"Rock N Roll Nigger" is a rock song written by Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye, and released on the Patti Smith Group's 1978 album Easter. The song has since been covered by several artists, and a remix was included on the soundtrack of the 1994 film Natural Born Killers.
The following is quoted from the album:
- nigger no invented for color it was MADE FOR THE PLAGUE the word (art) must be
- redefined-all mutants and the new babes born sans eyebrow and tonsil-outside logic-beyond
- mathematics poli-tricks baptism and motion sickness-any man who extends beyond the classic
- for is a nigger-one sans fear and despair-one who rises like rimbaud beating hard gold
- rythumn outta soft solid shit-tongue light is coiling serpant is steaming spinal avec ray gun
- hissing scanning copper head w/ white enamel eye wet and shining crown reeling thru gleem
- vegetation ruby dressing of thy lips puckering whispering pressing high bruised thighs silk route
- mark prussian vibrating gushing milk pods of de/light translating new languages new and
- abused rock n roll and lashing from tongue of me nigger
- 20.10.74 r.e.f.m.
U2 lead singer Bono references the song during an interlude in their performance of "Bullet the Blue Sky" on the Elevation 2001: U2 Live from Boston DVD. Marilyn Manson released a cover on the Smells Like Children remix album. Manson cut out both the spoken word "Babelogue" track (which is often performed together with "Rock N Roll Nigger" as one work) and the poem which is interspersed in the song and American Head Charge also released a cover on their 2013 EP Shoot.
- Those who have suffered
- understand suffering
- and thereby extend their hand
- The storm that brings harm
- also make fertile
- Blessed is the grass and herb
- and the tree of thorn and light
Punk bands Anti-Heros, Birdland and Toe to Toe also covered the song.
In 2008, the song was listed in The Pitchfork 500, a music guide published by Pitchfork Media that lists the top 500 songs between 1977 and 2006.
- ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Rock N Roll Nigger". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- ^ Murphy, Peter (August 20, 1997). "Nigger with attitude". Dublin, Ireland: Hot Press. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- ^ Huey, Steve. "Patti Smith Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- ^ Villepique, Greg (November 9, 1999). "Patti Smith: A punk icon in jeans and leather jacket, she added ecstasy and spiritual exaltation to the poet-songwriter equation.". Salon.com. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- ^ Sinagra, Laura (December 2, 2005). "ROCK REVIEW; Celebrating 'Horses' and Everything After". New York Times. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- ^ "Pitchfork 500". Retrieved 14 March 2009.