Elvis Costello might marvel at the irony overload in the Mail and Telegraph
THE BBC has censored Elvis Costello’s lyrics to Oliver’s Army. The word “nigger” has been erased. The media is up arms. How very dare the BBC mess about with the music:
The Daily Telegraph:
BBC 6 Music criticised for not understanding the meaning of Elvis Costello’s Oliver’s Army after removing a line featuring the word ‘n—-r’.
James Lachno laments to removal of the line “one more widow, one less white n—-r“.
The irony continues in the Mail:
BBC digital radio station censors ‘One more widow, one less white n****r‘ lyric in Elvis Costello hit Oliver’s Army
Paul Revoir writes: It has been played in full thousands of times and without causing a fuss.
But Elvis Costello’s hit song Oliver’s Army was censored to remove the word ‘n*****r’ when it was recently played on a BBC digital station to the surprise of listeners.
One listener was shocked at the censorship:
A listener who heard the edited tune on Steve Lamacq’s show on 6 Music was prompted to complain to Radio 4’s Feedback, stating the word was actually necessary for the song: ‘I do know the song inside out, as most people probably do, then all of sudden – clunk- it had the n-word taken out.
In the 2002 reissue of the album, “Armed Forces,” Costello said what “white nigger” meant:
“I made my first trip to Belfast in 1978 and saw mere boys walking around in battle dress with automatic weapons. They were no longer just on the evening news. These snapshot experiences exploded into visions of mercenaries and imperial armies around the world. The song was based on the premise ‘they always get a working class boy to do the killing’.”