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10 Hit Singles That Had To Be Censored To Be Heard On The Radio

By / 03.16.14

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South by Southwest isn’t all awkward white-boy swaying to long-haired indie rock or avoiding Lady Gaga-induced pop vomit. It’s also a lot of walking past restaurants and bars blasting terrible music on the radio. Yesterday, for the first time in years, I was unfortunate to stroll past a T.G. McSwill’s, or whatever, while the Black Eyed Peas’ crime against humanity “Let’s Get It Started” was playing. Except it wasn’t “Let’s Get It Started,” it was the unedited “Let’s Get Retarded,” which, to be honest, I’m not sure I had heard before. Somehow, I never bothered to pick up a copy of Elephunk in 2003, or any of the nine years since.

And hey, what do you know? It’s still a terrible song, but a terrible song…heard with fresh ears. It should be obvious why “Let’s Get Retarded” had to cleaned up to become a massive radio hit (it’s because people who listen to will.i.am suffer from Scannersitis), unlike the 10 popular songs below. They all needed edits to make it onto DJ Fart In the Morning’s playlist, yes, but the reasons why are a little less self-evident.

Please feel free to name some of your favorite songs edited for the radio.

1. “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash

Radio: “And if I ever have a son, I think I’m gonna name him…Bill or George, anything but Sue!”
Original: “And if I ever have a son, I think I’m gonna name him…Bill or George, any damn thing but Sue!”

2. “My Name Is” by Eminem

Radio: “Hi kids! Do you like Primus? Wanna see me stick Nine Inch Nails in each one of my eyelids?”
Original: “Hi kids! Do you like violence? Wanna see me stick Nine Inch Nails in each one of my eyelids?”

3. “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake

Radio: “Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.”
Original: “Like a hobo I was born to walk alone.”

4. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day

Radio: “Read between the lines, what’s freaked up and everything’s alright.”
Original: “Read between the lines, what’s f*cked up and everything’s alright.”

5. “Coin Operated Boy” by Dresden Dolls

Radio: “I can even take him in the bath.”
Original: “I can even f*ck him in the ass.”

6. “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels Band

Radio: “I told you once, you son-of-a-gun, I’m the best there ever been.”
Original: “I told you once, you son-of-a-bitch, I’m the best there ever been.”

7. “Guitar Town” by Steve Earle

Radio: “Everybody told me you can’t get far/On $37 and a cheap guitar.”
Original: “Everybody told me you can’t get far/On $37 and a Jap guitar.”

8. “Ch-Check It Out” by Beastie Boys

Radio: “All you Klingons in your grandma’s house.”
Original: “All you Klingons in the f*cking house.”

9. “No News” by Lonestar

Radio: “Playing guitar with the band.”
Original: “Joined a cult, joined the Klan.”

10. “They Don’t Care About Us” by Michael Jackson

Radio: “Do me, sue me, everybody do me/Kick me, strike me, don’t you black or white me
Original: “Jew me, sue me, everybody do me/Kick me, kike me, don’t you black or white me.”

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