Elvis Costello says he will not sing Oliver’s Army due to the use of the N-word

Elvis Costello revealed that he would no longer play one of his favorite Oliver’s Army hits because it contained a racial swear word used to describe Catholics.

The song was written about the conflict in Northern Ireland, and Costello said his grandfather’s name was when he served in the British Army.

The 67-year-old told the Telegraph, “It’s a historical fact. But people hear that the word sounds like a bell and they accuse me of something I didn’t mean. “

The line in question contains the text: ‘Only one itchy trigger / One more widow, one less white n *****.’

Taken from Armed Forces’ 1979 album, the song is one of Costello’s most famous hits and until recently was played on all BBC radio stations without any complaints.

Elvis Costello (pictured) revealed that he would no longer play one of his favorite hits, Oliver's Army, because it contained a racial swear word used to describe Catholics in Northern Ireland.

Elvis Costello (pictured) revealed that he would no longer play one of his favorite hits, Oliver’s Army, because it contained a racial swear word used to describe Catholics in Northern Ireland.

Taken from Armed Forces' 1979 album, the song is one of Costello's most famous hits and has played an endless number of BBC radio stations without any complaints - until recently.

Taken from Armed Forces’ 1979 album, the song is one of Costello’s most famous hits and has played an endless number of BBC radio stations without any complaints – until recently.

Oliver’s Army full text

Don’t start talking to it

I could talk all night

My mind was sleepy

While bringing the world to justice

Call career information

Do you have a profession?

Oliver’s army will stay here

Oliver’s army is on its way

And I’d rather be anywhere else

But here today

Checkpoint Charlie was there

He didn’t smile

But it’s no fun

When you were on a murder mile

It only takes one itchy trigger

One more widow, one less white n *****

Oliver’s army will stay here

Oliver’s army is on its way

And I’d rather be anywhere else

But here today

Hong Kong is in play

London is full of Arabs

We could be in Palestine

Crossed by the Chinese line

With the boys from Mersey and the Thames and Tyne

But there is no danger

It’s a professional career

Although it could be arranged

Just a word in Mr. Churchill’s ear

If you are not lucky or work

We could send you to Johannesburg

Oliver’s army will stay here

Oliver’s army is on its way

And I’d rather be anywhere else

But here today

And I’d rather be anywhere else

But here today

And I’d rather be anywhere else

But here today

Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh

Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh

In 2013, the BBC received criticism for editing the song by whistling an offensive line, and on his latest tour, Costello rewrote the song in response to it being “cut by the censors.”

He added: “I wrote a new verse about censorship on the last tour, but what’s the point?”

“So I decided not to play it. [Bleeping the word] is a mistake. They make it worse by beeping. Because then they emphasize it. Just don’t let the record go! ”

In a separate interview with the Guardian to promote his new album The Boy Names If Costello, he said he wanted the radio stations to stop playing the original recording.

He said: ‘Unfortunately, the two-word slang is a historical fact. It was a derogatory term for Irish Catholics, which I use to emphasize it.

“One is terrified to think of a class of officers talking about skin-colored people. Maybe I would express the same idea differently now. ”

Costello added that radio stations would “do him a favor” when they no longer played the 1979 song.

Because when I get off the bus, they play ‘She’, ‘Good Year For The Roses’ and ‘Oliver’s Army’, “he added. “I will die and they will celebrate my death with two songs that I did not write. What does that tell you? ”

Good Year For The Roses was written by Jerry Chesnut and played by George Jones, while She was originally written and played by Charles Aznavour.

Costello released cover versions of the songs in 1981 and 1999, with his cover She appearing as his biggest song on streaming services and recording 80 million plays on Spotify alone.

It comes months after the Rolling Stones confirmed that they would no longer play the song Brown Sugar due to a controversy over the lyrics.

The successful song was originally called ‘Black P ****’, but Mick Jagger decided before the release that the title was too ‘rough’ and was changed to Brown Sugar.

The 1969 song depicts scenes of slavery and sexual violence, including a text about a slave driver whipping a group of women, and has come under fire in recent years for his comments on slavery.

Keith Richards said the band decided to withdraw the song because they did not want to get involved in “conflicts” over the lyrics, while Mick Jagger indicated that the song might return to their setlist in the future.

The Stones have played a hit that has sold 2,700,000 times since its original release, most recently on August 30, 2019 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

In 2013, the BBC received criticism for editing the song by whistling an offensive line, and on his latest tour, Costello rewrote the song in response to being “cut off by censors.”

This provoked opposition from “awakened” music fans, who argued that they should still not sing the song because of its portrayal of slavery.

But furious Rolling Stones fans have said they do not understand the controversy over the song because it is clearly against slavery, with many saying artists should be free to express themselves without fear of “abolishing culture”.

The 1969 song is the basis of live performances by the Rolling Stones since it was released 50 years ago, and is the second most played song in their catalog after Jumpin ‘Jack Flash, with 1,136 well-known performances, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

Keith Richards, who recorded the song with Jagger during a three-day session at the famous Muscle Shoals in Alabama, said he was taken aback by the recent discomfort of the lyrics because it was always a grotesque story about slavery, rape and sexual violence.

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards (right) and Ronnie Wood (left) are seen on stage in Nashville on Saturday night.  The band decided to stop playing Brown Sugar on this tour

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards (right) and Ronnie Wood (left) are seen on stage in Nashville on Saturday night. The band decided to stop playing Brown Sugar on this tour

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