Top 10 Censored Songs in Country Music
Country stars have long been known to speak their minds through their lyrics, but usually not using four letter words. While it’s common in other genres to have two different versions of a song — one clean and one explicit — it’s really pretty rare in country music.
But we’ve found a few over the years who dare to swear … and then have to go back into the studio to make a family-friendly version of the same song for country radio airplay. The alternative? Just accept the fact that radio might throw a big fat bleep in the middle of their song. The Boot counts down our picks for the top 10 censored songs in country music.
Original Line: “Come and get your s—!”
Squeaky Clean Alternative: “Come and get it.”
Never one to avoid speaking her mind, Miranda said exactly what she wanted to say on the album version of her song. She also released a clean version to radio to ensure the first single from her hit album, ‘Four the Record,’ kept flying up the charts.
Original Line: “Just till he’s hungry or h—- or needs something cleaned.”
Squeaky Clean Alternative: “Just ’til he’s hungry or frisky or needs something cleaned.”
The pop star turned country songbird played it safe on her debut country single, replacing “h—–” (rhymes with corny … if you’re not in the mood to play Hangman!) with the word “frisky” to avoid any controversy at country radio.
Original Line: “Would you get the wrong impression if I called us a cab right now?”
Squeaky Clean Alternative: “Would you get the wrong impression if I asked you to dance right now?”
Some may have gotten the wrong impression from Hillary Scott’s playful suggestion, but we got the notion she was merely suggesting the responsible use of a designated driver, rather than anything of a mischievous nature.
Original Line: “I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand.”
Squeaky Clean Alternative: “I got my toes in the water, toes in the sand.”
The guys of the Zac Brown Band were “knee deep” in radio edits for this 2009 No. 1 single. The word “ass” was replaced with “toes” in the chorus, while “roll a fat one” was bleeped out completely by some stations.
Censored Line: “When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight, roll up a joint, or don’t / Just follow your arrow wherever it points.”
Kacey Musgraves made one of the boldest single choices in recent country music history with ‘Follow Your Arrow,’ which celebrates individuality. The song includes some challenging lines about girls kissing girls and marijuana use, which remained intact for the radio single. Interestingly, when Musgraves debuted the song at the CMA Awards, producers chose to leave the line about girls kissing girls, but obscured the line, “roll up a joint.” Rather than try to deal with all of the different challenges the lyric posed, some radio markets simply chose not to play the song.
Original Line: “I’ve been fueling up on cocaine and whiskey.”
Squeaky Clean Alternative: “Ive been fueling up on (bleep) and whiskey.”
What happens when two rock stars join forces on a heartbreak ballad? Song lyrics too controversial for country radio. But the song gave Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock two firsts: a song in the Top 25 on the country charts and a CMA award nomination for Vocal Event of the Year.
Original Line: “I’m the son-of-a-b—- that named you Sue!“
Squeaky Clean Alternative: “I’m the son-of-a (bleep) that named you Sue!“
Original Line: “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way!”
Squeaky Clean Alternative: “We’ll put a boot in your (bleep), it’s the American way!”
At the height of patriotism following the events of 9/11, Toby retaliated against our nation’s enemies with the brazen tune, featuring the famous (or infamous to some) “boot” lyric. Although Toby serviced an uncensored version to country radio, some programmers opted to play a PG version, which infuriated a few steadfastly patriotic country listeners.
Original Line: “I’ll tell mine you’re gay.”
Squeaky Clean Alternative: “You won’t mind if I say.”
The queen of squeaky clean tailored her tune, ‘Picture to Burn,’ for a radio edit, removing a line about spreading gay rumors from the vengeful lyrics to provide a more politically correct version to her legion of young, adoring fans. She also removed “damn” from ‘Teardrops on My Guitar,’ erasing any trace of controversy from her multi-platinum, self-titled debut album.
Original Line: “I done told you once you son-of-a-b—-, I’m the best there’s ever been.”
Squeaky Clean Alternative: “I done told you once you son-of-a-gun, I’m the best there’s ever been.”
Respectable language is always a must, even when dealing with the devil himself. Charlie cleaned up the lyrics to the 1979 classic hit, his only single to reach No. 1 on the country charts. Charlie’s ‘Devil’ kicks some serious a– as one of the most iconic censors in music history.