Rock N Roll Nigger

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"Rock N Roll Nigger"
Song by Patti Smith from the album Easter
Released March 3, 1978 (1978-03-03)
Recorded Record Plant Studios
Genre Punk rock
Length 3:13
Label Arista
Writer Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye
Producer Jimmy Iovine
Audio sample
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"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.[1][2][3][4][5]


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[citation needed]. 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.[6]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Rock N Roll Nigger". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ Murphy, Peter (August 20, 1997). "Nigger with attitude". Dublin, Ireland: Hot Press. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ Huey, Steve. "Patti Smith Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ 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.". Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ Sinagra, Laura (December 2, 2005). "ROCK REVIEW; Celebrating 'Horses' and Everything After". New York Times. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Pitchfork 500". Retrieved 14 March 2009.