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Carl

Profanity in Songs

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Interesting sidenote:

I had a discussion once with my dad as to what song was the earliest top 40 hit to include profanity.

Best we could come up with was "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce but that was in '72 and "Sunshine" came out before then.

Any ideas?

It depends on what words you consider profane.

If it's the word "damn ";

> "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown " by Jim Croce is the earliest I can think of that hit the Top-40. (The song and album was released in 1973, by the way, not 1972).

The following facts are for the U.S. only:

The album, "Life And Times" was released in Jan. 1973.

The single, "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" was released in Apr. 1973.

The single first entered the Top-40 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart for the week ending 6/2/73, later peaking at #1.

If it's the word "sh*t";

> "Money " by Pink Floyd is the earliest I can think of that hit the Top-40. They say "bullsh*t" in the song.

The following facts are for the U.S. only:

The Album, "Dark Side Of The Moon" was released in Mar. 1973.

The single was released in Jun. 1973.

The single first entered the Top-40 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart for the week ending 6/23/73, later peaking at #13.

If it's the word "f**k ";

> "Who Are You " by The Who is the earliest I can think of that hit the Top-40. (Not in the U.S., but in the U.K.; so I have included the U.K. facts below, also).

Although the album version in both the U.S and the U.K. includes the word "f**k" in the song, only the U.K. single edit contains the word f**k; the U.S. single edit replaces the word f**k" with the word "hell."

The album, "Who Are You" was released in both the U.K. and the U.S. in 1978.

The single, "Who Are You" was released in both the U.K. and the U.S. in 1978.

The U.K. single (with the word "f**k" included), first entered the Top-40 of the U.K. Singles Chart for the week ending 7/29/78, later peaking at #18.

The U.S. single (without the word "f**k" included), first entered the Top-40 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart for the week ending 9/16/78, later peaking at #14.

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I got so tied up with the other songs, Rocky, that I forgot MuzikTyme mentioned the song "Sunshine".

If you consider the word "damn" to be a profane word, then yes,

"Sunshine " by Jonathan Edwards did come before Jim Croce's "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown".

He says the word "damned" in the song.

The following facts are for the U.S. only:

Jonathan Edwards self-titled debut album and the single "Sunshine" were both released in 1971.

The single first entered the Top-40 of the the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart for the week ending 12/4/71, peaking at #4 in Jan. 1972.

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I still remember Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" was edited for airplay, at least where I was growing up. For the line "making love in the green grass" they just repeated "laughing and running, hey, hey" from the first lines in the song.

That's how much standards have changed. :crazy:

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Very disappointed about Avril Lavigne's song "Girlfriend", which would be a great song for my kids, but she drops the full-on mofo, and all for no good reason that I can see... just dumped there in the middle of a perfectly poppy pop song. Idiot.

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Interesting sidenote:

I had a discussion once with my dad as to what song was the earliest top 40 hit to include profanity.

Best we could come up with was "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce but that was in '72 and "Sunshine" came out before then.

Any ideas?

Working Class Hero (Dec. 1970) - John Lennon

"But you're still f*cking peasants as far as I can see."

Then, what about all the other songs that didn't reach the Top 40 ? The earliest known versions of profanity.

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Very disappointed about Avril Lavigne's song "Girlfriend", which would be a great song for my kids, but she drops the full-on mofo, and all for no good reason that I can see... just dumped there in the middle of a perfectly poppy pop song. Idiot.

Yes, but fortunately it's a dreadful song. Get them on to Gaga

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Working Class Hero (Dec. 1970) - John Lennon

"But you're still f*cking peasants as far as I can see."

Then, what about all the other songs that didn't reach the Top 40 ? The earliest known versions of profanity.

"Working Class Hero" wasn't a Top-40 hit, so it falls into the "songs that didn't reach the Top 40" category.

Even earlier than that and not Top-40 is:

Jefferson Airplane used the word "sh*t" in 1968 on their song, "The House At Pooneil Corners", from their 'Crown Of Creation' album.

Jefferson Airplane also dropped the "F-Bomb" in 1969 when they used the words, "f**k" and "motherf**ker" in their song, "We Can Be Together" from their 'Volunteers' album.

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Wow, that must have caused quite a stir back in 1938, Bluesy. :o

Looks like it did!

From Wiki...

"Notoriety

Duchin's 1938 release of the Louis Armstrong song "Ol' Man Mose" (Brunswick Records 8155) with vocal by Patricia Norman caused a minor scandal at the time with the lyric "bucket" being heard as "******* it." Some listeners analyze the recording and conclude that there is no vulgarism uttered, while others are convinced that Norman does say '*******' (which would explain one of the band members laughing delightedly after Norman seems to chirp, "Aww, ******* it, *******-*******-******* it!").

The "scandalous" lyrics caused the record to zoom to #2 on the Billboard charts, resulting in sales of 170,000 copies when sales of 20,000 were considered a blockbuster. The song was banned after its release in Great Britain. The notorious number can be heard on a British novelty CD, "Beat the Band to the Bar."

source

Ok Rocky, this might be one of the earliest.

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Hmmm, I've given this intriguing topic; "Profanity in Songs" a lot of thought and consideration, however;

From what I've gathered, it's "Song of Solomon" (Song of Songs) or, more appropriately, שיר השירי×

Written in 957 B.C. and included the word, "death"

At that specific time, (death) was the worst word ANYONE could possibly utter, much less think about. People supposedly died by saying "death!"

That's the beginning of freewill and dissociation from what is profane or merely "words."

Most parents teach that even sticks and stones can break ones bones but what are WORDS for?

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Now that I think about it, "Hey Jude" was a top-40 hit. And very quietly Paul says "oh f***ing hell" in it. And no radio station ever caught it.

Well, there's some discussion as to who actually said that. It sounds more like John to me.

What he said was "Got the wrong chord; f**king hell." Or something like that.

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My personal opinion of that Cee-Lo song is that it's like putting on an armani suit and then smearing $hit all over it. The music is fantastic but the gutter language just ruins it.

I'm not a prude or anything. There are some songs where the emotion involved makes swearing in the lyrics justifiable, but this ain't one of them. It would be perfectly fine if the lyrics were actually supposed to be forget you.

Swearing for the sake of swearing is something that school kids do to try and look cool in front of each other.

Edited by Guest

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