PDA

View Full Version : A ruiner of songs



Daishi
2006-07-13, 06:02 PM
I was listening to some greeday yesterday, and I started thinking. And before we start arguing, there is no point in arguing over what music is good, everyone has different points of view. But anyway, I was listening to Greenday, and in my opinion, they have some pretty good songs. The only problem is all the swears. Swearing isn't a magic wand that instantly boosts the approval rating of a song. Well, maybe it is, but I really just think that the songs would be fine without swearing. Because of the bad language, I can't blast the music like I want to (I'm 11 years old). Do any of you think that bands like greenday could do without swears?

Vaynor
2006-07-13, 06:06 PM
Well, sometimes it's kind of necessary to use them, to emphasize certain points. I believe Jonathan Coulton (joanthancoutlon.com/songs) does the same thing too sometimes though. Most of the ones he uses aren't too bad though. ;)

Daishi
2006-07-13, 06:08 PM
I can understand that, but, but, arrgghh, I can't really explain it. I think greeday could at least tone down the swears, just a bit.

Arian
2006-07-13, 06:59 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about people who wrote good songs (or chose good songs to record) but who sang appallingly badly and wrecked them.

Bob Dylan being the archetypical example. ;D

The_Logic_Ninja
2006-07-13, 07:03 PM
I can understand that, but, but, arrgghh, I can't really explain it. I think greeday could at least tone down the swears, just a bit.

The problem is that as an 11-year-old, you are not Green Day's target audience. Swearing is vaguely rebellious and therefore big in the punk culture they're appealing to.

Vaynor
2006-07-13, 07:14 PM
The problem is that as an 11-year-old, you are not Green Day's target audience. Swearing is vaguely rebellious and therefore big in the punk culture they're appealing to.
Exactly. :P

The Glyphstone
2006-07-13, 07:19 PM
Anyone ever heard Weird Al's "Bob"? I heard a Dylan song on the radio a few days ago, and thought it was Al's imitation of him, it was so accurate. :)

Hungerdog
2006-07-13, 07:21 PM
^

Yep. Pure genius.

Extremely amusing, in an appalling sort of way.

motivatedjanza
2006-07-13, 07:29 PM
I'm a huge Disturbed fan(metal). And I COMPLETELY agree with the Logic Ninja. *Swearing is for punk, metal, or even country (to a point) bands to show their rebelliousness and thereby furfill their stereotypical classifications, which, unfortunately is a necessity for any band to survive in today's music industry.

Ninja, you certainly live up to your namesake.

Tanking_101
2006-07-13, 08:32 PM
I most don't like the fact that so many bands swear in there songs. I really like green day but I can't listen to them swear it's just an instant turn off. of course I have an IQ higher than 8 so I can usually come up with better words to say. I mean they could use words that ake it funny or just say it without cussing.

Lilly
2006-07-13, 09:34 PM
Don't we already have a thread about excessive swearing?

I thought you guys were going to be talking about Bob Dylan too! Becuase I have to listen to the "Best of Bob Dylan" CD every time my family goes on a road trip, ((It's worse than "The Best of Queen" trust me)) and I can stand him in small doses, but not the three disc set.

Or how the radio station overplaying a perfectly good song turns it into something that you never want to listen to again. I like all the songs on Greenday's "American Idiot" the first three times I heard them. But then my radio station started playing them every 5 minutes and now I can't stand them.

Maybe what ruins a song for you is how it gets co-opted for an ad campaign and hearing it associated with a product you don't like ruins it for you.

But what I don't like about cursing in songs is how they have to make it stand out enough that they can edit it out for radio edits. So that it seems wrong when you hear the un-editied version. If they could have it flow more evenly with the song, that'd be great. It's not just curse words either. Any bit of the song that breaks the flow just ruins it.

Tom_Violence
2006-07-13, 09:37 PM
As the good Ninja indeed said, a punk band (or even a pseudo-punk band) that didn't swear would not a punk band be. And I dare say their record sales would reflect that.

And these days its probably reasonably fair to say that lyrics aren't exactly a major consideration when it comes to rating punk music anyway. Generally its music to get drunk to, and then jump around and punch someone in the face. One could probably argue that if you're listening to the lyrics then you may be missing the point. :P

Valda, Adlav and Samiam: the Jacked-Up Trinity
2006-07-13, 09:38 PM
Or how the radio station overplaying a perfectly good song turns it into something that you never want to listen to again.

That's pretty much what happened to me with Karry Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel". The country station I listen to played it NON-STOP for like three straight morings! (and that's the only time I listen to the radio. Don't get me wrong. It's a good song with a great message, but anything can get old after a while.

TinSoldier
2006-07-13, 09:55 PM
I don't like excessive swearing in music, but sometimes it's important lyrically.

That said, I hate how radio stations edit the words out. I mean, it seems worse nowadays than it did a few years ago. I *hate* the radio version of "Man in the Box" by Alice in Chains because there are inexplicable silent parts in it. Grr.

Tom_Violence
2006-07-13, 09:57 PM
That's pretty much what happened to me with Karry Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel". The country station I listen to played it NON-STOP for like three straight morings! (and that's the only time I listen to the radio. Don't get me wrong. It's a good song with a great message, but anything can get old after a while.

You listen to country music, you pay the price. :P

Nevermind
2006-07-13, 11:25 PM
I'm not trying to raise any rants, and anybodies opinion shouldn't raise any rants, cuz you need to respect other peoples opinions, but I think that cussing isn't really all that bad. I mean all they are is words. If you just say $|-|!+ to fit in with the rythm and stress a subject, then thats okay.

I think that R&B has, alot of the time, VERY inappropriate lyrics. Once I heard a whole entire verse saying:

I'ma get some, I'ma get some, I'ma get some, I'ma get some (blah blah blah). Attention whores.

LordOfNarf
2006-07-14, 01:53 AM
You listen to country music, you pay the price. *:P

I'll second that, but i listen to punk, i'm not much better.

I do think that swears really don't bother me, i just tend to skip over them until i get the CD and then i re learn to sing the song with all the lyrics.

Dispozition
2006-07-14, 03:53 AM
The proplem is that alot of my music has swearing in it. Take the prodigy for example. Two of my favourite songs (smack my bitch up and funky s***) contain decent amounts of swearing ans well as other songs I like, such as you s*** me to tears.

I listen to a fair bit of metal, punk or techno. much of it is swearing. Some times it's ok to swear but most of the time I prefer not to have my songs with lot's of swearing.

Kashinn
2006-07-14, 06:51 AM
I think it all depends on the context. Before commenting furhter I'd like to add that I listen to a lot of different music. Including Punk, Rock, Metal, Trash Metal, Electronic (Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Cirrus...) as well as some medieval-style music (In Extremo -> German Band).

I've heard a lot of swearing in music, and in the right song it simply 'fits'. On the other hand Linkin' Park show how a song can be powerful and aggressive without swearing - so it is possible. But has it got to be? I don't think so.

I can tell you how much joy I had when my pop&rock choir sang Bad Religions Punk Rock Song in our last concerts a couple of weeks ago. Damn that thing rocks when sung by 100 people at once (with the swearing of course) :-)

AmbrMerlinus
2006-07-14, 09:30 AM
Swearing does get really obnoxious in some songs, like most ICP stuff. I usually don't mind swearwords (I have the mouth of a wounded pirate myself), but ICP gets to the point of being excessive, where there are more swearwords than not (no hyperbole, I actually counted). And it's the favorite band of all my friends. Poor me, poor me. :'(

Argent
2006-07-14, 11:11 AM
Context again, as Kashinn indicates. If a curse is used for impact, it fits and it's used sparingly, it may (repeat, may) benefit a song. If it's just used for shock value (the OMG DID HE JUST SAY THAT? factor), then it's useless and stupid.

Ryuuk
2006-07-14, 11:42 AM
Some of my favorite songs are SOAD, MSI (Although really just one song) and Mago de Oz (Rock band from Spain). System has some swears in a good bulk of their songs, but the most obscene things they say you have to think about before you realize them (Vicinity of Obscenity and Pogo for instance). MSI, well I've only heard Stupid MF, and even though a good bulk of it's swearing, the beat's what i really like about it.

Mago de Oz is a bit different. Their music usually always start out as refined classical instrumental and then moves into some rock. They rarely swear but when they do it's one word that can be heard clearly and with emphasize. I'm a huge fan of them either way though.

It doesn't really change much for me. I'm also a fan of Frank Sinatra and I'll listen to a wide variety of music and enjoy it.

Chris the Pontifex
2006-07-14, 03:37 PM
bah you dont need to be a punk band to use swearwords for impact. I even will go as far as to say that swearwords outside of punk will make thrice the impact.
disclaimer: I will exclude most top 40 and teen orientated pop bands as they just hardly count as music, and use swearing just for shockfalue, as stated above (eg. Pink

I was going to give an excellent triphop or electronica example (generally pretty mellow music) but for now I cant find it, I'll find it trust me

I did find some examples but they werent exactly powerfull. In fact some of the most powerfull songwriting and singing I know (Beth Gibbons / Portishead) didn't contain a single swear in three albums...

Deleran
2006-07-14, 03:44 PM
Radio? Who listens to that?

Argent
2006-07-14, 04:17 PM
Maybe what ruins a song for you is how it gets co-opted for an ad campaign and hearing it associated with a product you don't like ruins it for you.

True - and strangely enough, there are songs I wouldn't ordinarily have paid attention to, aside from their use in commercials. I don't watch a lot of advertisements (hey, that's what the remote's for, right?) but there have been a few ads that have made the associated songs stick out in my head. I'm thinking chiefly about Mitsubishi's use of Dirty Vegas' "Days Go By" and Nike's use of AC/DC's "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" (what a fantastic commercial).


But what I don't like about cursing in songs is how they have to make it stand out enough that they can edit it out for radio edits. *So that it seems wrong when you hear the un-editied version. *If they could have it flow more evenly with the song, that'd be great. It's not just curse words either. *Any bit of the song that breaks the flow just ruins it. *

This brings up another question -- does editing the curse out of a song really do anything? As was brought up in the other thread, swearing is more about the context, emotion and intent -- in a song, all those things are there but there's this big blank space where the actual word is. So you can blank out the word, but anyone can figure out what it would have been from the context -- so what actual use is it to remove the word? And some songs that I actually like sound absolutely ridiculous when they're blanked -- some good examples are Ice Cube's "Put Your Back Into It" and that tune with Eminem and Nate Dogg (can't remember the title).

Chris the Pontifex
2006-07-14, 04:34 PM
know what, I ones heard a radio edit for Nine Inch Nails' "Closer"

The lyrics probably are too obscene to spell out here, and from that you'll probably know why its insane to make a radio edit, only edit the F's out and leave the rest in.

(most of you should know this song, if you dont I'm sure the lyrics arent too hard to find and if youre into the darker kinds of rock you really should listen to this band)

Sedated_Freak
2006-07-14, 05:15 PM
Whilst I dislike its excessive use, I do not feel there is anythign wrong with the words themselves (after all, where can one draw the line between offensive and swearing), they are very useful in emphasis (as I believe has already been mentioned).

If, though, you want songs without swearing, you might consider looking for teh radio edits of songs, which normally have any offensive words removed.

LordOfNarf
2006-07-14, 08:49 PM
Wal-Mart sells their CD's with the same run as the radio edit, that is to say, no swear words at all. I really don't mind it in a song, but i rarely sing it, since i hear the song on the radio, like it, and buy the CD that its on, and i am so used to singing it with the blank space that I don't realize the swaer word is not there.

Of course, Eminem's "Shake That" sounds so ridicoulous when edited that it may as well be a seperate song, literally half the words are expliteve deleted.

NOTE: I don't actually like rap, but the radio station i listen to plays that song for some utterly incomprehensible reason, and i am to lazy to play with the dial.

One other thing: in Panic! at the Disco's song "I Write SIns Not Tragedies" has anyone else noticed that the radio edit deletes the "god" part of "god damn" but not the "damn"? seems kinda counterintuitive to me.

ElfLad
2006-07-14, 11:03 PM
Well considering that "God" used in that context breaks a Commandment and reduces a god that millions of people believe in to a simple swear word, "damn" kinda pales in comparison.

Personally, as a Christian, I'm more offended when someone says "Oh my God" or "Jesus Christ" in a swearing context then I'm offended by the F-word.

And about songs, the vast majority of artists I listen to don't have swear words. Only exceptions are some Green Day songs and "Ziggy Stardust" by David Bowie.

Muffin_Mage
2006-07-15, 12:38 AM
If you want to talk about a ruiner of songs, look at Aaron Carter.

Before that - existed, Summertime was a laid-back bluesy happy-humming type song and Cry Me a River was a poigniant cry of vengeful despair. Now what are they? Utter garbage.

The_Logic_Ninja
2006-07-15, 12:40 AM
Well considering that "God" used in that context breaks a Commandment and reduces a god that millions of people believe in to a simple swear word, "damn" kinda pales in comparison.

Personally, as a Christian, I'm more offended when someone says "Oh my God" or "Jesus Christ" in a swearing context then I'm offended by the F-word.

Why? They're just phrases. People quite obviously don't mean'em literally.
Edit: and aren't the commandments Old Testament and therefore, y'know, void?

ElfLad
2006-07-15, 01:18 AM
Why? They're just phrases. People quite obviously don't mean'em literally.
Edit: and aren't the commandments Old Testament and therefore, y'know, void?

1. Somebody who doesn't take things that are that important to people seriously are just as offensive as people who set out to offend. How would you feel if people went around using your name as a mild expletive?

2.Rules in the OT can generally be divided into moral laws and ritual laws (i.e. being unclean, not touching diseased people, etc.) According to the New Testament, moral laws are still intact but ritual laws are void.

The_Logic_Ninja
2006-07-15, 01:24 AM
1. Somebody who doesn't take things that are that important to people seriously are just as offensive as people who set out to offend. How would you feel if people went around using your name as a mild expletive?
It's important to you, not to them. Why should their behavior be based on what you personally happen to think is offensive? If the word "elf" offends me, would you stop using it?
What's more, it's not used as a curse but as an expression of surprise or awe.


2.Rules in the OT can generally be divided into moral laws and ritual laws (i.e. being unclean, not touching diseased people, etc.) According to the New Testament, moral laws are still intact but ritual laws are void.
And according to the OT, none of the laws would ever become void, they were forever. In any case, the usual consensus is that none of the OT laws apply (you don't see people getting all up in arms about respecting the Sabbath, or making graven images). I presume you don't have a problem with statues and working on the Sabbath; why single out the name-in-vain thing?

LordOfNarf
2006-07-15, 01:29 AM
Please don't make this a religious disscussion. I only brought up the topic because to me at least "damn" is worse than "God" in that context, since God is a proper noun, while damn, which is short for damnation (hence the silent n) is essentaly wishing that the person be condemed to Hell.

Muffin_Mage
2006-07-15, 01:36 AM
Please don't make this a religious disscussion. I only brought up the topic because to me at least "damn" is worse than "God" in that context, since God is a proper noun, while damn, which is short for damnation (hence the silent n) is essentaly wishing that the person be condemed to Hell.
Damn comes from the Latin damnare, which is to pass sentence. Thus damn and condemn come from the same root and have the same general meaning.

Spuddly
2006-07-15, 01:38 AM
God damn you nerds are a bunch of complainers.

The_Logic_Ninja
2006-07-15, 01:41 AM
Please don't make this a religious disscussion. I only brought up the topic because to me at least "damn" is worse than "God" in that context, since God is a proper noun, while damn, which is short for damnation (hence the silent n) is essentaly wishing that the person be condemed to Hell.
Except it isn't actually, because the person saying it doesn't actually wish that and it hasn't been meant literally for quite some time now.

BelkarsDagger
2006-07-15, 01:50 AM
Get. Headphones.

LordOfNarf
2006-07-15, 02:09 AM
Except it isn't actually, because the person saying it doesn't actually wish that and it hasn't been meant literally for quite some time now.

And when I say eff you to someone it dosent actually mean that i want to have intercourse with them, but it still remains an insulting word despite that dosen't it?

The_Logic_Ninja
2006-07-15, 02:17 AM
Insulting? Sure. "Damn" isn't considered insulting, and just like "f*** you" doesn't mean sex, "damn" doesn't mean damn-to-hell. Glad we agree.

Chris the Pontifex
2006-07-15, 02:58 AM
And when I say eff you to someone it dosent actually mean that i want to have intercourse with them, but it still remains an insulting word despite that dosen't it?

question remains, if it did, would it be an insult....?

General Leitmann
2006-07-15, 03:20 AM
No matter how you say something, or what your intentions with said word are, whether or not it's really that derrogitory or rude, there will always be someone in the world who WILL take offence.

Warmage_@_Large
2006-07-15, 08:46 AM
Yes, sometimes swearing can and does ruin good songs, or songs, or dodgy songs, or dodgy songs with sweating in them when there doesnt need to be.

Other times an expletive or two can add emphasis, especailly when it comes from an otherwise non-swear-word inclinded band/source.

And then there are those Rare occasions where swear words ARE the song.

Case and point: Hotdog by Limp Bizkit :o

SpoonlessJedi
2006-07-16, 05:18 PM
Damn comes from the Latin damnare, which is to pass sentence. Thus damn and condemn come from the same root and have the same general meaning.


Condemnit, doesn't this discussion make you thankful that you CAN listen to songs with explitives without mass government censoring? (Not to exclude people from countries other than mine,) but isn't it great that we have that first amendment and can say whatever we condemn well feel like? Even sixty years ago, our society was so tightly restricted by religious zealots, we couldn't say the word "damn" in public without persecution. And look now, ICP (which someone mentioned) has a song entitled "F**k the World," where one of the lyrics is "In this song I've said f**k ninety-three times!"

Whether you agree with the cursing or not, you have to admit it's a beautiful thing when not only something so condemned controversial can be paraded in mainstream society, but we can openly discuss its implications.

As you may well have guessed from my rant, I don't care if you curse or not; I just find it interesting to observe each individual's personal preferences.

The_Logic_Ninja
2006-07-16, 05:35 PM
Whether you agree with the cursing or not, you have to admit it's a beautiful thing when not only something so condemned controversial can be paraded in mainstream society, but we can openly discuss its implications.

...a beautiful thing? More like "society is living up to a basic standard in this way, at least."

Iroll20s
2006-07-18, 08:54 AM
some music does go well with swearing, but then again, most of it doesnt. Swearing is coarse language and music (even rock (possibly not death metal) and im not including rap in the context of music) shouldn't be foul.

Now, before I get blamed for listening to shoddy music, I listen to most things that aren't Rap/ Hip hop. (ranging from G n' R to Breaking Benjamin to Simon and Garfunkel, Ralph McTell and the likes) very few use language that isnt suitable for a general audience and in fact some of the best music i listen to is purely language, not resorting to swearing to try to sound good.

Abd al-Azrad
2006-07-18, 05:06 PM
You know, I have this problem all the time. Whenever I'm doing my volunteer work at the kindergarten classes, or spending time with the elderly, but at the same time playing my favourite song, The Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang, I feel quite annoyed that they decided to go the route of making a song with explicit content and lyrics.

It makes me want to call down the Bringers of Darkness. But I'm surrounded by children and the elderly, so I must act like a responisble role model.

awalton87
2006-07-28, 10:20 AM
I don't like excessive swearing in music, but sometimes it's important lyrically.

That said, I hate how radio stations edit the words out. I mean, it seems worse nowadays than it did a few years ago. I *hate* the radio version of "Man in the Box" by Alice in Chains because there are inexplicable silent parts in it. Grr.

My station played a System of a Down song and didn't leave blank spaces, they just left the words out and squished the rest of the music together so that the beat was all off. It was incredibly disorienting.

Greenday is not part of the punk "scene" by the way. Greenday is officially part of the pop genre due to the albums overweening success and the attractriveness of the band members. (XO They're successful, SELLOUTS)

I don't like the album, not because of the swearing, but because of the irresponsible lyrics. Sure, we can all agree as the disenfranchised youth with no purpose but a huge dose of apathy. But do we really know what we're talking about? No! And the people who -do- know, don't listen to Greenday.

Dr._Weird
2006-07-28, 11:11 AM
System has some swears in a good bulk of their songs, but the most obscene things they say you have to think about before you realize them (Vicinity of Obscenity and Pogo for instance).

Not to sound like an indie snob, but you've only listened to their later stuff, after they got popular, am I right? They're like Armenian sailors on their first album.



Oh, right. My other thing to say.

Watch the "Free" video. (http://music.yahoo.com/ar-261270-videos--Powerman-5000)
Voila, a good punk band who never swears. Ever.

Watch Dragula. (http://music.yahoo.com/ar-287702-videos--Rob-Zombie)
And the PM5K Lead Singers brother's band: A metal group who I've never heard swear (I haven't heard the new album though). The weird thing is, he directed The Devil's Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses.

Mr Croup
2006-07-28, 11:49 AM
Watch the "Free" video. (http://music.yahoo.com/ar-261270-videos--Powerman-5000)
Voila, a good punk band who never swears. Ever.


Now it's mine turn to sound like a music snob and say Powerman 5000 is not a punk band. And in my opinion not a good band either, but taste is totally subjective.

Honestly though, swearing heavy lyrics don't bother me unless it seems pointless, as is swearing just for the sake of it. Most music which contains such a large amount of vulgarity is a natural outgrowth of the speach of the subculture in which the music originated.

Dr._Weird
2006-07-28, 12:20 PM
Not punk? Even Transform? I'll acknowledge the stuff before that isn't punk at all but...

I don't really listen to much Punk, so I guess I probably have a skewed version of what it is.

On the other side of the coin, some music does need cursing for effect. Imagine Marilyn Manson without swearing. Blah. Not one of my favorite artists anymore.

Mr Croup
2006-07-28, 12:51 PM
I don't listen to much punk anymore, but I'm still a bit of a purist when it comes to punk. When I think punk, I think the Clash, the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, the Misfits, and the like. Then there's the subgenre Oi, and some of the slightly later American hardcore punk groups like Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys. Really I think punk died out in the mid 80's, and I'd be hard pressed to call anything from after that point real punk. Sure there's skater punk and all that, but it's just not the same.

/music snob

kriklaf
2006-07-31, 04:31 PM
Really I think punk died out in the mid 80's/music snob

...and there was much rejoicing...never have been able to get behind punk--just don't like it...

Anyway, back to the topic at hand--swearing in music (as far as I'm concerned) is much like swearing in any other forum. A word or two here or there adds color and emphasis. In a casual setting (and I think that most rock/pop/metal/radio music fits into that category), the occasional four-letter doesn't bother me at all. However, too much of it (and far too often, this is the case) is like too much salt in food--abrasive and slightly nauseating, plus deadening to the senses. Additionally, I automatically disregard the message of anyone who swears with every other word. Can't help it--it's a knee-jerk reaction to think that someone who chooses vulgarity as the exclusive vehicle of his or her message is a)uneducated, b)trying to sound cool and c)immature.