First-person songs that use bigoted language pointedly/satirically?
December 13, 2018 5:43 PM   Subscribe

What other songs have a point-of-view and tone that's similar to that of the Dead Milkmen's "Stuart" or the extended/banned version of Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing"? Doesn't have to be class-based homophobia like in those examples, they're just the only ones I could think of. I'm curious if there are more like that, specifically where there's no third-person commentary on the person being portrayed.
posted by unknowncommand to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Small Circle of Friends by Phil Ochs is maybe the first example I know of this in the modern day.
posted by jessamyn at 5:55 PM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Short People by Randy Newman?
posted by bleep at 6:02 PM on December 13, 2018 [6 favorites]

Common People?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 6:05 PM on December 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Asshole by Dennis Leary?
posted by inexorably_forward at 6:10 PM on December 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

“Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey” by Sly and the Family Stone?

“Truck Drivin’ Neighbors Downstairs” by Beck?
posted by ejs at 6:31 PM on December 13, 2018

If you buy into Eminem's 'plausibly deniable' caveat that he's "just playing a character", most of his Slim Shady oeuvre might qualify what you're looking for.
posted by wats at 7:21 PM on December 13, 2018

Depending on how you interpret it, Elvis Costello's "Oliver's Army."
posted by praemunire at 7:36 PM on December 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Speaking of Dead Milkmen... this is a Tiny Town.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:38 PM on December 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

"Fairytale of New York," by the Pogues, has recently been in the news because of something like this - see here.
posted by kingoftonga86 at 7:54 PM on December 13, 2018 [4 favorites]

"I Hate Wogs" by Eric Bogle most definitely fits this description.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:06 PM on December 13, 2018

bleep: "Short People by Randy Newman?"

Or even more so: "Rednecks" by Randy Newman.
posted by octothorpe at 8:12 PM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

American Tune by Andrew Jackson Jihad
21st Century Digital Boy by Bad Religion
Institutionalised by Suicidal Tendencies
Rock n Roll Nigger by Patti Smith (but not first person)

Sorry no links, partner asleep next to me and can’t YouTube.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:31 PM on December 13, 2018

Phil Ochs totally leaned into this in his later work, when he was getting very dark. "I Kill Therefore I Am" is about toxic masculinity in America and uses homophobic language to support the trope. Sadly, the song is still really timely.
posted by kendrak at 9:54 PM on December 13, 2018

Los Angeles, by X
posted by gingerbeer at 10:11 PM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Randy Newman is certainly a good one for this, though even he admits that the final verse of Rednecks is not truly in the narrator's voice.
posted by timdiggerm at 6:06 AM on December 14, 2018

Anything by the Country Teasers
posted by SystematicAbuse at 6:16 AM on December 14, 2018

Ian Dury's Spasticus Autisticus. (Dury was himself disabled, and it was deliberately written as a protest song.)
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 7:40 AM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Does Uneasy Rider by Charlie Daniels count? The narrator describes an opponent using bigoted language satirically, to turn the opponents' friends against him so the narrator can escape.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:42 AM on December 14, 2018

Pretty much every song by Steel Panther (cw. misogyny).
posted by overeducated_alligator at 7:46 AM on December 14, 2018

Jerry Reed - A Redneck in a Rock N Roll bar. Not a very good song, but the same idea from a conservative perspective.

And the elder statesmen of this genre might be Ray Wylie Hubbard.
Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother
which is a satirical country song about a guy who fights in bars, and references a 1968 song about cops beating hippies, and what they say to lead it off:
David Peel - Up Against the Wall doesn't have many other lyrics.

Hubbard also wrote Chick Singer Badass Rocking after a radio exec said two tracks by female country singers should never be played back to back, or people would change the station.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:54 AM on December 14, 2018

Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Latterman - My Dreams About Not Sleeping Until 3pm
posted by General Malaise at 8:18 AM on December 14, 2018

Pink Floyd -- Young Lust and In the Flesh
posted by DrAstroZoom at 1:46 PM on December 14, 2018

Also the Dead Milkmen - Taking Retards to the Zoo.
posted by bendy at 7:03 PM on December 14, 2018

One in a Million by Guns and Roses
posted by LibraryScientist at 11:43 AM on December 15, 2018

I don't think this is quite what you're looking for in terms of tone, but I think Propagandhi's Comply/Resist is an interesting addition to the conversation.

It's a paraphrase of Christopher Hitchens' 1992 essay about the anti-Colombus Day movement.
posted by eyesontheroad at 8:15 PM on December 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

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