First song to swear?

I thought I’d ask the teeming millions if anyone knows what the first ever recorded song to contain a modern swear word was? Like a real swear work, like sh–t, or f–k, or c–t or something like that, not hell or damn… Bitch is ok though…

If anyone can answer this I would be eteranlly grateful…
Thanks and have fun

The Stones had Bitch* on Exile On Main Street. 1971 I think.

Of course there was a lot of double-entendre blues for decades before that. Like Good Golly Miss Molly (“You sure like to ball.”) Meaning go to a formal ball. :wink:

And Robert Johnson in Travelling Riverside Blues (c. 1936) said “You can squeeze my lemon til the juice runs down my leg. Yah! You know what I’m talkin’ 'bout.”

Well, if you include “recorded on paper”, there’s the 1663 English ballad “Robin Hood and the Tanner”, which includes the verse:

I don’t think it’s been covered by any modern bands, though.

Lucille Bogan’s 1934 Shave 'Em Dry, as I’m ever so fond of pointing out on this board, contains the following lines:

*I got nipples on my titties, big as the end of my thumb,

I got somethin’ between my legs’ll make a dead man come.*


*Say I fucked all night, and all the night before baby,

And I feel just like I wanna, fuck some more,*


*I would fuck you baby, honey I’d make you cry.

Now your nuts hang down like a damn bell sapper,

And your dick stands up like a steeple,

Your goddam ass-hole stands open like a church door,

And the crabs walks in like people.*

Complete lyrics found here.

Others include traditional versions of “Frankie and Johnny,” “Stagger Lee,” and many, many, MANY others. Folk songs have ALWAYS had their bawdy/rough versions, and when studio and field recording became viable, those songs got recorded too.

By the way, Lucille Bogan absolutely fucking rocks. I kid you not. She was a fantastic singer.

Pity, that.

'68 Jefferson Airplane’s “Up against the Wall” seems to be more of what you’re talking about. “Up against the wall motherf**ker” is the chorus

I was working as a DJ at a small town radio station when Love Chronicles came out. I still have the album and just dug up the letter that was enclosed with the promo copy of the album, issued by Epic Records, which is reproduced below:

Dear Program Director:

Due to the specialized material contained in this album, “Love Chronicles”, BN 26564, please audition same carefully before airing.

There might be passage on the album that some of your listeners may find objectionable.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.


Verdell Lawton
Manager, Promotion Services
Epic and Custom Labels
The songs on the record are pretty damn decent to this day (Jimmy Page does tasty little guitar licks throughout, for one thing) with some clever lyrics and that breathy Al Stewart delivery. The song, which takes up three quarters of the album’s side two, is of more than “supposed artistic credibility.”

I’m proud to say that I spotted the talent early - he wouldn’t have a major hit until “Year of the Cat” in 1976.

I believe “Volunteers” may predate this album slightly (and certainly had better sales) but find Epic’s note fascinating as a bit of history,

Although I know I’m not the winner, here, there was “Kick Out the Jams, MrFr”, by the MC5, somewhere during the turbulent 60s.

“The End” by the Doors, released IIRC in 1967, features Jim Morrison saying (though I can’t quite make it out) bellowing that he wants to "fuck " his mother all night long.

Sort of. That’s how the song was written, but the label censored the released recording.

Henry Purcell (1659-1695) wrote My Lady’s Coachman John, which has the following lyrics:

There was this old tune…

“You’re in the Army now,
You’re not behind a plow;
You’ll never get rich,
You son of a bitch,
You’re in the Army now.”

Though for the life of me I don’t remember when (for what war) it was written. Probably WWI, which, if recorded, would place it in the teens.

“Frankie and Johnny” had some bawdy lyrics–“She was a fucky hussy”–but they probably never made it into recorded versions.

Lots of old blues sides have ambiguous lyrics, like “Please Warm my Wiener” and “Let Me Play with Your Poodle.”

Racial epithets made it in a lot, though. Listen to “C-H-I-C-K-E-N Spells Chicken” from the Ghost World soundtrack sometime.

The song is We Can Be Together, from 1969’s Volunteers. Also from Volunteers is Eskimo Blue Day, which has “shit” in it.

In 1968, The House at Pooneil Corners also by Jefferson Airplane, has the word “bullshit” in it.
Cocksucker’s Ball which is from the 40’s or 50’s has plenty of swearing.

First pop/rock song to use the F word. Pink Floyd 1967 Candy and a Currant bun.

Oooh don’t talk to me
please just fuck with me
please you know I’m feeling frail

There’s a version of “My Sweet Honk 'o Trash” by Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong in which he adds a distinct “fuck 'em, babe”.

Joe, with another thread going about the first “f-word” in music, did you need to resurrect this one? :confused:

Make that “hunk” :rolleyes: