First major songs with swearing in the lyrics [new title]

This is my first question on this board so please be easy on me if I did something wrong (actually I sent an e-mail to Cecil first, but was referred to this BB).


The other day on the cable radio service at my school, I heard a song by a rap-heavy metal band, that must have said the word ‘fuck’ about twenty or thirty times. That word seems pretty common these days, so it got me thinking…

What was the first major-label record release to feature a clearly enunciated, non-censored swear word, ie ‘shit’, or ‘fuck’?

Welcome to the SDMB!

I’m sure there’s older stuff than this, but RCA put out a 1972 record by Harry Nilsson - Son of Schmilsson. Track #5, “You’re Breaking My Heart” has a ‘fuck you’ in the lyrics. If you look it up on Amazon, you can hear it in the preview.


Just make the subject/question specific next time, so we all don’t have to open the thread to see it.

I’m thinking there are a zillion small label blues and folk things from way back when.

But there’s always ‘Kick Out the Jams’ by the MC5 in 1969 (I think).

It starts with the battle-cry ‘Kick out the Jams, motherfuckers!’

"Money " by Pink Floyd was released around 1973 and clearly has the word “bullshit” in it, and that song got Top 40 airplay, unlike the Nilsson tune.

“Who Are You” by The Who came out in 1978 and has the phrase “who the fuck are you”.

My 13-year-old sister came home with Son of Schmilsson and when my mother heard “You’re Breaking My Heart”, she immediately threw it in the trash. “Take 54” is also a classic (“I sang my balls off”).

P.S. The conventional wisdom on the Board is to provide some hint at what you want to know in your subject line, since every post is a question.

Sorry bout that, I was unaware of how fast this board moved!

Thanks JC, I’ve heard ‘Kick Out The Jams’ way back in high school, but I was under the (mistaken) impression that is was distorted somehow…

I know that Pink Floyd’s ‘Careful With That Axe Eugene’ was distorted/ censored on purpose, and I think there was a Doors song too…

Anyway, thanks for the help guys.

Magog, I’m off to check your link right now.

Thanks again.


Or, you could look to see if there’s been a thread like this one before.

Just do a search for “fuck”…

We Can Be Together, from the Jefferson Airplane’s album “Volunteers,” has the clearly enunciated line:

and in the chorus

“Fuck/motherfucker” was changed to “fred” on the lyric sheets, but it’s very clear on the record.

Issued 1969.

The alternate version of Country Joe and the Fish’s Fish Cheer also dates from ~69. I’m sure wasn’t the first.

So what’s the (pardon the pun) record now? (err… another pardon) '69? Anything definitively earlier?

Welcome to the SDMB, tsukaesugi. I’ll change the title of this thread to make it more clear. Since, this is about music, I’ll also move this thread to our arts forum, Cafe Society.

moderator GQ

OK thanks, sorry for the trouble.

Whoops, what a weird BBS. Not you guys I mean the service. I meant to quote ‘Bibliophage’ and ended up quoting myself…


Anyway, any pre '69 (there I go again) cuss words?

“Mother People” on “We’re Only in it For the Money” (1968) by The Mothers of Invention contained the lyric: “Better look around before you say you don’t care/Shut your fuckin’ mouth about the length of my hair.” It was censored by the record company, but Zappa still included it on the album - backward - at the end of “Hot Poop.”

OK, clearly not the first, but Bowie sang “I love you in your fuck-me pumps” on his 1974 “Diamond Dogs” LP. He previously used “bitch” on 1971’s “Hunky Dory”, “balls” on 1972’s “Ziggy Stardust” and “wanking” on 1973’s “Aladdin Sane”, which may not be shocking now but were probably considered rather naughty at the time.

I have two old R&B 45’s (look it up) that pre-date anything mentioned here. One is “Cocksucker’s Ball” by The Clovers which contains lyrics like: “All you po’ ass singers and you big dick slingers, we’re going downtown to the Cocksucker’s Ball. Fuck, suck and fight. ‘Til beginin’ of the broad daylight.” ect. From 1955!

Also “Don’t Fuck Around With Love” (1953) by The Blenders which is just “Don’t Play Around With Love” with the slight change.

Certainly there are more examples from this era.

I’m pretty sure there was a Kinks record back in the 60s that yelled it loud and proud.

Don’t know the title though? Can anyone confirm my suspicions?

1968 Jefferson Airplane had a song called The House at Pooneil Corners, with “bullshit” in the lyrics.

Frank Zappa did a nice cover of Cocksucker’s Ball in the 1980’s.

There was also “fuck” on Absolutely Free by Frank Zappa, issued in 1967.

Isley Brother’s Fight the Power was released in 1969 and contains the chorus
I can’t play my music
They say my music’s too loud
I kept talkin about it
I got the big run around
When I rolled with the punches
I got knocked on the ground
With all this bullshit going down.

Still only 1969 though,