Wheatus rewrites "Teenage Dirtbag" as a Christmas song

I love "Teenage Dirtbag." I love it as a song, and I love that it's had a weird, long, and subtle arc as a beloved song by other people, too. (My band has been known to cover it ourselves, and it always gets the crowd going.)

I also love the long and fascinating story behind the song. And I love the obsessively personal relationship that Wheatus's singer/songwriter Brendan B. Brown has with the song. He seems to have no compunctions about being considered a one-hit wonder (with a song that actually wasn't even a hit in the US). He's happy and proud that people love it, and has obsessively recreated it time and time — initially to translate into other languages, but also to gain control of the master tapes.

After all those re-recordings, I suppose it was only inevitable that he would rewrite the entire tune as a Christmas song as well. You can listen above, or at Spotify, etc.

'Cos I'm just a Christmas dirtbag, baby
Yeah I'm just a Christmas dirtbag, baby
Santa forgot all about me, baby
Tonight, ooh

My only real complaint has more to do with the original song. Performers and DJs alike often play or sing the first line of the second verse ("Her boyfriend's a dick") and then awkwardly censor the next ("He brings a gun to school"). I certainly understand American sensitivities around gun violence, and particularly school shootings. But (1) the boyfriend bringing a gun to school is clearly demonstrative of him being a dick, so there's no glorification here; and (2), the song was actually inspired in part by a real-life murder that happened in Brown's hometown when he was a kid (of which the dickish boyfriend is unsurprisingly not the perpetrator). This new Christmas version of the song, however, rightly sidesteps both of these issues with a line about Brown's real-life children actually getting the presents they want for Christmas:

Yeah, Liz got a doll
The one she was asking for
And Pete got it all
A baseball bat and a ball

So I'm both annoyed at that public response to that stanza, and also, absolutely endeared by Brown reclaiming it and spinning it around into something genuinely sweet and wholesome.

That, and I just wish I could go see AC/DC at CBGB's with Santa on Christmas, too.