Rude Words In Songs!

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!)



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11 responses to “Rude Words In Songs!

  1. Well, now, it depends on the station; there was a station I used to listen to in Minneapolis that even left the f-bomb on NIN’s stuff; another one in Fargo refused to play an unedited version of Tom Petty’s song: instead of “let’s get to the point, let’s roll another joint” Petty was singing “let’s get to the point, let’s hit another joint,” trying to make it sound like going to a new location. *shrug*

  2. LaurenG

    Creedance Clearwater Revival did a song called “Bad Moon Rising,” that included a lyric “There’s a bad moon on the rise.” This particular lyric was frequently sung (at least by rowdy crowds) as “There’s a bathroom on the right.” I have heard other songs similarly adjusted in copy artists’ versions, although I couldn’t give you a name right now. I have a thing about listening to the lyrics, and somehow manage to catch the “revised” versions, as well as those that just start out on the graphic side! I’m glad to see I’m in good company!

  3. Let’s see – there’s a lot of those. Tom Petty is a particularly difficult one to understand – “It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down, I had the radio on ahwzdrvn”

    Then there’s the classics:
    “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” (“Excuse me while I kiss the sky”)
    “big ol’ jet had a light on” (“big ol’ jet airliner”)
    “I seem to have an invisible track shoe” (“I seem to have an invisible touch-ah”)

    Anyone else have some to add?

  4. Trying very hard not to do the maths to see which decade you were born in I was trying to remember the songs that were hits over here but which were bleeped or refused airplay on some of our stations. Songs like Je T’aime you MIGHT remember from replays ( long after you were born of course) or Max Romeo with Wet Dream, I think even Prince Buster’s Ten Commandments of Man was bleeped though I can’t remember anything bad in that….maybe my wife bleeped it before I got any ideas though.

    • I’m a child of the 60’s, lots of songs got treated harshly, lots of songs got through because the ‘authorities’ didn’t realise what the words meant – The Kinks had to change Coke a Cola to Cherry Cola whilst the song itself was of a rather sexual natural (similar to Walk on the Wild side by Lou Reed), Frankie Goes to Hollywood got more success after being banned and, the best of all is Rock’n’roll which of course is euphemism …. 🙂

  5. What amuses me is to watch the difference in songs through the decades; when I was a kid, I listened to a lot of Sons of the Pioneers, Patsy Cline – good cowboy music – as well as The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkle, Sweet, Styx … then I got into my *own* things – my obsession with Styx continues unabated, but grew to love the acid rock of the 70s, the hair bands and heavy metal of the 80s, the alternative rock of the 90s, the … what’s it called? Ummm … dang, I’ve forgotten the name, now – things like NIN and … INDUSTRIAL – yeah, that’s it – Industrial metal of the 2000s … and then I started going backwards again, getting into the punk of the 70s and 80s …

    Are you seeing a trend? I like the heavy stuff – and there’s a lot of it to be bleeped, but I usually would just get the albums, ’cause most of the places I’ve lived just didn’t have that sort of station – only in Minneapolis was there a really good station that played a lot of the stuff I liked. Hard to get the “bleeped” version on the radio when most stations won’t even play the stuff I really like. *shrug*

  6. House of Fun by Madness… I’ve heard it played at kids parties when it’s actually about trying to buy condoms.
    Not to mention Ian Dury and th eBlockheads songs.
    And The W***kers song by Ivor Biggun & the Red Nosed Burglars

  7. AC/DC was huge when I was young, and my best friend’s sister played them a lot. I remember the song “Shook me All Night Long” from that time – only I thought he was singing “She’ll be Alll Night Long,” and that it was talking about how long it would take this woman to get ready to go out … Hehe. Ahh … naifness …

  8. The Who’s ‘Squeeze Box’.

    “Mama’s got a squeeze box; Daddy never sleeps at night”

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