What was the earliest published song with the f-word?

Here’s another real old one: Everybody check out Roosevelt Sykes “I’m a Dirty Mother For Ya.” He doesn’t say the “f” word outright, but he comes close! He re-recorded it in 1971 but his original version is from the 30’s. My copy is from Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues - A Musical Journey (Disc 2). I can’t find a date, but the lyrics are different than '71 (I’m a smelly mother for ya, don’t ya know, I’m a rotten mother for ya, don’t ya know) and the recording is scratchy as if taken from a 78 RPM record. He likely wrote and sang it live in the 20s as “dirty motherfucker, don’t you know,” but cleaned it up a bit for the record.

White people were extra stupid back then. Black musicians sang about sex, drugs and rock way back and whites were clueless as to what they were singing about. The most glaring example is The Andrews Sisters cover of Fats Waller’s “Hold Tight, Hold Tight (I Want Some Seafood Mama).” They blithely sing his words: “I like the taste of fish, when I come home late at night, I get my favorite dish- FISH! Hold tight, hold tight, furry-ackee-sackee, I want some saefood, Mama!”
The sisters must have thought Fats was singin’ some cute kind of jive-talk! I can almost hear how loud Fats and his boys must have been laughing when they heard the Andrews Sisters cover!

We must really be from the same generation. :smiley:

In the other thread (about songs set in LA), you responded with Arlo Guthrie’s “Coming into Los Angeles,” which was the first one I thought of.

Now, in this thread, Country Joe McDonald and the “give me an ‘F’” cheer was also going to be my guess!

Seriously…I’m not stalking you. :wink:

I found a text, The erotic muse: American bawdy songs. It claims a song dating from the Napoleonic wars with these lyrics:

“I don’t want my bollocks shot away,
I would rather stay in England, jolly, jolly England,
And fornicate my fucking life away.”

Did you specifically want *published *works? Because I was pouring through my old books of English Madrigals, and although unsuccessful, I could SWEAR that one was published with a fuck or a fucke in it. The word itself dates back to at least Shakespeare’s time. At least one troubadour of ill repute must have written it down.

The Doors did it, kinda-sorta, with “The End” in the mid-sixties, but the “Mother . . . I want to fuck you” scream is so difficult to understand that it may not count . . . Anyway, that’s the first thing that came to my mind after I opened this thread.

I recently picked up a 78rpm copy of the unreleased 1935 pressing of Bogan’s wonderfully crude little song. I had no idea what it was, but I was intrigued by the label that was featureless other than a rubber stamped “Shave Me Dry” (Yes, it says “Me”, rather than “Em”).

No conversation of crude songs could be complete, however, without a nod to Marianne Faithfull’s WHY’D YA DO IT? from 1979. Though not the first to say “fuck” (or rather, “fucking”), the song still shocks today, in as much as she also tosses in a “pussy”, a “cunt”, and - most famously - she asks “Why’d you let her suck your cock?”.

There ain’t nowhere she doesn’t go on this one:

This is a drinking song for the UK military, sung to the tune of 'What a friend we have in Jesus" and retitled “I don’t want to be a soldier”, or sometimes it becomes “When this fucking war is over”

There are more polite lyrics, I believe that it may date back to WW1, you’ll only hear it if you are in armed forces.

When the

No, as a sober churchgoer and organist I can inform you that the lyrics to the “What A Friend…” tune go:

When this lousy war is over
No more soldiering for me;
When this lousy war is over
O how happy I will be!
No more church parade on Sunday,
No more putting in for leave:
I will kiss the Sergeant-Major -
How I’ll miss him, how he’ll grieve.

While the other goes to a radically different tune:

*I don’t want to join the army, I don’t want to go to war,
I’d rather hang around Piccadilly Underground
Living off the earnings of a “high class lady”
I don’t want a bay’net up my arsehole
I don’t want my bollocks shot away:
I’d rather stay in London, in snotty grotty London,
And fornicate my fucking life away!

On Monday I touched her on the ankle; Tuesday I touched her on the knee;
On Wednesday I confess I lifted up her dress;
On Thursday I saw IT - cor blimey!
Friday I put my hand upon it; Saturday she gave my balls a tweak;
On Sunday after supper I rammed the fucker up her -
And now I’m paying her seven-and-six a week!*

Seven (shillings) and six (pence) would be about a dollar-fifty to two dollars at the time.

If the second song was Napoleonic in origin then the reference to Piccadilly Underground would be a later insertion. Both songs above turn up, in part at least, in Oh What A Lovely War.

Incidentally I’m not military, and my father (who was) never used language like that in front of the family, but when I was a lad any self-respecting rugby team included them in their repertoire.

Hmm… “Frankie and Johnny” was published in 1904, and contained the verse “She was a fucky hussy.” But I don’t know if that verse showed up in the 1904 published version.

And was censored down-under. The vinyl I have of her Broken English album that was pressed in Australia and sold there and in New Zealand has the entire track of *Why’d Ya Do It? * missing; it was replaced with an equal length of silence. :slight_smile: The CD version I got more recently has the song.

It’s a poem not a song, but it seems related to this discussion. I use to have this 17th century poem on the wall of my old apartment.

Vulgar highlights include lines like,

“Peace is his aim, his gentleness is such,
And love he loves, for he loves fucking much”

“In th’ isle of Britain, long since famous grown
For breeding the best cunts in Christendom,”

It has always given me faith in humanity to know that more than 300 years ago this English guy wrote a poem full of “fucks” and “cunts” that still makes me laugh. And the best part is that it was a political satire.

Johnny Depp played the author of the poem in the film “The Libertine.”