Rude Words in Songs
It is a surprising statistic (and one I have made up quite randomly, gathered from my very random but almost ‘train spotting’ level of interest, in those nuggets of very useless information that tend to make the eyes of ‘friends’ mist over – with boredom not tears of remembrance) that rude words do not always go noticed in songs!
Let us take that raucous eulogy to the joys of drinking, the sublime ‘Tub Thumping’ by my fellow northern artists, Chumbawamba. Now the ‘Chumba’s (as probably only I call them – to save my poor fingers when typing you understand) are what is described as an ‘Anarcho-Punk’ band and throw lots of things into their songs, some of it quite controversial if you listen carefully enough.
Ah 1997, I can see it now, I was 32 (please do not do the maths – I’d like to stay under the illusion that I am still 32 please) and this song was everywhere, it even reached the very echelons of the charts in the US! And amongst the references to political and social events was a nice female vocal that hovered beautifully around the chorus which extolled the virtues or not of wasting an evening or as the lady said ‘p***ing the night away…’!
Now please remember dear reader that I like a bit of anarcho-punk, I love a bit of noise every now and then and I do have a fair few records with expletives liberally contained within. But very few of them reached anywhere near the top of the charts, anywhere, and none of them get regular air play to this day on your regular run of the mill radio stations!
I find it quit amusing actually, as I walk through a packed shopping centre on a stuffy Saturday afternoon (I don’t go voluntarily of course but as the household’s only active driver, I am regularly coerced and sometimes even ‘persuaded’ with promises of chocolate cake), and the song comes drifting to me from the loftily positioned speakers. Wonderful.
So back to my statistic and puzzle; do people actually realise what the lovely lady is singing? Or do they intentionally (or indeed unintentionally) miss-hear it? I don’t honestly believe that Radio 2 or any ‘Oldies’ station actually hear the offending words… or do they?
And so my dear readers I offer you a challenge – can you name any well known songs where the artist has managed to sneak a subversive naughty word into the lyrics and it doesn’t get the b**p treatment? Off you go…. See you back here soon.
(And don’t forget to read the short story – On Finding His Feet Pt 1 – click on the link to the right!)