I’m a bit of a prude when it comes to cursing, or swearing, as some call it. While raising our boys, I frequently stressed the importance of not cursing too liberally. I probably shared the following Dad Lesson with them 50 times through the years: An interviewee was cruising along toward a job offer, as I grilled her, when she casually dropped the word “shit” into one of her answers. In my mind, I thought, “Oh no, that’s a clear display of poor judgment in the professional world in which we work.” One of those giant canes from a burlesque-set cartoon came out and yanked her off the stage.
“But Dad,” they have told me at least 200 times, “you curse.”
“Yes, but usually that’s only when I’ve lost my temper or knocked over a glass of water.”
Each boy, at points, has played me a favorite song of theirs that I found a little too crude for comfort.
“But Dad,” they remind me, “you listen to songs with curse words and crude content. You make us watch movies with stuff like that.”
“Yes, but that’s in the service of the Truth. I’m fine with all sorts of things if it’s in the service of Art and Truth.”
It’s probably a pain in the ass, excuse my French, to be one of my sons.
I just got a note from an old friend, and for some reason my favorite curse-infested line from Public Enemy came to mind. I should have it cued up in the video I posted.
Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Motherfuck him and John Wayne
I have no evidence that Elvis or John Wayne deserved such a crude verse in “Fight the Power,” but in the middle of all that song’s fury, it perfectly meets my criteria for allowable, even necessary crudeness.
You are welcome to your own standards of crudeness – I know some of you to be real potty-mouths! What’s your favorite use of cursing in a song?