The band covered the jingle, which was originally released in 1958, exclusively for Apple Music, as part of the streaming service’s annual Carols Covered playlist. For their rendition, King Stingray amp up the guitars, and replace the festive bells of the original with the percussive rhythms of a backing didgeridoo.
Elsewhere on the track, King Stingray vocalist Yirrŋa Yunupiŋu alters a handful of Berry’s original lyrics, singing of his Christmas wish list on the updated rendition: “All I want for Christmas is a rock n roll electric guitar”. King Stingray – which consists of First Nations bandmates Yunupiŋu, Dimathaya Burarrwanga and Roy Kellaway – referenced their changes to original song in an Instagram post.
“Huge thank you to Apple for… letting us rework the song into a classic Yolŋu Matha Christmas carol,” the band wrote.
King Stingray join an array of artists included on Apple’s Christmas Covered playlist, which also features a rendition of ‘O Christmas Tree’ by Giveon, a cover of ‘Fields of Gold’ by Ellie Goulding, and Tate McRae’s take on ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’. Covers by Victoria Monét, Shygirl and Jack James also appear on the playlist. Listen to Apple Music’s 2022 Christmas Covered playlist here.
‘Run Rudolph Run’ arrives a few weeks after King Stingray’s fellow cover of ‘Down Under’. That rendition of the Men At Work classic was featured on the soundtrack of a short film for Tourism Australia, and likewise saw the band update the original lyrics with those of their their local Yolŋu Matha language.
Yesterday (November 1), King Stingray were among those nominated for this year’s J Awards, scoring nods for both Australian Album of the Year (for their self-titled album) and Australian Artist of the Year. The band’s debut project is also in contention at the 2022 ARIA Awards, where it’s nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album, among others.