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Famous singer Elvis Costello is feeling the heat, urging radio stations to cease playing “Oliver’s Army,” his 1979 song that made use of the N-word in its lyrics.
He is upset that his use of the slur in the song is being misinterpreted by those who hear it, as racial sensitivities make people hear something Costello says he “didn’t intend.”
“People hear that word go off like a bell and accuse me of something that I didn’t intend,” he complained in an interview with The Telegraph.
The song in question is about British imperialism and utilized the phrase “white n*****” which Costello still defends, calling it “historically a fact.” He claims his grandfather was called by that term during his stint in the British Army. However, Costello admitted that he would probably “think twice” about using that term had he been writing the song in today’s social climate.
The word is bleeped out in the radio version of the song, but the singer argues that only makes it “worse.” The only solution, he contends, is to stop playing it altogether.
“They’re making it worse by bleeping it for sure,” he noted. “Because they’re highlighting it then. Just don’t play the record!”
Despite the flippant use of a racial slur, the song rose to nearly the top of the charts in Britain, snagging the No. 2 spot the year it was released. However, any future touring Costello does will eliminate the singing of “Oliver’s Army”
Twitter users were not impressed with Costello’s pleas:
He jumped before they got round to pushing him
— Rose (@lizzieBusey) January 12, 2022
Political Correctness, woke, stupidity.
— Add your Name (@GundyRk) January 12, 2022
Our culture is dumbing down so as not to offend the hard-of-understanding.
— Robyn (@RinseHold) January 11, 2022
…..oh ffs….one of my favourite songs though. Bored of this removal culture.
— Nicky (@zwitterio) January 11, 2022
And the PC wokey dokeys ,cancel culture crowd win again
— Vantagelvr (@GrahamBoardman2) January 11, 2022
It’s an old song but a great one. Unfortunately, the term was used by the British to describe Irish Catholics. Costello was just trying to point out the disgusting behavior.
— Mazzie (@mazzie65) January 12, 2022
Cancel culture will be the death of us! Surprised Costello is bowing to PC pressure. He should have just let the song be & not made a song & dance about it. Unless he’s really hoping to get ppl to rush to YouTube & play it to see what all the fuss is about. Reverse psychology?
— mary french (@ukgirlinsf) January 12, 2022
Our culture is increasingly being hemmed in and sanitized. Certain bad words can’t be used, regardless of context.
— thomas lawrence (@sturm60514) January 11, 2022
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