Tuesday Ten: 080: Swearing

Ideas for future Tuesday Tens are coming thick and fast at the moment, and indeed I have the core of two more already completed too, and this week’s was a late change of plan, mainly after I realised just how many songs could be included. So the other two I have planned will be held off until into August.


This week, then, it’s about swearing. Not just the odd use of a swear-word in a song, though, but more extensive use of swearing – and not just the word “fuck”, either. Although saying that, my iTunes came up with 237 entries when I searched just for the word “fuck”. Admittedly there was one compilation and one album, but still…So, here goes with ten songs (and eleven entries in total) with good or notable uses for swearing – and many more are on the Spotify playlist.

Kick Out The Jams
Kick Out The Jams

Quite possibly the best intro to a song ever, the immortal line “And right now it’s time to…Kick Out The Jams, Motherfuckers…!” got the band into a lot of trouble with their record label and even caused trouble with some stores refusing to stock the record. Endlessly imitated – and covered, of course – and the proto-punk of this track in particular was years ahead of it’s time. Amazing to think that just one swear-word in a song was treated as though it was going to bring the end of civilisation as we know it – and even more amazing to think that this song is now 40 years old.

A side-question – this was certainly one of the earliest recorded uses of swearing in recorded music that I know of, but trying to find a definitive answer appears to be rather tough. Can anyone help?

Rage Against The Machine
Killing In The Name
Rage Against The Machine

And now to a band who covered Kick Out The Jams for their covers album Renegades, but gained notoriety for their breakthrough single, now seventeen years old and still a track you are almost guaranteed to hear in metal clubs all over the world. Only a few lines of lyrics, it’s the repeated Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me that resulted in the track being heavily censored whenever it is played in mainstream media…unless you are Bruno Brookes, who infamously played the full uncensored version on the UK Top 40, back when it still mattered in ’92.

Super Furry Animals
The Man Don’t Give A Fuck
Songbook: The Singles Vol. 1

Talking of controversy, this single got somewhere near zero airplay, oddly enough, seeing as the lyrics use the word “fuck” forty-seven times (it was at one point the song to use the word the most, but Insane Clown Posse have since beaten this, apparently). Either way, it’s one of SFA’s best tracks by miles, in particular the legendary live version that often goes on for twenty minutes or so to close the set.

The Strand
I Hate My Fucking Job (Imperative Reaction Mix)

I’ve mentioned this before, I’ll mention it again. By far the greatest song released by this Arizona industrial band, in particular this remix of it, it’s a tirade against shitty McJobs whose anger and fury would have been considerably lessened had the key lines been shorn of swearing.

Deaf Dumb Blind

Watch on YouTube

Electronic-tinged rap metal some years before nu-metal became fashionable in the late-90s, Clawfinger’s first album raised lots of eyebrows for various reasons – Nigger‘s anti-racist tirade, The Truth‘s memorable – and very sweary – chorus…but it’s track three that makes it into the list. Why? For the reason that this is the only song I can think of that uses the word “twat” in the lyrics, and this from a Swedish band that sing in English, too…

Fucking Hostile
Vulgar Display Of Power

Back to immortal metal dancefloor songs again, and it’s time for the less-than-three-minute-long thrash that again is simply an outpouring of sheer rage, and again simply wouldn’t have the same effect without the swearing (just think about it: “uuuurrgghh…very hostile!“). Just in case you don’t know what this sounds like, or you just want to hear it’s brutal majesty again, a pretty good live version is in the YouTube playlist.

Martha Wainwright
Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole
Martha Wainwright

Hatred and rage crop up in this song, but in a very, very different way. Perhaps this was more of a shock thanks to Wainwright’s warm and sweet voice. Less of a shock, of course, was the sheer hate aimed at her father (Loudon Wainwright III), with her being part of a family that is hardly averse to airing their grievances about each other in public…

Everything’s Fucked

Watch on YouTube

Initially released on the Un-UK EP as Everything Sucks (Again), and was also censored in the same fashion to feature on The Crow: Salvation soundtrack, the “proper” version complete with extensive use of the word “fuck” was and always has been the version played live, needless to say. It was something of a departure for the band, though, as they rarely ever swore in any previous song that I can recall (certainly notable in the metal genre), although they made a subject of it in later song Keep It Clean, where it was anything but “clean”.

Fucked Equipment
Outlive Your Enemies

By some way my favourite Babyland track that I’ve heard, it’s also one built on an unusual base. The beat, while partly electronic, also has elements that sound like the beat was pounded out on something metallic with large hammers, giving a power that the seething vocal delivery only makes all the more potent.

Anal Cunt
[pretty much anything by them]

There aren’t many bands to be pretty much banned on the spot for their band name alone, but this band have a long-ish history – Seth Puttnam has been offending as many people as possible for over twenty years now, and even if you can’t make out the lyrics – this is grindcore, after all – the song titles and the band name tell you all you need to know. They’ve never been serious about what they do, it appears – although their quest to offend everybody always seemed pretty determined…

Venetian Snares
Die Winnipeg Die Die Die Fuckers Die
Winnipeg Is a Frozen Shithole

Finally (and an eleventh entry): quite possibly the most hate-fuelled album about an artist’s hometown ever, this is the seven-minute centrepiece that if you’re of a similar mind, could well make you want to go and join Aaron Funk in dancing on Winnepeg’s grave. This is vicious, vicious breakcore that barely stops for breath, and almost uniquely in this list, doesn’t audibly swear, except in the title (the vocal samples are so distorted you can barely catch them).

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