Ethically Iffy, Morally Questionable, Politically Incorrect and/or Roundly Objectionable Songs by Your Favorite Artists

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I'll start...

"Bring On the Nubiles" by the Stranglers

...why this is objectionable shouldn't require a lot of explanation.

GO!

Alex in NYC, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:12 (two months ago) Permalink

"Art Lover" by the Kinks

Alex in NYC, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:18 (two months ago) Permalink

probably "Sweet Home Alabama" or the spoken bits on Current 93''s Swastikas For Noddy

sleeve, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:18 (two months ago) Permalink

oh and "Down By The River"

sleeve, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:19 (two months ago) Permalink

Egg cream

good art is orange; great art is teal (wins), Friday, 6 October 2017 19:20 (two months ago) Permalink

"Living In China" - Men Without Hats

I wish I hadn't imprinted on this song when I was 7 and couldn't make out or understand most of the lyrics

Marcus Hiles Remains Steadfast About Planting Trees.jpg (DJP), Friday, 6 October 2017 19:22 (two months ago) Permalink

lol

sleeve, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:22 (two months ago) Permalink

"Guilty of Being White" by Minor Threat

Alex in NYC, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:23 (two months ago) Permalink

oops that was an xp to wins

sleeve, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:23 (two months ago) Permalink

"My Weapon" by XTC

Alex in NYC, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:23 (two months ago) Permalink

neil young and crazy horse's 'welfare mothers'

ATTACK MY RUSTY TOOLBOX (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 6 October 2017 19:24 (two months ago) Permalink

all of The Fall

imago, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:25 (two months ago) Permalink

"Girls" by the Beastie Boys

Alex in NYC, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:28 (two months ago) Permalink

"Handcuffs" by Parliament

Alex in NYC, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:28 (two months ago) Permalink

Kinks again, "Black Messiah"

henry s, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:29 (two months ago) Permalink

I'll start...

"Bring On the Nubiles" by the Stranglers

...why this is objectionable shouldn't require a lot of explanation.

GO!

― Alex in NYC, Friday, October 6, 2017 7:12 PM (seventeen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I can think of one that's probably more objectionable!

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Friday, 6 October 2017 19:31 (two months ago) Permalink

"Turtle Crazy" - Toy Dolls

Philip Nunez, Friday, 6 October 2017 19:35 (two months ago) Permalink

The Who, "I Don't Even Know Myself."

Townshend's demo, and the live versions played throughout 1970, contains the line "and no n----- will ever throw it."

By the time they first recorded it in late 1970, the line was changed to "and no one will ever throw it," and this was kept when they played it live starting in early 1971. A second recorded version, released as the b-side to "Won't Get Fooled Again," also had the new line.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 6 October 2017 20:05 (two months ago) Permalink

Queen's 'The March of the Black Queen' has the phrase "n***** sugar" in it, which I always thought was a bit "why?"

'Don't Try Suicide' doesn't come across well either.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Friday, 6 October 2017 20:13 (two months ago) Permalink

'Don't Try Suicide' comes across better than 'Death On Two Legs' which has the line "Do you feel like suicide / I think you should".

Zings Can Only Get Better (snoball), Friday, 6 October 2017 20:30 (two months ago) Permalink

"neil young and crazy horse's 'welfare mothers'"

i love singing along to neil's "stupid girl" when i play that album and i always think man this is dumb and mean and why am i singing along to this but it's totally fun to sing along to.

scott seward, Friday, 6 October 2017 20:36 (two months ago) Permalink

not as much of a fan as I once was but ... "Bengali in Platforms" by Morrissey

sarahell, Friday, 6 October 2017 20:38 (two months ago) Permalink

Police, "On Any Other Day"

P as in pterodactyl (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 6 October 2017 20:40 (two months ago) Permalink

Neighbourhood Bully -Dylan

Fine Toothcomb (sonofstan), Friday, 6 October 2017 20:42 (two months ago) Permalink

Jane's Addiction - "Whores"

Marcus Hiles Remains Steadfast About Planting Trees.jpg (DJP), Friday, 6 October 2017 20:49 (two months ago) Permalink

"neil young and crazy horse's 'welfare mothers'"

i love singing along to neil's "stupid girl" when i play that album and i always think man this is dumb and mean and why am i singing along to this but it's totally fun to sing along to.

'a man needs a maid' is pretty shitty too

ATTACK MY RUSTY TOOLBOX (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 6 October 2017 20:53 (two months ago) Permalink

There are many Led Zeppelin songs that qualify for this thread, but 'Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)' is particularly execrable as every. single. line. is. misogynistic.

Zings Can Only Get Better (snoball), Friday, 6 October 2017 20:58 (two months ago) Permalink

So many old Blues standards are paeans to paedophilia, domestic abuse, christian fundamentalism, murder etc.. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl by Sonny Boy Williams + Crow Jane by Skip Jones are two very dodgy ones that come to mind. And I find it hard to justify how much I love old dodgy shit like this, but I do.

One with no merit at all that comes to mind is Welfare Recipients by Just Ice. Like a rapper dissing poor people in the Regan era, and saying they are worthless, with that shit fake-ragga KRS 1 production that was a thing back then. I'd imagine this arsehole was probs one of them black Trump voters.

calzino, Friday, 6 October 2017 20:59 (two months ago) Permalink

idk what the point of this thread even is, I feel like this is the majority of popular music

Οὖτις, Friday, 6 October 2017 21:00 (two months ago) Permalink

Also in the cannon of 'which of their many objectionable songs do you pick?': Guns'N'Roses' 'One In A Million'.

Zings Can Only Get Better (snoball), Friday, 6 October 2017 21:03 (two months ago) Permalink

Grateful Dead - Jack Straw:

We can share the women
We can share the wine
We can share what we got of yours
'Cause we done shared all of mine

Duke, Friday, 6 October 2017 21:06 (two months ago) Permalink

I guess my point was to highlight songs from artists you otherwise generally admire/endorse/espouse, etc., and the quandaries that those songs pose. Sorry, should've fleshed it out more.

Alex in NYC, Friday, 6 October 2017 21:26 (two months ago) Permalink

i pretty much stopped listening to Iggy on the day i heard 'African Man'

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 6 October 2017 21:28 (two months ago) Permalink

I mean, Guns N' Roses' "One in a Million" is inarguably objectionable (see also "I Used to Love Her"), but -- personally speaking -- they've never been favorite artists of mine, and I think Axl Rose is roundly indefensible bozo, so I'm not at also surprised that he released such material.

Conversely, I still harbor a stubborn and nigh-on-inexplicable fondness for KISS (largely based in childhood nostalgia), but "Christine Sixteen" vaults majestically over the boundaries of taste, ethics, morals, etc. into very bad territory. Still, I'll never part with my KISS albums.

Alex in NYC, Friday, 6 October 2017 21:30 (two months ago) Permalink

Wonder how many Rolling Stones songs are gonna turn up here?

Wonder how many should?

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Friday, 6 October 2017 21:31 (two months ago) Permalink

"I Like Chinese by Eric Idle/Monty Python ... perhaps it was always intended to be objectionable, but I find it really difficult to listen to in 2017.

Alex in NYC, Friday, 6 October 2017 21:31 (two months ago) Permalink

I suppose there is the possible invocation of "poetic license," wherein some of these songwriters may have been assuming a character (lots of Nick Cave songs would spring to mind). I tend to wince at a line in "No Feelings" by the Sex Pistols, wherein Rotten claims that he'll "beat black and blue" the "pretty pot of glue" that's been following him around, but then -- by the song's titular admission -- he's acknowledging that he -- or the song's protagonist -- is devoid of compassion. So, as such, is he forgiven for such a line?

Alex in NYC, Friday, 6 October 2017 21:36 (two months ago) Permalink

All the most ethically suspect Stones songs are also the most exciting so I don't find them truly objectionable. Provocative is a better word. Mick is obviously playing the devil and his main motive for crossing lines is being horny which I sort of feel is fair game.

gospodin simmel, Friday, 6 October 2017 21:40 (two months ago) Permalink

lol rmde

Οὖτις, Friday, 6 October 2017 21:42 (two months ago) Permalink

wasn't aware that part of being horny was being racist

Οὖτις, Friday, 6 October 2017 21:43 (two months ago) Permalink

ok, sorry

gospodin simmel, Friday, 6 October 2017 21:45 (two months ago) Permalink

Rush - Anthem

Live for yourself, there's no one else
More worth living for
Begging hands and bleeding hearts will only cry out for more

I'm so glad Neil Peart grew out of his Randian phase by the fifth album or so.

めんどくさかった (Matt #2), Friday, 6 October 2017 22:06 (two months ago) Permalink

"No Vaseline"

Futuristic Bow Wow (thewufs), Friday, 6 October 2017 22:11 (two months ago) Permalink

Also,

idk what the point of this thread even is, I feel like this is the majority of popular music

Shakey OTM

Futuristic Bow Wow (thewufs), Friday, 6 October 2017 22:13 (two months ago) Permalink

Dire Straits - Les Boys

kornrulez6969, Friday, 6 October 2017 23:02 (two months ago) Permalink

Kinks again, "Black Messiah"

― henry s

god, so many kinks songs. "when i turn out the living room light"!

bob lefse (rushomancy), Friday, 6 October 2017 23:03 (two months ago) Permalink

Hours and hours of Frank Zappa songs, from "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" onward.

WilliamC, Friday, 6 October 2017 23:31 (two months ago) Permalink

fahey- 'revolt of the dyke brigade'

global tetrahedron, Friday, 6 October 2017 23:47 (two months ago) Permalink

Whoever wrote the lyrics to 'My Lean Baby', performed by Sinatra, really odd and kinda fucked up.

MaresNest, Friday, 6 October 2017 23:47 (two months ago) Permalink

junior kimbrough 'you better run'

mookieproof, Saturday, 7 October 2017 01:37 (two months ago) Permalink

I believe Neil Young has taken a lot of flak for "A Man Needs a Maid" over the years. Even John Mendelsohn, who liked the song, made mention of its "brazen(ness)" (read political incorrectness, before it had a name) in his 1972 Rolling Stone review:

"Only 'A Man Needs a Maid,' in which Neil treats his favorite theme--his inability to find and keep a lover--in a novel and arrestingly brazen (in term's of our society's accelerating consciousness of women's rights) manner, is particularly interesting..."

clemenza, Saturday, 7 October 2017 22:14 (two months ago) Permalink

dunno, find Young's vulnerability in that song at odds with the subject - but get the flak

Week of Wonders (Ross), Saturday, 7 October 2017 22:37 (two months ago) Permalink

welcome back alex!

Einstein, Bazinga, Sitar (abanana), Saturday, 7 October 2017 22:44 (two months ago) Permalink

Alice in Chains - "Queen of the Rodeo"

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Saturday, 7 October 2017 22:48 (two months ago) Permalink

agnostic front - public assistance

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Saturday, 7 October 2017 22:49 (two months ago) Permalink

slayer - satan doesn't like it when you jack off on the seat

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Saturday, 7 October 2017 22:50 (two months ago) Permalink

TSOL - Code Blue

WilliamC, Saturday, 7 October 2017 23:43 (two months ago) Permalink

Type O Negative - Der Untermensch

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Sunday, 8 October 2017 00:43 (two months ago) Permalink

Speaking of X, Johnny Hit and Run Pauline is a tough listen even if it's meant as a sicko character study.

that's not my post, Sunday, 8 October 2017 03:19 (two months ago) Permalink

Foo Fighters - Big Me (we know u got a big dick Grohl don't gotta rub it in)

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Sunday, 8 October 2017 03:22 (two months ago) Permalink

Aphex Twin - Windowlicker
Devo - Mongoloid

plp will eat itself (NickB), Sunday, 8 October 2017 08:10 (two months ago) Permalink

Not a Lemmon stan, whatever that is, but am sure that Run For Your Life is less about an imagined girlfriend-murdering character and more about a (quite juvenile) black humour based around some of the more questionable tropes of rock & roll - dry clowning without really questioning the underlying issue. Obvious that Lennon would feel embarrassed about it later, most people feel this way about their juvenile humour, especially when it has that personal connection to his physical violence.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 8 October 2017 09:32 (two months ago) Permalink

hi alex in nyc!!

my first answers are "shake ya ass" and "bitch please II" but there are so many

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 8 October 2017 09:50 (two months ago) Permalink

the the : violence of truth.

i never did get a response as to why matt felt the need to use the n word.

mark e, Sunday, 8 October 2017 10:20 (two months ago) Permalink

Lots of Death in June.

heaven parker (anagram), Sunday, 8 October 2017 10:36 (two months ago) Permalink

If Death In June is your favourite artist you can hardly be surprised at their / his questionable ethics.

めんどくさかった (Matt #2), Sunday, 8 October 2017 10:59 (two months ago) Permalink

He's not my favourite artist by any means, but I still have a lot of time for the early stuff when he was part of the Current 93/Coil/NWW crew.

heaven parker (anagram), Sunday, 8 October 2017 11:02 (two months ago) Permalink

Not a Lemmon stan, whatever that is, but am sure that Run For Your Life is less about an imagined girlfriend-murdering character and more about a (quite juvenile) black humour based around some of the more questionable tropes of rock & roll - dry clowning without really questioning the underlying issue. Obvious that Lennon would feel embarrassed about it later, most people feel this way about their juvenile humour, especially when it has that personal connection to his physical violence.

― mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length)

"run for your life" is the work of the lennon who, in his youth, delighted in doing physical caricatures of cripples, and was only dissuaded from same slowly and at great length.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Sunday, 8 October 2017 12:33 (two months ago) Permalink

Yes, that's what I mean, a cruel, juvenile sense of humour, which he later grew out of (not saying he was a wonderful person later on, but he stopped *this* bullshit at least, eventually.) Think RFYL is degrees more interesting than those horrible impressions though.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 8 October 2017 14:12 (two months ago) Permalink

the older i get the more credit i'm willing to give lennon for, like, actual personal growth, which was not a necessity for him after about 1963. lennon thought mocking cripples was hilarious, eventually grew out of it and became embarassed by it... and then you have people who mock cripples when they're fucking 70 years old and get elected president anyway. lennon wasn't a wonderful person, but these days i'm not honestly convinced that humanity has much better to offer.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Sunday, 8 October 2017 14:24 (two months ago) Permalink

More early Squeeze:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gqkb-UAjebg
Thankfully they grew out of this kind of thing

PaulTMA, Sunday, 8 October 2017 15:33 (two months ago) Permalink

<i>Devo - Mongoloid</i>

Ah, good one. Totally forgot that one. Also, "Pink Pussycat" is vaguely disquieting in that capacity (though still an excellent track, to my mind).

The point upthread about the Stranglers going well out of their way to be provocative in that era is completely spot-on, but that does't necessarily absolve them, so to speak.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 9 October 2017 15:27 (two months ago) Permalink

Oops, i've forgotten how to properly format here. It's been that long.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 9 October 2017 15:27 (two months ago) Permalink

I can think of a few but black metal is low-hanging fruit.

Also: what's so morally objectionable about 'Windowlicker'? The French lyric 'j'aime faire des croquettes au chien', i.e. 'I like to make biscuits out of dog meat'? The video? Its prelude, perhaps, but that assumes the song is inseparable from its visual component.

pomenitul, Monday, 9 October 2017 15:46 (two months ago) Permalink

'Windowlicker' is offensive UK slang for someone with Down's syndrome or a similar disability

plp will eat itself (NickB), Monday, 9 October 2017 15:50 (two months ago) Permalink

Ah, I had no idea. My French-inflected mind automatically associated it with 'faire du lèche-vitrine, i.e. 'window-shopping'.

pomenitul, Monday, 9 October 2017 15:55 (two months ago) Permalink

Devo - Mongoloid

if this one bothers you probably don't pay attention to the lyrics on any of the Hardcore Devo stuff, especially "Bamboo Bimbo". just gross all around.

frogbs, Monday, 9 October 2017 16:05 (two months ago) Permalink

Gil Scott Heron - The Subject Was Faggots

nicky lo-fi, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 13:29 (two months ago) Permalink

'Windowlicker' is offensive UK slang for someone with Down's syndrome or a similar disability

― plp will eat itself (NickB),

I had no idea

starving street dogs of punk rock (Odysseus), Wednesday, 11 October 2017 13:49 (two months ago) Permalink

I don't think it's that commonplace, I'd never heard anyone say it, I only found out about it due to this crappy punk band from London that were around in the 00s called Short Bus Window Lickers, I knew what Short Bus meant and that made it pretty obvious.

Colonel Poo, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 13:52 (two months ago) Permalink

i'm about the same age as RDJ, maybe its use was confined to that generation

plp will eat itself (NickB), Wednesday, 11 October 2017 14:15 (two months ago) Permalink

Sparks - Young Girls

kitchen person, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 14:36 (two months ago) Permalink

Maybe nick its only used in a certain part of the uk? pretty sure we are about the same age roughly

starving street dogs of punk rock (Odysseus), Wednesday, 11 October 2017 18:11 (two months ago) Permalink

In the past I've heard it used in both Western Scotland and London, fwiw

MaresNest, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 18:24 (two months ago) Permalink

I've only ever (over)heard it being used twice.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 October 2017 19:07 (two months ago) Permalink

I've heard it in west of scotland in the 90s. Well more "Windae" licker obv.

-_- (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 11 October 2017 19:16 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm from Australia and encountered it in imported English culture before the Aphex record.

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Wednesday, 11 October 2017 19:30 (two months ago) Permalink

Weird thing to be hipster about

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Thursday, 12 October 2017 02:07 (two months ago) Permalink

On the same Aphex vibe I have always felt Rubber Johnny was built around horror of physical disability. Perhaps more Chris Cunningham's fault than Richard James'.

attention vampire (MatthewK), Thursday, 12 October 2017 08:31 (two months ago) Permalink

Ah, I had no idea. My French-inflected mind automatically associated it with 'faire du lèche-vitrine, i.e. 'window-shopping'.

― pomenitul

i kind of assumed it was a drug reference, some variation of "windowpane"

bob lefse (rushomancy), Thursday, 12 October 2017 11:20 (two months ago) Permalink

This was my assumption too.

how's life, Thursday, 12 October 2017 20:44 (two months ago) Permalink

I don't know if morally objectionable is the right word, and I think it's an amazing songwriting but I never know how to feel about Graham Parker's "You Can't Be Too Strong." Not many songs have taken on abortion in an artistic way, and he has since claimed it being interpreted as anti-abortion was incorrect (he was intending to present it from three perspectives then "you decide what's wrong" as he sings at the end) but...it's always somewhat troubled me even though like I said I don't completely know how to feel about it or interpret it.

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 12 October 2017 21:25 (two months ago) Permalink

some of you ppl don't like characterizations in lyrics

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 12 October 2017 21:30 (two months ago) Permalink

<i>Devo - Mongoloid</i>

Ah, good one. Totally forgot that one. Also, "Pink Pussycat" is vaguely disquieting in that capacity (though still an excellent track, to my mind).

― Alex in NYC

"bamboo bimbo" is miles more offensive than either of these. just a vile song.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Friday, 13 October 2017 02:07 (one month ago) Permalink

There are a few tracks by NWA that would qualify ! Right now I'm listening to "She Swallowed It"...

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 13 October 2017 13:19 (one month ago) Permalink

The police deserve a bit more respect than they got from those guys imo

President Keyes, Friday, 13 October 2017 13:29 (one month ago) Permalink

Saw "Mongoloid" mentioned, and I'll add a lot of stuff from those "Hardcore Devo 1974-77" collections.

Scape: Goat-fired like a dog! (Myonga Vön Bontee), Saturday, 14 October 2017 23:13 (one month ago) Permalink

As frogbs noted

Scape: Goat-fired like a dog! (Myonga Vön Bontee), Saturday, 14 October 2017 23:16 (one month ago) Permalink

Came in to say "Run For Your Life," which I just can't see as a clever persona piece, it's just a mean ugly bad song I hope he later regretted.

So I guess I'll go with "Beat on the Brat."

Guayaquil (eephus!), Sunday, 15 October 2017 02:40 (one month ago) Permalink


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