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13 September 2007

Songs you love, but hate the lyrics/message... [More:]One that immediately jumps out for me is Public Enemy's "Fight the Power". Most everything in the song simply kills - the badass beat, the intensity, the overall message. But it irks me that Chuck D, as smart as he is, didn't have the foresight to change the lyrics:

Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Motherfuck him and John Wayne

Assuming he was referring to Elvis' infamous false quote, it wouldn't have been too hard for him to learn that Elvis was anything but a racist, even in the pre-Snopes era.
Chuck later distanced himself from the "racist" line, but I think he still uses them live. The song forever remains the same.
Ha! I saw the front page text and immediately started thinking about Public Enemy. It's not always that I hate their message, but I often think they didn't really think things through very well.
posted by cobra! 13 September | 10:52
Oh, here are a couple more: I love "Okie from Muskogee" and "Fightin' Side of Me" by Merle Haggard, even though I think Okie's pretty silly in its reactionariness and the politics of Fightin are repugnant.
posted by cobra! 13 September | 10:54
Well, Prince's "Sister" has always made me squirm a little bit, but it's a cool song.
posted by BoringPostcards 13 September | 11:02
Also, I used to think the Sex Pistols song "Bodies" was anti-abortion, but apparently it isn't.
posted by BoringPostcards 13 September | 11:03
I adore Madonna's "Material Girl" although the sentiments expressed in it are so far from my own. "But the boy with the cold hard cash is always Mr Right"
posted by essexjan 13 September | 11:04
I have trained myself not to pay attention to the content of Led Zeppelin's lyrics.
posted by interrobang 13 September | 11:06
I always thought of "Material Girl" as satire, whether Madonna meant it that way or not. (I like that song, too.)
posted by BoringPostcards 13 September | 11:07
I have trained myself not to pay attention to the content of Led Zeppelin's lyrics.

Yeah, at this point I can only really enjoy the Zeppelin songs that are either blues reappropriations or Plant paeans to sex; any time the faux-Tolkien shows up, I just can't handle it.
posted by cobra! 13 September | 11:11
Bruce's "Hungry Heart"
"Love the One You're With"

You can sense the theme.
posted by Miko 13 September | 11:23
I always was a fan of the Notorious BIG style, but didn't really listen to his lyrics until Blue Eyes Meets Bed Stuy. They take Biggie vocals and place them under a simple, stripped down jazz combo with a bit of a back beat. It really highlights Biggie's flow, and his horrible, horrible lyrics:

Hail Mary full of grace.. smack the bitch in the face;
take her Gucci bag and the North Face
off her back, jab her if she act
funny with the money oh you got me mistaken honey
I don't wanna rape ya, I just want the paper
The Visa, kapeesha? I'm out like, "The Vapors"

Later on ...

Then fuck your moms, hit the skins til amnesia
She don't remember shit! Just the two hits!
Her hittin the floor, and me hittin the clits!
Suckin on the tits! Had the hooker beggin for the dick
And your moms ain't ugly love; my dick got rock quick

And finally,

Stab ya til you're gushy, so please don't push.. me
I'm using rubbers so they won't trace the semen
The black demon, got the little hookers screamin
Because you know I love it young, fresh and green
with no hair in between, know what I mean?
posted by geoff 13 September | 11:28
Damn it Miko, now I have a vision of Bruce singing O.P.P. that I can't shake.
posted by arse_hat 13 September | 11:30
Rehab, Amy Winehouse. Because yeah, she needs rehab bad.
posted by typewriter 13 September | 11:32
Fans of "Okie from Muskogee" might like "Hippie From Olema" by the Papermill Creek Rounders.
posted by Triode 13 September | 11:35
Just about everything from Squeeze. The songs themselves are great, but the lyrics often sound rather artificial and forced.
posted by mrmoonpie 13 September | 11:41
I like some sacred music, but I am not religious... so, LOTS of stuff.
posted by chuckdarwin 13 September | 11:47
I'm with you, chuckdarwin. And as for Amy Winehouse, yeah, yeah she does.
posted by miss lynnster 13 September | 11:56
Most of The White Stripes stuff (especially newer) are fun to me musically but the lyrics are usually either dumb or meaningless (to me).
posted by drezdn 13 September | 12:02
I've trained myself not to pay attention to song lyrics at all.
posted by Daniel Charms 13 September | 12:03
Most things from Melissa Etheridge.
posted by chewatadistance 13 September | 12:04
OK, so that wasn't exactly true, but still, there's so many songs that I just can't listen to because the lyrics are too naive or simply incoherent.
posted by Daniel Charms 13 September | 12:04
Under My Thumb by the Rolling Stones. Love the music, but ...
posted by initapplette 13 September | 12:10
'Under My Thumb'? Shit, 'Brown Sugar.'
posted by box 13 September | 12:20
'Hey Joe'. The bass line just kills me, but the lyrics...
posted by jokeefe 13 September | 12:34
Yeah, "Under My Thumb", definitely.

I love to exercise to a few songs by 50 Cent. Listening to this kind of overtly sexist music goes against my sensibilities, but wow, do these songs motivate me to kick it up in high gear. My sister chastises me for listening to 50 Cent's misogynist lyrics. I told her not to be such a killjoy. She's right though. I wish I could get a hold of the music without lyrics.

Also, "Tunnel of Love" by Springsteen. I used to love this song as a kid. As an adult, I realize that the lyrics are cornball.

This is ultra embarrassing, but I love Jefferey Osborne's, "You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)". Always have. It's cheeseball, but I love it. He sings something like, "when the heat is on your mind." When sex is on your mind? When the penis is on your mind? Come to think of it, I like a few songs by Jeffrey Osbourne. I wonder what he is doing nowadays.
posted by LoriFLA 13 September | 12:40
Several of the above; most anything by the Manic Street Preachers; The Plan by Richard Hell & the Voidoids.
posted by misteraitch 13 September | 12:45
50 Cent instrumentals are out there, and they're available through the usual avenues (12"s and file-sharing, pretty much). Alterately, AskMe hip-hop faves like Common and Jurassic 5 are at least somewhat less potentially offensive.
posted by box 13 September | 12:56
Good question, and one that I wonder about myself quite a bit since my tastes in writing don't always correlate with lyrics. For instance, I've been a huge Flaming Lips fan for years and don't know many who are as emphatic about them as me, but sometimes Wayne's lyrics are really straight and touching, sometimes they're really trite and ridiculous. Usually, it's the same lines that cause such a reaction; Do You Realize? is a good example.

Also, I've really grown to hate anything written by Bob Dylan. This would take awhile to explain, so I won't.

Then again, I think that

If you knew Peggy Sue
Then you'd know why I feel blue

is the greatest couplet in rock ever. That's my dilemma and I'm sticking to it.

posted by sleepy_pete 13 September | 12:57
I wish I could get a hold of the music without lyrics.

I can help you out with that. I have it at home. Feel free to remind me.
posted by Hellbient 13 September | 12:57
Thanks hellbient, that's awfully nice of you! I'm in no hurry. I'll send you an email.
posted by LoriFLA 13 September | 13:09
The Ballad of Chasey Lain.
posted by eamondaly 13 September | 14:24
Chuck D's lyric refers to the situation leading to Elvis's fame as racist; that a white man singing black music would become quite famous, despite being less talented (in D's estimation, at least) than the innovators he was emulating. I've never interpreted that lyric as implying that Elvis himself was racist.
posted by Eideteker 13 September | 19:55
Of course that's it, Eide. I'm usually not one to take things so literally, but I must've been so seduced by the "shoe shining" Elvis scandal that I was prevented from reading between the lines.
Plus it makes more sense in the context of the song, instead of just randomly attacking two people as racist.
So perfectly incendiary, those lyrics.
posted by Hellbient 14 September | 09:25
New Favourite || worst prank ever.