Friday, March 15, 2013

The Better Version of "Come on Eileen": Dexy's Midnight Runners or Save Ferris

The best version of the song "Come on Eileen" is a pop culture issue that needs to be answered.

British pop group Dexy's Midnight Runners recorded the original song in 1982 and it became a number  one hit.

Theoretically that should make it the best version since it's kind of blasphemous to claim a cover of a song is better than the original, but it's not that simple.

Ska punk band Save Ferris released a good cover of "Come on Eileen" in 1997.

Save Ferris is the version of No Doubt that never made it as they are from Orange Country and fronted by a female singer.  In fact their version of "Come On Eileen" is often mislabeled as a No Doubt song.

Apparently, originality wasn't their strong suit as the name is a reference to "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and their most successful song is a cover song.

I guess there's a few factors that might determine the version you prefers.  If you were a teenager or adult in the 80s or British, then you probably like the Dexy's Midnight Runners one.

If you grew up in the 90s, then you might favor the Save Ferris one.

Do you like the song with strings and banjo or horns?  Save Ferris replaced the strings section in the original with horns that make it sound a little more upbeat than a guy just begging for sex.

Do you hate Ska music?  It's an easy call if you do.

Do you prefer the male or female vocal? An older generation might object to a female singing about making advances toward another female.

But I mean come on, The Midnight Runners music video makes it look like effeminate street toughs in overalls are harassing not the most feminine woman so they probably don't love that either.

Honestly, I'm not really sure which version I prefer, although I am kind of leaning towards the original.

But I want to know what other people think,  and if there is a general consensus for one version over the other..


  1. Hey there,
    I realize this is a very old post, but I found your blog by searching for Dexy's Midnight Runners vs Save Ferris. ;)

    I just heard the Save Ferris version on the radio the other day and almost changed the channel because I thought it was the original version at first.

    I guess that tells you which version is my favourite. I am old enough to know the original, but was introduced to the cover by my 25 year old son, and I fell in love with it.

  2. The original come on Eileen is my life, but I may have been swayed by the perks of being a wallflower just a little bit

  3. The Save Ferris version doesn't promote Street Harassment as a way to win the heart of a woman.