Thursday, March 21, 2013

BBC digital radio station censors lyric in Elvis Costello hit Oliver's Army

It has been played in full thousands of times and without causing a fuss.

But Elvis Costello’s hit song Oliver’s Army was censored to remove the word ‘n*gger’ when it was recently played on a BBC digital station to the surprise of listeners.

The song, taken from the album Armed Forces, is one of Costello’s best-known and has received endless plays across all BBC radio stations without any complaint – until now.

The line in question is heard at the end of the second verse before the chorus: ‘One more widow, one less white n*gger’.

A listener who heard the edited tune on Steve Lamacq’s show on 6 Music was prompted to complain to Radio 4’s Feedback, stating the word was actually necessary for the song: 'I do know the song inside out, as most people probably do, then all of sudden – clunk- it had the n-word taken out.

The listener said that their understanding of the lyric was that it referred to British troops in Northern Ireland who used the phrase as a derogatory term for the Irish.

He added: ‘Although it is not a nice phrase and I wouldn’t condone the use of the word these days, it is an anti-war song as far as I believe, arguing against British colonialism and the word would be appropriate for that song.’



Anonymous said...

So, you don't believe the Brits are a quickly-dying society? Here's proof.

Anonymous said...

Once again history is to be rewritten to appease the loopy left. This is blatant censorship just for the sake of it. There is no element of racism involved but merely social commentary of the time when the song was written.

Anonymous said...

*Women is the n-word of the world, yes she is" -- John Lennon.

"Rock n' Roll n-word" -- Patti Smith

I'll just continue playing the original "nigger" version, thank you very much.

TheOldMan said...

The former Senator Robert "KKK" Byrd (D-WVa) noted in a mid-2000s television interview that he had known many white n*ggers in his day. You can find the interview on YouTube. I don't recall any great uproar from the perenially-aggrieved left about it.