AC/DC's Highway to Hell. Did Bon Scott sing a racist verse?

Do you genuinely believe that? Did you also look up ‘seasoned’ and find out that in Australia it can mean something on which spices have been sprinkled? So, all this time we’ve been speculating, it could have been a song about peppery mateship on a one way ride. Who knew?

Speaking from Australia - the term ‘seasoned digger’ may exist in your imagination, but is meaningless word assembly and babble.

Also, the attested lyric “Season ticket on a one way ride”, suggesting somebody irrationally over-committed to an irreversible course of action, makes way more sense in the context of the song than any of the gibberish alternatives that have been suggested.

“Not only am I headed down the path to destruction but I’m charging ahead at full speed. Not only is this a one-way ride with no return, but I even got a season ticket for it.”

I always heard “She’s a ticket” on a one way ride. If you want to live easy and love free, she will take you on a fun ride…until you flame out. She’s not coming home with you.

IOW: She’s a fast and loose woman. Not wife material. Very un PC but it was 1979. And perhaps we are hearing different versions because later in time artists updated their songs once they were told that such language wasn’t particularly keeping with modern trends. In Come Monday, Buffett’s original version was “that’s the reason I just let you go” but all later versions were “that’s the reason we just had to go.”

Or maybe it’s always been “season ticket” and everyone’s just comparing mondegreens.

Fully possible. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard the song sober, but that’s the way I always sang it, and as others have said “season ticket on a one way ride” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

It makes total sense, unless your brain can’t handle poetic or extended meanings.

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/literalness

And more importantly, as said, it makes sense in relation to the rest of the song, unlike the other interpretations, which are ridiculous.

Exactly. It’s like the only lyric that makes a lick of sense!

Season ticket, under “transport”:

In public transport, a season ticket allows the user to travel by public transport an unlimited number of times within a period of time. The term “commuter pass” is used in some countries. Season tickets are typically sold for a week, month or year. The validity of season tickets varies. At one extreme it may only allow travel between two points (A to B) by only one operator and one route (if there are more than one competing). At the other extreme, it may allow unlimited travel within a geographic area, or even a whole country, allowing free choice of method of transportation (bus, tram, train, etc.) and free choice of operating company.

From Season ticket - Wikipedia.

For somebody who wants to get up and go as the wind takes them, a season ticket with no intention to return to their starting point makes absolutely perfect sense. (I said as much seven years ago.) It goes with all the devil-may-care I’ll-do-what-I-want imagery in the song.

I too always thought it sounded like a racial slur but never really looked it up. I just watched the video - it really is a kickass song- and it’s really clear that it’s “season ticket”. I don’t know if it’s because of now knowing the correct words or because of seeing his lips when he sings it but it doesn’t sound the way I remember it.

Me too! Man, that guy could have used some pronunciation lessons. If you listen closely, he doesn’t really say “ride”, it’s more like “rye”.

Heheheh, I know his annunciation is far from perfect, but Bon Scott is one of the few rock singers I have never misheard a lyric from. Maybe his Scottish-by-way-of-Australia accent just works well for ears raised on a Texas drawl. Or, maybe I just listened to them too much. :clown_face:

The bigger mystery is why anyone willingly listened to that guy sing. What a horrible noise.

Bon Scott? Eh? I mean, everyone’s got their opinion, but , for me, Scott was awesome and one of the greatest rock singers of all time.

Hearing him sing conjures up an image of the Wicked Witch of the West belting out rock n’ roll tunes. But yeah, to each his own. I think I bought that Biz Markie song years ago on iTunes, so…

Hehe, and that description just makes me love his voice even more.

My wife used to be a middle-school teacher; she had a dock/speaker for her iPhone in her classroom, and would listen to music when she was grading papers and doing lesson plans after class had let out for the day.

One afternoon, she had a couple of her students who had stayed after school to work on a project, and were in the room with her. Her iPhone was on shuffle, and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” (sung by Bon’s successor, Brian Johnson) came on. One of my wife’s students said, “Who is this singing? It sounds like Angry Elmo!!”