rustypants speaks

youth pastor. husband. idiot. why should you care? it's beyond me.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

music and language

last night lise and i were at toko baru in clifton after having a wonderful dinner at Apna India - while we were looking around, the music playing caught my ear. and kept catching it. i had to ask who it was and the answer was James Blunt.

now, i'm a big music guy and i'd heard the guys name used by a couple people and have read about him in the paper and magazines, but i'd not heard his music until then. well, lise went out on a shopping trip with Blunt's Back to Bedlam CD on her list.

it's fantastic.

but the purpose for the post focuses on the language.

i noticed while looking on last night that there are two releases of the CD - the "Clean" version and the "Explicit Lyrics" version. i didn't think too much of it except to make sure that i didn't get the bleeped version of the album.

language has almost never played a part in my decisions on music or even movies. it's never been a big deal for me - being as hearing impaired as i am, i've always heard the music first and read the lyrics later (if ever - there are some songs that i LOVE but have NO idea what's being said, and this after 20+ years of listening to some of these songs).

but tonight i was talking with a friend about this and she mentioned how she was shocked when she heard the F-bomb dropped on Blunt's hit song, You're Beautiful after she bought the CD. Apparently the radio version isn't bleeped out as i imagined - it's replaced with "flying" instead of "effing".

now, my question for the masses (and seriously - take a second to respond, even just with a yes or no - i mean, you're already here reading this): Does language play a part in your decision whether you'll buy a CD or rent a movie? if so, how? if not, why not? is there a ratio of cursing to not cursing that is acceptable or not? for example, Blunt's CD contains what looks to be 3 or 4 curse words (the F word once, the S word once, "bastard" and maybe a "damn") - it's not like a 50 Cent album. does that matter?

thanks for your help.


  • At 8:23 PM, Anonymous racecarr said…

    hmm... well id have to say that im not partial to lyrics with curse words in them, i mean, id rather the artist not put them in there in the first place, but i hate it when im listening to a song and there's a pause for a bleeped word, especially when they only bleep part of the word so you pretty much know what they said ne way. So basically, censored music is annoying, if i really like the artist, id just buy the regular cd.

  • At 9:51 AM, Anonymous JM said…

    I tend to think there are different levels of cursing. I think there are many artists out there who swear just for swearing's sake. In those cases, I'm irritated by it, mostly because the intent of the word, however offensive, has lost it's meaning and impact because it's being used soooo much.

    I happen to looooove "You're Beautiful" but never noticed the f-bomb (granted, I listen to whatever version Yahoo messanger plays for me). I looked at the lyrics though and sure I'd prefer that word not be in there (c'mon, who likes to hear that stuff?). However I think the song is more expressive because it is there. Face it, would we "feel" the song, the emotion of the moment he's trying to express, better if he just said "high" or "flying high?" I don't think so. I understand "f-ing high." I understand the intensity of it and perhaps what he's trying to get across.

    Anyway, that's my two cents I guess...

  • At 4:16 PM, Blogger zebracakes said…

    hey scott! long time man. i couldn't honestly care less about "profanity" being used in song lyrics. we've had the conversation before about my belief that a word is just a word and that's all it can be. it can't be bad it can't be good and none should have this negative conotation put on them by society. as for the music part of this argument, some words just fit better in certain places than other words. some are used for emphasis. i mean think about it, why choose just a "regular" word for something? because it makes the emotion come out there. same with so-called bad words.
    that was my rant for the day, i hope it was enjoyable.

  • At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My general opinion is that I would listen to music, despite whatever language it was. I avoid songs that have excessive ammounts of language, but that is probably because those kinds of songs tend to be genres that I avoid altogether. I don't immerse myself in lanague, but it is a part of life. Seriously, I live on a secular college campus. And I watch movies. It doesn't bother me, and I don't avoid things just because of it. Honestly, I forget about it most of the time. I'll tell someone "Oh you have to watch this movie!" and later on they are like "what were you thinking? Do you know how much language there was in that?"

  • At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hmm.. well i love the song "you're beautiful" and have since it came out.. i find the lyrics very good, and was Also suprised to hear the f word dropped in..instead of "flying" i had also heard the song on the radio so i heard it many times with "flying" then soon after purchasing the cd noticed the wrong word! in place of flying..was very suprised but i feel as though hes expressing the way he feels in a very powerful way, because its not like hes using the " bad " words to be "cool" or just like every other artist, hes using it to really show a powerful strong way of how he feels...its different for rap songs b/c they are just saying it to say it b/c everyone else does when instead they could replace it with better words but choose not to...........

  • At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Ema said…

    You know what... I don't usually pay attention. since it is so common in society I've learned to ignore it. However, as I was saying to you that night, it bothered me then. I think it was because when I first heard it I thought "awwww, he's like floating on a cloud, love at first sight..." and then when I heard the other version, out came the drug theme of the cd and it pooped the whole thing for me... Turns me stomach a bit.

  • At 9:35 PM, Anonymous K said…

    in the song "you're beautiful" i perfer the unedited version because that's what i heard first and the other seemed odd to me, plus it works better. profanity plays no part on whether i'll buy i cd or rent a movie because i hear it everyday. it's not something you can easily escape, which is sad to say. although when it comes to cds most of what i buy doesn't have much profanity... did i say that right? oh well... but if it says F this or F that, it was obviously meant to be there. so why bleep it out? because little kids might turn on the station and learn a new word? well they shouldn't have an opportunity to do that. but i don't know, i despise rap, it's one thing i hate... their lyrics are inane and i can't understand them. but anywho i would buy the unedited version.

  • At 4:54 PM, Blogger K8 said…

    well first off, i love james blunt. to answer your question, i highly dislike censored music, because you know the words they're bleeping out, so it's pretty much pointless. i tend to avoid songs that are filled with bad words, because then (in my opinion) they're not as fun to sing along to.


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