Offensive songs by artists you love

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sknguy II

Papal Bull wrote:
Yeah, listening to Rush's lyrics is a lot like reading Ayn Rand for Canadians.

lol.

"If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.", Ayn Rand

So what's BTO?

Stargazer

Boring & Trite Offrenders??? Seriously, can't stand his vocals.

al-Qa'bong

Papal Bull wrote:

Yeah, listening to Rush's lyrics is a lot like reading Ayn Rand for Canadians.

 

Rush's members have been quite open about being disciples of Ayn Rand.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

al-Qa'bong wrote:

 

Are there any Tom Jones fans out there?
.

If you're going to bring Tom Jones into this, we have to remember the single most loathesome song he ever sang:

I saw the light on the night that I passed by her window
I saw the flickering shadows of love on her blind
She was my woman
As she deceived me I watched and went out of my mind
My, my, my, delilah
Why, why, why, delilah
I could see that girl was no good for me
But I was lost like a slave that no man could free
At break of day when that man drove away, I was waiting
I cross the street to her house and she opened the door
She stood there laughing
I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more
My, my, my delilah
Why, why, why delilah
So before they come to break down the door
Forgive me delilah I just couldnt take any more

If that song was a new release now, it wouldn't be UNDERWEAR they'd be throwing at the guy.

al-Qa'bong

Well geez, if we're going to go there, how about Miss Otis Regrets or Frankie and Johnny?

 

This isn't offensive, but another tune I like even though it's about an unpleasant subject:

 

 

Quote:
Police officer, how can it be?
You can 'rest everybody but cruel Stack O' Lee
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O' Lee 

Billy de Lyon told Stack O' Lee, "Please don't take my life,
I got two little babies, and a darlin' lovin' wife"
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O' Lee

"What I care about you little babies, your darlin' lovin' wife?
You done stole my Stetson hat, I'm bound to take your life"
That bad man, cruel Stack O' Lee

...with the forty-four
When I spied Billy de Lyon, he was lyin' down on the floor
That bad man, oh cruel Stack O' Lee
"Gentleman's of the jury, what do you think of that?
Stack O' Lee killed Billy de Lyon about a five-dollar Stetson hat"
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O' Lee

And all they gathered, hands way up high,
at twelve o'clock they killed him, they's all glad to see him die
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O' Lee

 

Mississippi John Hurt 1928

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Not sure whether I find it offensive or just, well, icky...but Don McLean's "Castles In The Air" always kind of creeped me out:

 

And if she asks you why,
you can tell her that I told you
That I'm tired of castles in the air.
I've got a dream I want the world to share
And castle walls just lead me to despair.

Hills of forest green where the mountains touch the sky,
A dream come true, I'll live there till I die.
I'm asking you to say my last goodbye.
The love we knew ain't worth another try.

Save me from all the trouble and the pain.
I know I'm weak, but I can't face that girl again.
Tell her the reasons why I can't remain,
Perhaps she'll understand if you tell it to her plain.

But how can words express the feel of sunlight in the morning,
In the hills, away from city strife.
I need a country woman for my wife;
I'm city born, but I love the country life.

For I cannot be part of the cocktail generation:
Partners waltz, devoid of all romance.
The music plays and everyone must dance.
I'm bowing out. I need a second chance.

Save me from all the trouble and the pain.
I know I'm weak, but I can't face that girl again.
Tell her the reasons why I can't remain,
Perhaps she'll understand if you tell it to her plain.

And if she asks you why, you can tell her that I told you
That I'm tired of castles in the air.
I've got a dream I want the world to share
And castle walls just lead me to despair.

 

I mean, geez Don...asking somebody ELSE to dump your girlfriend for you?  And for such smug, judgmental reasons?

martin dufresne

Well said. I was listening to California Dreamin' a few days ago and I winced at that classic "If I didn't tell her, I could leave today" line. Wannabe cowardice... how low can you go?

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

Well, I would agree that sneaking out is bad form (unless it's a safety issue), but it's not in the same realm as songs that deal with violence or murder.

For the record, I've always liked Castles in the Air for it's anti-materialist message.

As for California Dreamin', I once had an argument with someone (who is a Christian) who was convinced that the line was "I got down on my knees and I began to pray" when it's really "I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray". They were absolutely convinced that the song wouldn't make sense if they were wrong, and were offended by the real words.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

"If I Were A Carpenter" is also problematic.  On one level, it's got an antimaterialist "I want to live as a traveling artisan, surviving on the purity of my own craftsmanship" message, but GAWWWD it's sexist.  It's like Tim Hardin wasn't looking so much for a wife as an unpaid shop assistant.  I've been trying to create a non-male supremacist set of alternative lyrics for it.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Well, Castles may indeed be anti-materialist, but McLean sabotages his own intentions there by taking that "you people are all about materialism and I'm so inherently superior to all of you on a deep spiritual level that I barely feel worthy of being in the same room with myself" tone.

And I agree, the song isn't on the same level of ugliness as the others.

Papal Bull

Scott Piatkowski wrote:

As for California Dreamin', I once had an argument with someone (who is a Christian) who was convinced that the line was "I got down on my knees and I began to pray" when it's really "I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray". They were absolutely convinced that the song wouldn't make sense if they were wrong, and were offended by the real words.

 

On a similar note, I once went down to the states and when there I saw a best of Van Morrison for 2$ at a thrift shop. Couldn't say no to that! So, it gets to Brown Eyed Girl. You know the part "making love in the green grass"? It was changed to "laughin and a-runnin' behind the stadium with you". I got pissed and tossed out the CD as I couldn't handle the censorship being so blatent and crude, whoever remastered the tune just took an earlier part of the track and spliced it in.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

That was actually the radio edit from when it was first released. It's rare to find collections that include the original version.

At the same time, if he really was "making love in the green grass" with her, you might wonder why he was commenting on how much she had grown. Exactly how old was this brown-eyed girl?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I have always secretly cringed when contemplating that question.  EWWW, Van....just EWWW

Of course, that also leads us to Neil Diamond's immortal "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon", a song that I used as part of the sound design for a production of the Paula Vogel play "How I Learned To Drive", if anyone here has ever read that or seen a production of it.

Tommy_Paine

 

Reminds me of the original album cover for Led Zepplin's Houses of the Holy.

Here is what I am ashamed of: Johnny Ramone.

Well, here's a comforting thought.  Joey's code name for Johnny was "KKK", and the song "The KKK Took My Baby Away" was about Johnny stealing Joey's girl friend. 

 

Are there any Tom Jones fans out there? .

Actually, if you read the terms and conditions of Babble carefully, being an admitted Tom Jones fan is a bannable offence.

fiidel_castro

Yes, I definitely knew that "The KKK" was Joey's pet name for Johnny. 'KKK' says all you need to know about Johnny as a person. Here is another tidbit, Joey always insisted on the Ramones playing "The KKK Took My Baby Away" live at most shows. It really is a great song and the subject matter has nothing to do with the KKK it has to do with Johnny being a total goon. Even another tidbit, when Joey was on his deathbed he refused to let Johnny come and see him in the hospital, nuff said.

Stargazer

Or the original cover album art for Blind Faith.

Papal Bull

Scott Piatkowski wrote:

That was actually the radio edit from when it was first released. It's rare to find collections that include the original version.

 

Ah, well then. Either way I had never heard that radio edit and it angered me immensely.

Simultaneously, regarding the "brown eyed girl"'s age, how old was Van when that song was written. A little personal, but it was a real hoot to see the girl who was my first kiss when I was 14 when we were both 20.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
Even another tidbit, when Joey was on his deathbed he refused to let Johnny come and see him in the hospital, nuff said.

 

I heard Johnny say that he didn't get along with Joey, so he thought it would have been hypocritical of him to go visit Joey on his deathbed. The other day I saw some guy on TV, I don't remember at all who or where, say that DeeDee was a truly reprehensible person.

 

 

 

I've been trying to think of a song that I find offensive, even among artists I don't like, but can't come up with anything. I'm often annoyed, but seldom take offense at things I hear. This got me thinking about what offends us. I then thought of Ann Coulter, but she doesn't offend me, I just find her amusingly disgusting.

 

 

 

That got me thinking about how frequently people on babble and EnMasse (my sole points of reference) claim that something offends them. It seems to me that one's ability to be offended is somehow a sign of one's "progressiveness" in these here parts. In other words, the more easily one is offended, the higher one thinks one ranks among the right people.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Papal Bull wrote:

 regarding the "brown eyed girl"'s age, how old was Van when that song was written. A little personal, but it was a real hoot to see the girl who was my first kiss when I was 14 when we were both 20.

Well, Van was about 21 or 22 when he wrote and recorded the song.  Ironically(if Wikipedia can be trusted on this point)Van claims to never have been paid any royalties at all for "Brown-eyed Girl", due to the incredibly bad contract he signed before recording(a contract that also left Van personally reponsible for paying the costs for the recording session).

bekayne

Scott Piatkowski wrote:

That was actually the radio edit from when it was first released. It's rare to find collections that include the original version.

At the same time, if he really was "making love in the green grass" with her, you might wonder why he was commenting on how much she had grown. Exactly how old was this brown-eyed girl?

I always thought that meant "grown" outwards, as in pregnant.

 

Mojoroad1

My P.C's in the shop, but I happen to have access to one and thought this was a very interesting thread so in loo of working for a minute here's my take:

This is always a bit of a conundrum.... Sometimes artists intentionally provoke (as some have mentioned with the Nirvana song "rape me") for thought. Many a progressive musician (or any artist for that matter) might also write /create "in character"... Immediately springing to mind (in the 70's) would be progressive folkie fav Phil Ochs (try "Love me I'm a Liberal") or another being  Randy Newman (who was pilloried for writing "short people" back in the day -he's only, like 5'3 BTW- or try "yellow man") for example.

 Sometimes the subtle attempt to be provocative -in order to make people think- might be misconstrued as offensive, which might in fact be exactly the point... Neil Young's "a man needs a maid" from Harvest might fit in that category. That said I am a fan of all kinds of music and artists and occasionally some my faves have more then a few that truly ARE cringe worthy....Hell I love (old) ACDC - hardly a bastion of political correctness.   The same could be said of another major form of social commentary - Comedy & Satire.

I am also a huge fan of the Blues.... And I could just about say every other blues tune out there from the greats like Muddy Waters, Albert King etc, is often sexist. (also many old blues songs sing about "chicken" - If you have knowledge about what that slang represents in a blues context you know what I'm talking about). I guess you have to take in the context, the artist, time period etc.

My 2 cents anyhow.

(P.S I been meaning to make a Canadian version of "Love me I'm a Liberal" (as in LPC) for years... might just get around to itWink)

 

Artist: Ochs Phil
Song: Love Me, I'm a Liberal

 

I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
as long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crain?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I read New republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like Korea
There's no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the democratic party
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
I am also a huge fan of the Blues.... And I could just about say every other blues tune out there from the greats like Muddy Waters, Albert King etc, is often sexist.

 

Here's Lizzie Miles, objectifying her man while praising the military:

My Man O' War

I'm somehow not offended.

Here are the lyrics to Ethel Waters' "My Handy Man."  Boy, talk about your sexist stereotyping!

 

Quote:

Whoever said a good man was hard to find,
Postively, absolutely sure was blind;
I found the best that ever was,
Here's just some of the things he does:

He shakes my ashes, greases my griddle,
Churns my butter, strokes my fiddle;
My man is such a handy man!

He threads my needle, creams my wheat,
Heats my heater, chops my meat;
My man is such a handy man!

Don't care if you believe or not,
He sure is good to have around;
Why, when my furnace gets too hot,
He's right there to turn my damper down!

For everything he's got a scheme;
You ought to see his new starter that he uses on my machine;
My man is such a handy man!

He flaps my flapjacks, cleans off the table, He feeds the horses in my stable; My man is such a handy man!

He's God's gift!

Sometimes he's up long before dawn,
Busy trimming the rough edges off my lawn;
Oooh, you can't get away from it! He's such a handy man!

Never has a single thing to say,
While he's working hard;
I wish that you could see the way
He handles my front yard!

My ice don't get a chance to melt away,
He sees that I get that old fresh piece every day;
Lord, that man sure is such a handy man!

martin dufresne

Al-Q'abong: That got me thinking about how frequently people on babble and EnMasse (my sole points of reference) claim that something offends them. It seems to me that one's ability to be offended is somehow a sign of one's "progressiveness" in these here parts. In other words, the more easily one is offended, the higher one thinks one ranks among the right people.

I agree. And actually, I think many are not even offended; they'll just as soon call something offensive, alleging that some people must (or should) be offended. It sounds manipulative to me. Indeed, 75% of what we do offends conservative, patriarchal, capitalist values if we are any good at it, so please don't suggest that offending no one is a positive criterion. Maybe this very good thread title ought to have read "sexist/racist/oppressive" instead of "offensive"...

However, I completely disagree that "My Handy Man" is sexist stereotyping. Indeed it runs conter to the stereotype that women are not supposed to say these things or get that kind of attention and praise it.

 

Sven Sven's picture

Mojoroad1 wrote:

I am also a huge fan of the Blues.... And I could just about say every other blues tune out there from the greats like Muddy Waters, Albert King etc, is often sexist. (also many old blues songs sing about "chicken" - If you have knowledge about what that slang represents in a blues context you know what I'm talking about).

Most historical blues songs would "offend" most progressives who are inclined to be offended by such things.  But, to listen to those old blues recordings is to listen to some of the most authenic music ever made (as opposed to much of the modern -- and superficial -- music listened to today).

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

sunnyzenist

Can't say I dislike it...I love it actually, but some white folk will find it offensive.

KRS-One Ah Yeah

Ah yeah, that's whatcha say when you see a devil down
Ah yeah, that's whatcha say when you take the devil's crown
Ah yeah, stay alive all things will change around
Ah yeah, what? Ah yeah!

So here I go kickin science in ninety-five
I be illin, parental discretion is advised still
dont call me n***a, this MC goes for his
Call me God, cause that's what the black man is
Roamin through the forest as the hardest lyrical artist
Black women you are not a b***h you're a Goddess
Let it be known, you can lean on KRS-One
Like a wall cause I'm hard, I represent GOD
Wack MC's have only one style: gun buck
But when you say, Let's buck for revolution
They shut the f**k up, kid, get with it
Down to start a riot in a minute
You'll hear so many Bowe-Bowe-Bowe, you think I'm Riddick
While other MC's are talkin bout up with hope down with dope
I'll have a devil in my infrared scope, WOY!
That's for calling my father a boy and, KLAK KLAK KLAK!
That's for putting scars on my mother's back, BO!
That's for calling my sister a hoe, and for you
BUCK BUCK BUCK, cause I don't give a motherf***
Remember the whip, remember the chant, remember about rope and
you black people still thinkin about vot-ing
Every president we ever had lied
You know I'm kinda glad Nixon died!

This is not the first time I came to the planet
But everytime I come, only a few could understand it
I came as Isis, my words they tried to ban it
I came as Moses, they couldn't follow my commandments
I came as Solomon, to a people that was lost
I came as Jesus, but they nailed me to a cross
I came as Harriet Tubman, I put the truth to Sojourner
Other times, I had to come as Nat Turner
They tried to burn me, lynch me and starve me
So I had to come back as Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley
They tried to harm me, I used to be Malcolm X
Now I'm on the planet as the one called KRS
Kickin the metaphysical, spiritual, tryin to like
get wit you, showin you, you are invincible
The Black Panther is the black answer for real
In my spiritual form, I turn into Bobby Seale
On the wheels of steel, my spirit flies away
and enters into Kwame Ture

In the streets there is no EQ, no di-do-di-do-di-do
So I grab the air and speak through the code
the devil cannot see through as I unload
into another cerebellum
Then I can tell em, because my vibes go through denim
and leather whatever, however, I'm still rockin
We used to pick cotton, now we pick up cotton when we shoppin
Have you forgotten why we buildin in a cypher
Yo hear me kid, government is building in a pyramid
The son of God is brighter than the son of man
The spirit is, check your dollar bill G, here it is
We got no time for fancy mathematics
Your mental frequency frequently pickin up static
Makin you a naked body, attic and it's democratic
They press auto, and you kill it with an automatic

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
However, I completely disagree that "My Handy Man" is sexist stereotyping.

 

Man, you've gotta learn to lighten up.

 

Why would white folks find KRS-One offensive? Many years ago I asked a guy to make me a tape of some good rap music, since I had no idea about rap and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. He chose a KRS-One cd. I think it was called "Infotainment" or something. I listened to it a few times. It was OK, but didn't light any fires. I haven't listened to it in over ten years, and know even less about rap now than I did then. There's a guy called MC Solaar who made a cd that I listened to quite a bit, but that was quite a while ago too.

Sineed

triciamarie wrote:

Rush, The Trees

 

Quote:
There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

(etc etc)

So the maples formed a union

And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.

I like some Rush but yeah; they went through an Objectivist phase.

"And though his mind is not for rent / Don't put him down as arrogant...."

Edited to add - read the rest of the thread, and other folks already pointed that out (are they still objectivists?  I thought they came to their senses.)

Mojoroad1

Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.

 

Re: Rush's "The Trees": Again, could it not be that Neil Peart (the lyricist for Rush)  might be simply making an ironically true statement? To contrast -  could it not be interpreted like the "black/white Cats" comment from "Mouseland"?   Just more food for thought.

 

 

al-Qa'bong

Nope.  Peart is making a comment on how lefties use force to prevent the strong and talented from rising to their natural heights.

jas

Almost everything by Eminem, who, as I've said in another thread, could be so cool if he would direct his anger at worthwhile subjects.

DOA: Rich Bitch and Let's Fuck, and probably some others I'm not thinking of. I'm guessing they either don't play those songs anymore, or they've changed the lyrics.

Dead Kennedys' Too Drunk to Fuck

 

gizmo

What about short people by Randy Newman(guy who sung most of the songs in toy story)?

al-Qa'bong

He was being ironic.

Transvestite by Peter and the Test Tube Babies is rather icky.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mojoroad1 wrote:

My P.C's in the shop, but I happen to have access to one and thought this was a very interesting thread so in loo of working for a minute here's my take:

This is always a bit of a conundrum.... Sometimes artists intentionally provoke (as some have mentioned with the Nirvana song "rape me") for thought. Many a progressive musician (or any artist for that matter) might also write /create "in character"... Immediately springing to mind (in the 70's) would be progressive folkie fav Phil Ochs (try "Love me I'm a Liberal") or another being  Randy Newman (who was pilloried for writing "short people" back in the day -he's only, like 5'3 BTW- or try "yellow man") for example.

 Sometimes the subtle attempt to be provocative -in order to make people think- might be misconstrued as offensive, which might in fact be exactly the point... Neil Young's "a man needs a maid" from Harvest might fit in that category. That said I am a fan of all kinds of music and artists and occasionally some my faves have more then a few that truly ARE cringe worthy....Hell I love (old) ACDC - hardly a bastion of political correctness.   The same could be said of another major form of social commentary - Comedy & Satire.

I am also a huge fan of the Blues.... And I could just about say every other blues tune out there from the greats like Muddy Waters, Albert King etc, is often sexist. (also many old blues songs sing about "chicken" - If you have knowledge about what that slang represents in a blues context you know what I'm talking about). I guess you have to take in the context, the artist, time period etc.

My 2 cents anyhow.

(P.S I been meaning to make a Canadian version of "Love me I'm a Liberal" (as in LPC) for years... might just get around to itWink)

 

Artist: Ochs Phil
Song: Love Me, I'm a Liberal

 

I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
as long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crain?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I read New republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like Korea
There's no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the democratic party
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Uh, Phil wasn't actuall ENDORSING the offensive views expressed in those lyrics(although you might have had a stronger point had you included his homophobic adlib aimed at the DAR, which can be heard on Phil's live album).  Phil was attacking establishment liberals on many ways that there liberalism wasn't really all that "liberal"(such as the unpleasant habit of some wealthy Democratic politicians in the U.S. to support school segregation and then send their OWN kids to all-white private schools, a habit race-baiting Republicans like Nixon and Reagan and their minions later incorporated as an element in the "limousine liberal" stereotype.    It was the old idea of using the ugliness to nail the ugly-an idea that went back to Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain, and one Phil used in other, darker songs like "I Kill Therefore I Am" and "Pretty Smart On My Part", songs whose lyrics probably can't be quoted in full on Babble.)

RP.

I only so-so on Guns and Roses.  I've always thought the song "One In a Million" was being ironic and provocative, but I don't think most others do.  It's so over the top, how can it not be?

Quote:
Immigrants and faggots, make no sense to me

They come to our country, think they'll do as the please

Like start some mini-Iran, or spread some fucking disease

They talk so many God-damn ways, it's all Greek to me.

(looking up the lyrics to that, I discover that Miley Cyrus has a song by the same name.  Made me imagine her singing the GnR lyrics Cool)

Mojoroad1

RE Phil Ochs,

 

Ken, that was EXACTLY MY POINT. Tongue out (same for Randy Newman)

 

ETA: Ochs "outside a small circle of friends" hits home the same way.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Thanks for the clarification, mojo.

An interesting fact about "Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends", is that it may have been the only Sixties protest song that was written in response to a gaybashing.

The first verse:

Look outside the window, there's a woman being grabbed

They've dragged her to the bushes and now she's being stabbed.

Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain,

But Monopoly is so much fun I'd hate to blow the game.

 

Was inspired by(and was pretty much a direct retelling of) the murder of Kitty Genovese, a young barmaid who lived in Greenwich Village.  Twenty people heard her being attacked and heard her screaming for help and NONE of them called the police.  When questioned about it later, they all said something along the lines of "we didn't want to get involved".

A year or so ago, National Public Radio revealed that Kitty Genovese was a lesbian.  As Phil was a Village resident, there's a good chance he knew that, and it puts an even darker light on the decision of all those people to do nothing and let Kitty Genovese die.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Interesting. I didn't know that.

al-Qa'bong

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Have to say, though, that I love the slow grind guitar work in Nugent's "Stranglehold".  Unfortunately, even by blues or rock standards, the lyrics are extraordinarily mysogynistic.  So much so, it's unlistenable.

I guess I should be offended by Elton Motello's version of "Jet Boy Jet Girl".  But for some reason I'm not. Ooo whooo hooo hooo.

 

I was listening to Double Live Gonzo last night.  I dunno man, but anyone who isn't moved by the sweet sentiment of "You can yank me, you can crank me, but don'tcha wake up and try to thank me" has a heart of stone.

Check out Plastic Bertrand's Ca plane pour moi if you want to hear what Elton Motello ripped off to make Jet Boy, Jet Girl.  The music is exactly the same. 

toddsschneider

Quite the opposite chronology, it seems.  If great artists steal, then Plastic Bertrand is a great artist:

Elton Motello is both the moniker of Alan Ward (aka Alan Timms, formerly a member of Bastard along with Damned guitarist Brian James), the lead singer and songwriter, and the name of the band itself.[1] 

Ward had toured Belgium with Bastard and through his connections there Motello debuted with the "Jet Boy, Jet Girl" single in 1977 on the Belgian Pinball label, initially backed by session musicians.[2] 

While the single made little impact, the song formed the basis for Plastic Bertrand's internationally successful hit "Ça plane pour moi", with Bertand recording new lyrics over the backing track.[1]

[selon Wikipedia]


al-Qa'bong

Well whaddya know? 

 

I suppose this makes sense, since Plastic Bertrand did nothing else worth listening to (and some have argued that Ca plane pour moi isn't worth listening to either).

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

As to the song mentioned in the OP of this thread, John Lennon said(in the "Lennon Remembers" interview he did right after the Beatles' break up)that he always HATED "Run For Your Life".  He said it was something he came up with off the top of his head when the label was pushing for another single.  And the song was released in 1965, at a time when the Beatles had almost NO control over the process of making their own records.  If it had really been up to John himself, the song would likely never have been written.

And John wrestled with the side of him that inclined towards violence all through his life, as he did in the shockingly confessional bridge he wrote for McCarthey's "Getting Better"

 

I used to be cruel to my woman

I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved

 

And in his solo song "Jealous Guy":

 

I didn't mean to hurt you,

I'm sorry that I made you cry.

 

 

And in his famous observation about how it was always the most violent people who were for love and peace.  John GOT IT that he had those issues and made a significant effort to change on that front.

 

I doubt we're going to see Eminem or Chris Brown ever get that real with themselves.

 

Mojoroad1

Very true Re: Lennon Ken, I was going to mention that myself. Also, although not a Rush aficionado as some are around here (I didn't know about their "objectivist" phase) so I retract what I said. (Though they've "grown" on me the over the years, I only can take them in small doses. Didn't know they were Ayn Rand fans. They were fantastic at the Sars concert though (as was, ahem, AC/DC. Left half way through The Stones who came on right after. the Duet with Justin Timberlake was too much to bear.). 

Agree with Sven too re: Blues.

 

 

 

North Shore

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Nope.  Peart is making a comment on how lefties use force to prevent the strong and talented from rising to their natural heights.

 

Hmm, perhaps I should re-listen to all of my highschool stuff again - I was pretty sure this was about Canadian/US relations?

jrose

The Bish wrote:

jrose wrote:

I was born in 1983, so Nirvana was pretty much that coming-of-age band that was always there. As much as I love them, it's hard not to cringe at a song called Rape Me, with lyrics like:

 

Hate me
Do it and do it again
Waste me
Rape me my friend


Cobain made it quite clear in interviews that the song was intended to be in sympathy with rape victims and was not actually advocating rape.  If someone were to take offence at any Nirvana song, I would think it would be "Polly".

Polly wants a cracker
I think I should get off her first
She said she wants some water
To put out the blowtorch

 

Interesting piece on The Sexist about this song.

TheEtobian

With regards to the reference to the Sex pistols song Bodies. John(ny) Lydon (rotten) said in an interview (can't recall where or from what) I read while ago that the song was written after he was told of his mother (whom he loved dearly, and wrote the Public Image Limites song Swan Lake in her honour after her death) having a miscarriage and the pain and guilt she felt because of it.

 

On the topic as a whole I myself would like to parapharse John Denver (when he was testifying at the PMRC) I'm strongly opposed to censorship in our society or anywhere else in the world. To me is art, pure and simple. Art in any form can and will be offensive. Take Piss Christ by andres serrano for instance not only is blatanly offensive it is heretical. I myself am a 24 year old male and have grown up listening to some really "provocative" music to put it mildly. Slayer, the American thrash metal band has always been a favourite of mine because of its guitar riffs and drum breakdowns and pure intensity. The band also has a fixation on the morbid,death of all forms , the occult, and numorous references to Satan himself. Basically alot of subject matter that would make any X-tian fundie or diehard PCer shit themselves twelvefold. Hell their music is even embraces by neo-nazis (despite the fact the lead singer/bassist is a Latino) The band however are not Satanists nor do they condone genocide or mass murder, to them such lyrical content it is simply an apt accompaniment to their unique sound. For instance when asked about their song Angel of Death (yeah that guy Mengela) was sympathetic guitarist Jeff Hanneman replied  

"nothing I put in the lyrics that says necessarily he was a bad man, because to me - well, isn't that obvious? I shouldn't have to tell you that."

An even worse offender would be Chicago noise rock band Big Black, whose lyrical subject matter touches on all the very dark side of American life/culture . But not in any way to achieve any form of monetary gain nor to become "rock stars" but simply to connect to those who already know this or who have experienced it in one way or another. Nothing I can say can be said about this band or other, than can be said better by the book Our band could be your life (it won;t underline) or the documentray American Hardcore: the History of American Punk rock 1980-1986. I recogize there is alot of fucked up shit in songs along the way. But I'll be damned if 'Cocaine Blues" "down by the river" "Hey Joe" get banned. I'd fucking shot myself. If anything I'm way more offened by Lady Gaga and the ilk because they are straight up corporate whores to the T and spout industry garbage for money. She ain't no Kathleen Hanna, not by a long shot. Yes I listen to offensive music, I don;t think I'm a bad person.Thats the thing about art its like Duchamp's fountain to some it's profound to others it;s just another place to piss.

Michelle

Just re-reading this thread - love old threads like this that become "new" again. :)

Anyhow, yeah, Lennon's "Jealous Guy" leaves me cold lyric-wise, although the tune is good.  But the words ruin it for me.

Gee, I'm sorry I hurt you and made you cry - I didn't mean it - I'm just a jealous guy!

Oh, you're jealous!  Oh, I see - well then, that's okay.  Hit me, baby, one more time.

There's a line in "Woman" (a song I love love love) that also makes me go hmmm, considering lyrics like the one in Jealous Guy.  "Woman, please let me explain: I never meant to cause you sorrow or pain."

Classic abuse pattern: abuse, then beg forgiveness.  But imagine if, instead of getting flowers or candy the next day, you get a gorgeous, loving song that goes platinum.

Michelle

I love Michael Jackson's music, but this song creeps me out, considering his creepy habit of sharing his bed with little boys who visited his ranch and the allegations of sexual abuse made against him:

PYT (Pretty Young Thing)

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Great thead idea!  I can't believe I missed it the first time.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned The Police.  Consdier the lyrics of these two monster hits:

Quote:

Every breath you take and every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take, I'll be watching you
Every single day and every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay, I'll be watching you
Oh can't you see you belong to me?
How my poor heart aches with every step you take
Every move you make and every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake, I'll be watching you

Quote:
Her friends are so jealous
You know how bad girls get
Sometimes it's not so easy
To be the teachers pet
Temptation, frustration
So bad it makes him cry
Wet bus stop, she's waiting
His car is warm and dry

Don't stand, don't stand so
Don't stand so close to me

Loose talk in the classroom
To hurt they try and try
Strong words in the staffroom
The accusations fly
Its no use, he sees her
He starts to shake and cough
Just like the old man in
That book by nabakov

The first is about stalking, the second about a teacher being tempted by a female student.

Creepy and weird as they are (even for the time) they are still great songs.

Maybe they are great because they are creepy and weird?

al-Qa'bong

Bah, The Police.

 

I liked their first record (the one with the line: "My fine young son has turned out gay," and the song about having sex with a rubber doll), and their second one was OK, but by the time they turned out the third one they were complete corporate whores and offensive by their existence, and thus songs like "Don't Stand So Close to Me" were mere slimy emanations of an already putrid swamp.

Jaku

Boom Boom wrote:

Probably every artist has lyrics in their collection of songs that will offend someone. Bob Dylan's lyrics to Lay Lady Lay (1969) included this: "Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile ..."

I don't recall any opposition to the lyrics at the time, but it'd probably raise hackles today.
ETA: I was in my first year of college when Dylan released this song, and recall it being played over and over again ad nauseum on the cafeteria juke box, along with the Supreme's Love Child.

ETA: everytime I heard Dylan sing this lyric ("stay with your man awhile ...") I flashed back to Tammy Wynette singing "Stand By Your Man". Talk about ewwwwww!!!


A musician friend of mine once swore that "Lay Lady Lay" was about Dylan's dog "Lady". Indeed he had a Golden Lab called Lady I am told.

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