Talk:Censorship of music

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Freedom of speech (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Freedom of speech, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Freedom of speech on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject History  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject History, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the subject of History on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Media  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Media, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Media on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Philosophy  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Religion  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Religion, a project to improve Wikipedia's articles on Religion-related subjects. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the wikiproject page for more details.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Ideas for expansion[edit]

violet/riga (t) 21:51, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

On the off-chance that someone will actually improve this article after nearly 10 years.... It absurdly fails to mention the obscenity prosecutions related to records by Dead Kennedys and 2 Live Crew, nor the infamous Body Count "Cop Killer" controversy that saw the song removed from subsequent pressings. All of which can be read about in detail on this site... Jtcarpet (talk) 02:04, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

How about mentioning the ban on 150 songs on most of the radiostations in the US after 9/11? I remember when they actually took songs off the air for inappropriate lyrics, such as AC/DC's "Safe in New York City", Saliva's "Click Click Boom" and the like. KNewman 03:02, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)

  • Definately worth a mention. violet/riga (t) 19:53, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Actually, that 150 song list is not an official ban. The list was a suggested list, the songs were never officially removed from playlists by fiat of corporate censorship. Also, the list mostly came from an overzealous employee who sent it around, and it grew little by little until it included songs like "Brain Stew" by greenday, and "Burning Down The House" by Talking Heads (oddly, I don't think "Psycho Killer" was banned). If anyone knows the name of it - their was one Bob Dylan single in the 60s that radio stations wouldn't play because of the word shit - and how could you guys forget about backmasking in the ways of cencorship. I'm sure you've heard songs on the radio where the guy can't give a 'kuf' or is sick of this 'ish.' An example would be the radio edit of Sum 41's Fat Lip. THollan (t)

I think the song list is still worth mentioning as "suggested censorship". I came up with the word censorship methods off of the top of my head, and so thanks for adding in backmasking. violet/riga (t) 21:23, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Bob Dylans song with shit in the lyrics was called "George Jackson" and *"Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus' --- is by (Serge Gainsbourg) a good link would be and The Primo (t) 16:47, 22 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The criticism section only really mentions those against censorship, as does the whole article. To be fair, we need more pro-censorship viewpoints.Ultrauber (talk) 05:10, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

I know the song I'm going to reference doesn't have a censored version, but I think it's worth mentioning: in the second line of the second stanza of "Everybody's changing" by the band Keane, I often mishear the line "and I can see the pain in your EYES" as "and I can see the pain in your ASS" --Marce 19:23, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

serious analysis[edit]

With all due respect to the freedom of speech, etc. the page as it stands seems to be a mere vehicle for pop groups to blow their own trumpets (well, the trumpets played by the session musicians hired by the recording companies). Wiki is not just another space in which to advertise one's wares.

Censorship in music goes back to Confucius, Plato and Aristotles. Maybe we could give some more background information, and the implications of censorship, to what is a serious matter and perhaps relegate specific cases to a sub-section of examples (throughout the ages - not just stuff from the age of freedom opened up by the punks). 11:24, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

And also with all due respect, I would like to ask why infoboxes for musicians or bands have the word "ACTS" in the field "Related ACTS" instead of "Related SINGERS" or "Related BANDS", does Wikipedia think musicians/bands are the same as theatre/theater/movie/television actors? No. MUSICIANS ARE MUSICIANS, NOT ACTORS, SO WE SHOULDN'T CALL THEM OR THEIR BANDS "ACTS".An alternative would be to use the neutral "Related PERFORMERS", but, again, this may suggest musicians/bands are the same as theatre/theater/movie/television actors. --Marce 22:33, 28 October 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fandelasketchup (talkcontribs)

Beethoven not played in Israel?[edit]

Are there any sources that say that Beethoven was not played in Israel because of supposed "Nazi connections"? 06:35, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

The examples[edit]

Need sources that call it censorship. There is also a vague area where private decision not to play music is being called censorship. For example, If I choose not to have a particular artist in my collection, or simply choose not to listen to it that day, it is not censorhip.Some for of authority would generally have to be excercised. --Tbeatty 06:33, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

This article is in general very poorly cited. One example: Tom Petty's "You Don't Know How It Feels" was censored, at least in much of the US and most infamously in the MTV airings of the video, by reversing the word "joint." I've never heard "'hit' another joint," only the reversed and uncensored versions. I've fixed it (with cite to an official MTV site with the censored version) but from looking around the Interwebs it seems like this is now an urban myth that has gained a lot of steam. (talk) 02:20, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Internet-Only songs[edit]

Some songs are so offensive they are only released on the Internet but never onto a CD, such as Blink-182's "I Wanna Fuck A Dog In The Ass" and "When You Fuck Grandpa." MotherFerginPrincess (talk) 14:07, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Both of those songs were released on CD though. "Fuck a Dog" and "Grandpa is an Asshole" were both released on their 2001 album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. Blink-182 has no internet only songs as of now.

Censorship in Rap section[edit]

It strikes me as though the "Censorship in Rap" section doesn't belong because it fails to represent a worldwide view of the subject (refers only to France) and is not encyclopedic (promotes a political stance on censorship of rap in France, using phrases like "censorship should not come from the French government" and "artists must realize"). Even with citations, political opinions do not befit Wikipedia, so I'm again removing this section. If you disagree, discuss it instead of simply undoing the change. MssngrDeath (talk) 15:51, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

marilyn manson edit[edit]

why everyone is so simple,i dont know.another thing i dont know is how many times i will have to say,MARILYN MANSON IS NOT JUST THE SINGER,IT IS A BAND.just because the singer and band share the same name,people assume he's solo.its i moved them to the bands list instead of artist. owned sorry for the anger,but its annoying —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:08, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Censorship bleep frequency[edit]

What frequency are those beeps normally? This sample seems to put it at 1kHz. Is that right? Is there a standard frequency for the tone that the FCC uses in the USA? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

confusing sentence fragment removed[edit]

"The lyrics "her boyfriend's a dick" with the word dick being omitted from the radio version of the song." What song? This sentence doesn't appear to be referring to anything, and technically isn't even a true sentence. Deleted unless someone knows what song it was referring to and can include the information as a SENTENCE, not a SENTENCE FRAGMENT. Cheers! (talk) 09:57, 13 February 2009 (UTC)Rob


Attempted some cleanup, more is needed though. My thoughts;

  • The list of examples below Airplay censorship is very large.
  • Maybe a difference should be made between vulgar words (fuck, dick, asshole, etc.) and politically incorrect words (gun, kill, drugs, etc.) as the rest of the article also discusses different kinds of censorship.
  • In some examples of songs the album which it came from was mentioned, I removed these references to maintain consistency.
  • It is "a European" see (or Google "a European" vs "an European" though that is not technically proof ^_^).
  • The Censorship of artwork section is too small and doesn't really belong here IMHO because it's not about music, but about artwork related to music.

That's all I can think of right now. S!lver NL (talk) 08:43, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Edit: the artists section is unnecessary; the examples of airplay censorship already mention the artists involved and the ones that have to do with authorities should be mentioned in the Political censorship section. S!lver NL (talk) 08:50, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Application of Censorship[edit]

In many European countries, espcially in Germany, there is mostly no censorship (except of nazi stuff) in music and TV. it's possible to say swearwords (English or German). Saemikneu (talk) 14:18, 1 May 2010 (UTC)


I don't know how this article can be expected to be taken seriously when you leave out earlier attempts to ban songs from the radio.

"They're Coming To Take Me Away - Ha Ha." by Napoleon Bonaparte XV was a song that 1960's AM radio banned.

"I Think We're Alone Now" by Tommy James and the Shondells was also the target of a 1960's radio ban. Sexmoron (talk) 03:34, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Could you please add them then? S!lver NL (talk) 18:43, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


In the section about Political censorship, it leads with "Although not common in most democratic societies, more authoritarian governments censor music deemed critical of the government, the military, stores, TV stations, or other authorities." It then cites as an example "The line in Eminem's song Mosh off of Encore "Strap Bush with an AK-47, let him go fight his own war, let him impress daddy that way" the words "Bush" and "AK-47" were censored...", implying that the United States government or George W. Bush censored the song. Is this the case? If so, it should be made much more clear that the G. W. Bush regime engaged in authoritarian censorship. (talk) 04:06, 31 May 2011 (UTC)


This article seems to be about popular music only -- maybe it should be renamed "censorship of popular music"? Is that the intent of any of the contributors, or shall we expand the scope? There was music before 1940, and in places other than the United States, and plenty of censorship. Polyphonic music based on secular songs was occasionally censored in Italy in the 16th century. Beethoven's Fidelio collided with the Imperial censor, and Verdi's experience was worse. And obviously the Nazis prohibited performances of music by Jewish composers, as well as all others considered "degenerate". A big section needs to be written, if the current title is to be retained (might be a fun job, and it is a huge topic). Antandrus (talk) 00:13, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

As a brief followup, I'm looking to see if I can find some decent sources for an expansion backwards in time, and into other genres than just popular music. For example, censorship of music in the Soviet Union was a huge deal. Exactly how we define "censorship" is quite important -- Louis Bourgeois spent time in a Geneva jail in 1551 for writing some new music to psalms without a license, and what he did was burned -- Calvinists didn't like music much -- but is that censorship? Antandrus (talk) 01:08, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Teardrops on My Guitar by Taylor Swift[edit]

The song "Teardrops on My Guitar" by Taylor Swift should be added to the list of censored songs because it has two versions: one where the second verse contains the line "I laugh 'cause he's so damn funny" and the other which replaces the D-word with "I laugh 'cause he's just so funny".--Fandelasketchup (talk) 13:28, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Corporation censorship[edit]

If a corporation hides or blocks a song or a music video from the Internet because of some people are from the wrong country, isn't that also a form of censorship? Jørgen88 (talk) 13:37, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Removal of swear words[edit]

We're having a little issue in the article where a couple of similar IP addresses have taken out naughty words and replaced them with asterisks, to the point that it isn't really possible to tell what the original words were. In this context, I think it's fine to leave the original words in the article. I think this would support the concept of WP:NOTCENSORED, but I don't want to edit war. Thoughts? EricEnfermero HOWDY! 01:22, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

I think this is getting to the point where the IP's are vandalizing this and other articles, so reverting them is all right. It's extremely difficult to discuss anything with dynamic IP's, obviously, and I've had no response to my attempts to do so.[1][2] Perhaps because the user has never seen them. I hope they'll decide to create an account and take ownership of their edits, so it becomes possible to have a discussion with them. Hopefully it won't have to go so far as to semiprotection of a whole range of, uh, outspoken articles. (Speaking as an admin, EricEnfermero, you can blame me if somebody should accuse you of edit warring.) Bishonen | talk 20:05, 6 August 2014 (UTC).

Censorship of pop music[edit]

Under the first section, near the end, about "Distortion" it says that "less offensive words such as 'pussy'... are distorted". The word "pussy" is one of the more offensive I think, being a 'female genital' word, not one of the "less" offensive. However, to be fair, there are no offensive words in hip hop in its right time, place and listenership. What the article says also raises the question: less offensive than what? User:aspaa 04:24, 26 December 2015 (UTC).

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Censorship of music. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 03:07, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

Picture to Burn[edit]

Taylor Swift could have easily changed the lyrics from "That's fine, I'll tell mine that you're gay" to, for example, "That's fine, I won't mind if you stay" instead of having radio stations change them to "That's fine, you won't mind if I say". Don't you think the former line sounds as good as the latter? --Fandelasketchup (talk) 20:43, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Confusion over paragraph[edit]

I am confused over the following paragraph taken from the "Editing for content" section:"Bowling for Soup's '1985 had three radio edits. One with the lyric 'One Prozac a day' changed to 'One workout a day' and 'She's gonna shake her ass' is sometimes replaced with 'She's gonna shake it right'. Another edit has 'One Prozac a day' being skipped to 'Husband's a CPA'. And the line 'She's gonna shake her ass. On the hood of Whitesnake's car' being replaced by 'Not a big Limp Bizkit fan. Thought she'd get a hand.' the latter line is heard in the second verse." See? The paragraph mentions the song has three radio edits, but only discusses two. Where's the third, missing radio edit? --Fandelasketchup (talk) 14:52, 18 August 2016 (UTC)