When Ed Sheeran announced that he’d tested positive for COVID ahead of his upcoming SNL performance, musicians decided to shoot their shot at potentially replacing him.
The Mountain Goats in particular had a steady campaign going, trying to take advantage of their 2002 song “No Children” becoming part of a TikTok dance craze. Their tweet asking to replace Sheeran amassed over 23,000 likes. But alas, The Mountain Goats will not take the SNL stage.
Ed Sheeran gave an update on social media that reads:
“Posting this pic to say I’m released from COVID isolation today, so if you see me out and about I’ve had the all clear and done my quarantine. Excited to hit the ground running with work again, and SNL is still on, so tune in Saturday, see you there x”
The Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle either hasn’t seen the news of Sheeran still playing SNL or gave up on the bit, instead tweeting about Magic: The Gathering today.
While the band didn’t get the attention of Lorne Michaels, they’re still racking up plenty of press for their unexpected TikTok moment. Darnielle recently spoke to Variety about becoming “TikTok famous” and explained the story behind writing “No Children.”
“I was driving to the Des Moines airport, and there was a song on the charts called ‘I Hope You Dance’ (by Lee Ann Womack). And I hated this song, a lot,” he said. So, he ad-libbed “I hope you die” instead of the song’s line, “I hope you dance.” “I thought, that’s funny—I should have my alpha couple say that to each other,” he recalled.
As for the following line, he said, “‘I hope we both die’ was kind of an afterthought in the writing. I thought, oh, if you’re not just cursing the person over there, but you’re making sure that everybody gets swallowed up by the curse, then that’s even funnier.”