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Aw Shucks: Softened Swears in Song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Elliottmarx, May 2, 2021.

  1. Elliottmarx

    Elliottmarx Always in the mood for Burt Bacharach Thread Starter

    Los Angeles
    I love how Rod Stewart sings 'God darn brain' in Jeff Beck Group's Shapes of Things to Come.

    Sometimes it's distracting, other times childish, but occasionally I find gentle swears more compelling than the real thing in a song. This is odd, because I swear quite a lot in real life.

    What are your favorite all-ages swears in popular song?
    Coppertop Tester, Em. and Colinjpush like this.
  2. John54

    John54 Senior Member

    Burlington, ON
    "Dang it"

    A novelty (Leader of the Pack parody) by the Detergents, Leader of the Laundromat:

  3. Celebrated Summer

    Celebrated Summer Forum Resident

    When Karen Carpenter covered Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years," she changed the phrase "crapped out" to "crashed out." It comes up in the bridge of the song. Guess the thought of singing "crap" was too profane for her.

  4. tonyballz

    tonyballz Roogalator

    When Peter Noone (of Herman's Hermits) recorded David Bowie's Oh! You Pretty Things in 1971, he changed the line "The earth is a bitch" to "The earth is a beast".

  5. majorlance

    majorlance Forum Resident

    PATCO Speedline
    ...which of course reminds me of this Roger Miller classic:

  6. majorlance

    majorlance Forum Resident

    PATCO Speedline
    Lou Reed drops an "aw, shucks" at about 1:10 here:

  7. tonyballz

    tonyballz Roogalator

    XTC extensively cleaned up their own lyrics for the Respectable Street single.

    First up, the filthy album version:

    Then the nice one:

  8. majorlance

    majorlance Forum Resident

    PATCO Speedline
    ...and Dylan drops one at about 1:15 here!

    Elliottmarx likes this.
  9. Two Sheds

    Two Sheds Forum Resident

    The Jam - 'The Modern World'

    "I don't give a damn about your review" on the single version replaces the album version's "I don't give two ****s about your review"

  10. sinistrail sentinel

    sinistrail sentinel Forum Resident

    United States
    Beach Boys "Honkin' Down The Highway"

    (opening lyric drops the GD bomb)

    Ryan Lux, ajsmith, MPLRecords and 2 others like this.
  11. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Columbus, Ohio
    Devil went down to Georgia single version vs album version
  12. The Dark Elf

    The Dark Elf Curmudgeonly Wordwraith

    I think Shane MacGowan got purposely drunk before singing "Bottle of Smoke" so as to obscure the sheer amount of f-bombs he lobs with an intoxicated slur.

    Oh wait...forget that theory. He was never purposely drunk, only purposely sober....on rare occasions.
    veloso2 likes this.
  13. " Omitted at the insistence of EMI "
  14. Em.

    Em. Forum Resident

    SoCal, USA
    "Only trouble is, gee whiz, I'm dreaming my life away."

    mando_dan, Elliottmarx, 1983 and 3 others like this.
  15. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    I love the "You know darn well" in America's "You Can Do Magic."
    Willow, Elliottmarx, 1983 and 2 others like this.
  16. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    a customer likes this.
  17. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    When Johnny Rivers covered Hoyt Axton's "Greenback Dollar" on one of his Whisky A Go Go albums, he sang, "I don't give a hang about a greenback dollar', but on the last chorus, he forgot to censor himself. Interestingly, after recording the song with the "damn" in it on his first album in 1962, Hoyt Axton re-recorded it substituting the word :hang" on his 5th album Mr. Greenback Dollar Man (1965) on the budget-line Surrey label. It's my guess that the surrey record execs told him to put the song on the album but to "clean it up."
  18. majorlance

    majorlance Forum Resident

    PATCO Speedline
    And of course there's "I know darn well" in this one:

  19. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    The clean version of Taylor Swift's Betty sees her change the line from "Would you tell me to go f myself?" to "Would you tell me to go straight to hell?"

  20. Kris-AOTY

    Kris-AOTY Guard the Spark

    Not on the same level but funny anyway: My high school garage band did a cover of Weezer’s ‘El Scorcho’. One day my girlfriend’s dad was in the audience. So I’m possibly the only singer in history to have started it off, “Hot dog you half-Japanese girls...”
  21. Rupert Holmes wrote the title song for this thread
  22. Autotune Sucks

    Autotune Sucks Forum Resident

    Little Rock, AR
    "Who Are You" with its radio-friendly substitution of "h#$%" for "f&*!"
  23. Autotune Sucks

    Autotune Sucks Forum Resident

    Little Rock, AR
    Also, "Jet Airliner" with the radio-cleansed "funky kicks" instead of the album's "funky s&*$"
  24. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I love Paul Davis and he always came across as pretty squeaky clean for having a nice run of pop hits. He used the phrase “dog gone” a lot!
    Elliottmarx, 1983 and Folknik like this.
  25. hi_watt

    hi_watt The Road Warrior

    San Diego, CA
    From Biz Markie's Just A Friend:

    "So I came to her room and opened the door
    Oh, snap! Guess what I saw?"
    Elliottmarx likes this.

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