johnson’s finest hit, it needs passion doesn’t it?  Come on it’s all about tongues of fire and purging the soul. I get why they do it, it makes the ad famous, people like me write about it (I know I shouldn’t but I can’t help myself). They find the ‘next big thing’ in fey, feeble women who need a good meal and they give them a wonderful, timeless song and tell them to ‘make it their own’. But the trouble is that ‘making it their own’ makes it sound like a beautiful, timeless song being slowly strangled into submission and sacrificed on the alter of advertising.

Can’t bloody stand it.

So whilst I was out on my run getting soaked and looking a bit like Cathy in Wuthering Heights (I can do fey and feeble too, actually she was rather feisty come to think of it) I had a think about other classics that are likely to get the fey, feeble treatment:

Love Reign O’er me - The Who, just imagine the video, Fey Feeble Woman standing on the edge of Beechy Head looking forlornly and longingly into the great wide ocean. It’s got Christmas hit or John Lewis ad written all over it.

Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen – the only slight problem with this is the the Fey Feeble voice requires lots of long breathy notes and this is mercilessly short on those, in fact Fey Feeble Woman would most certainly fall over herself and get in all sorts of muddles trying to rip this one off.  Hurrah.

Yellow, Coldplay - this was actually rather fey and feeble originally but I do love it. The only Coldplay track that would ever make it’s way into my top 100.  You can just hear it though can’t you? “You’re skiiiiin, oh yeah you’re skin and bones…” it’s perfect for a FFW makeover because the singer would indeed be skin and bones.

Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana – in fact I’m almost certain someone has given this the FFW treatment already. If not, it’s there for the taking.

But I’d love to hear something you never thought could actually be FFW’d.  How about Jump by Van Halen? Or even the Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News?  There’s a challenge.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for decent covers.  I loved James Arthur’s SOS (then again I wasn’t a huge fan of the original), it’s the Fey Feeble part I can’t bear.  Give me Passionate, Soulful and I’m there all the way.  I’d love it. I promise.

By way of judgement for upsetting all the FFW lovers out there I have just dyed my hair and in rinsing it I managed to swallow most of the dye.  I now have a mouth like a chemical converter and my tongue is turning Deep Mahogany.

That’ll teach me.



  1. [...] again John Lewis has taken a perfectly good song and asked a fey feeble female vocalist to create their own arrangement. Never been a huge Keane fan, but I kind of object to this [...]

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