Remember when ‘controversial’ songs caused a tabloid storm and important people like Radio 1 DJ Mike Reid suffered aneurysms? Now here are some that are clearly tame.
God Save The Queen – Sex Pistols
Perhaps the BBC banned it because it equated the Queen with a ‘fascist regime’. But 25 years later the song ‘They Made You a Fool’ can’t really be faulted. They left marmalade sandwiches outside Buckingham Palace for a fictional bear, for f**k’s sake.
Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
17-year-old Britney has been involved in a controversy over her schoolgirl outfit. Now it’s considered a pop classic, so you don’t have to hand yourself in to the police if you accidentally hear it in Asda.
Papa Don’t Teach – Madonna
The line ‘I am protecting my child’ caused a brief controversy. The British press is obsessed with teenage pregnancy and Madonna is apparently promoting Feckless breeding, saying you can’t get pregnant if you inhale freshener.
Relax – Frankie goes to Hollywood
The phrase ‘when do you want to come’ is strangely devoid of sexual references. The BBC banned it and Mike Reid called it ‘obscene’, but he’s a massive twat as his song Ukip Calypso (sample lyrics: ‘Illegal immigrants in every town’) later proved conclusively.
White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
It’s weird that people get confused about whether lyrics are about drugs. Of course they are about f**king drugs. There are pills, mushrooms, and hookah, and Grace Slick et al pick this children’s book at random. You’ll be hard-pressed to find drug references A bear called PaddingtonUnless confusing ‘marmalade sandwiches’ for microdots.
Smack My Bitch Up – The Prodigy
An undeniably problematic track – on the one hand the title is so misogynistic, on the other hand it’s not like anyone would consider it good relationship advice. The whole storm surrounding its release has died down and now you can hear it cheering on the school run.
Dear God – XTC
Of all the bands likely to receive a bomb threat to a radio station, you wouldn’t think of XTC. But when American Christians politely listen to atheist literature they go completely nuts. It’s funny to think that those who believe in a cruel almighty deity went wild with an art-rock band from Swindon whose senses are working overtime is the only thing anyone remembers now.
F**k Tha Police – NWA
The gangsta rap scare is long gone and America’s police still seem to have the upper hand. Now you love to hear Joe Wiley describe F**k Tha Police as a classic in a cozy BBC4 documentary.
Give Ireland Back to the Irish – Paul McCartney
Macca did not mention what to do with all loyalists who did not want to be returned to the Irish. Still, it’s a little too much to expect a solution to centuries of political and religious strife from the creator of the frog chorus, sample song: ‘La la la/ La la la la la la’
Lemon Incest – Serge and Charlotte Gainsbourg
A bit vague, but definitely controversial and somehow you have to respect Serge for making a song about adultery with his own daughter. Although he probably owes it to his countrymen for perpetuating the stereotype of the horribly oversexed Frenchman.