For the 2nd installment of my series, posting original songs and their cover versions, I present an example of confusion over which is which: ‘The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead’.
Although, commonly believed to be their original song, The Crash Test Dummies’ version of ‘The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead’ (released in 1994 for the ‘Dumb and Dumber’ film soundtrack) is in fact a cover version of XTC’s original, released in 1992. The Crash Test Dummies’ version is a more “comedic” treatment of the original, dropping the second verse: “Peter Pumpkinhead fooled them all. Emptied churches and shopping malls. When he spoke, it would raise the roof. Peter Pumpkinhead told the truth“.
XTC’s Andy Partridge has never been shy to controversy. His penchant for composing songs with strong opinion is evident throughout ‘The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”, which makes controversial comparison of JFK’s assassination to the crucifixion of Christ; pretty heavy stuff for a pop song.
XTC: ‘The Ballad of Peter Pumpkin Head’
Crash Test Dummies: Cover version