15 of the best swears in musical history

It is big and it is clever

Just FYI: swearing is awesome and it makes everyone think you’re really cool. Your favourite musicians know this, too, so let’s take a look at the naughtiest, sweariest tracks of all time.

The Libertines, ‘What a Waster’

“What a waster, what a fucking waster / you pissed it all up the wall,” sang the Libs on their first single and breakthrough hit, before throwing in a well-timed “two bob cunt”. Would this tune lose some of its magic, were the swears not there? We’re not sur ewho he’s taking about, but if it’s Pete Doherty is picking them up for Dionysian excesses, then someone’s definitely got problems.

Rage Against the Machine, ‘Killing in the Name’

The searing anger in Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name’ was powerful enough upon its release in 1992; when it was re-released 17 years later as the angry anthem that would displace the hegemony of The X Factor Christmas no.1, it was as though the incubation period had made it even more furious still. “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me!” spat Zac de la Rocha over and over again. If Zac had said “Fiddlesticks to you”, one suspects the impact would have been greatly reduced.

Adam Green – ‘Bluebirds’

“And I don’t go out for lunch,” sings Adam sweetly, “and I don’t go out for cunts,” he also sings, not sweetly at all. And he looked like such a nice boy as well.

Limp Bizkit, ‘Hot Dog’

“If I say “Fuck” two more times,” Fred Durst sagely notes on this nu-metal atrocity, “That’s forty six “Fucks” in this fucked up rhymes.” Well done, Fred, here’s a medal.

Peaches, ‘Fuck the Pain Away’

Peaches’ raw electroclash classic wouldn’t have resonated so hard with nihilistic clubbers if she’d been singing “fornicate the pain away”, and it wouldn’t have fitted properly either. I mean, the word “fornicate” wouldn’t have fitted properly. What did you think I was talking about?? You should wash your mind out with soap and water.

John Cooper Clarke, ‘Evidently Chicken Town’

Is “bloody” a swear word? Probably not, in 2018, when we’ve all got high-speed internet connections in our pockets and are desensitised by internet porn and profane Twitter arguments. Luckily, like internet porn and angry tweeter, John throws in a few fucks for good measure.

Pixies, ‘U-Mass’

Black Francis’ frat boy anthem about his time at the University of Massachusetts includes many a choice cut from hedonistic student antics. “Oh kiss me cunt,” he beseeches, “oh kiss me cock”. It’s educational apparently, and it’ll probably not surprise you that Frank was majoring in Anthropology at the time.

Fatboy Slim,’Fucking In Heaven’

If you’re ever looking for Fatboy Slim and don’t know where he is, and no-one’s seen him for a while, there’s a good chance he’s popped to the big bed upstairs for a bit of how’s-your-father.

Björk, ‘Alarm Call’

The most alarming thing about this song, taken from Björk’s fourth album ‘Homogenic’, is the line that comes out of the nowhere: “I’m no fucking buddhist, but this is enlightenment,” she wails. Nirvana mate, it’s fackin’ cushty.

Azealia Banks, ‘212’

Swearing is not only big and clever – it’s also great fun and really, really cool. If you don’t believe me then you’ve probably forgotten all about ‘212’, the coolest track of 2011, performed by Azealia Banks, who swears like a schooner full of drunken navvies. “Imma ruin you cunt,” was just one of the saucy verses from Yung Rapunxel’s classic.

Lil Jon ft. Ice Cube, ‘Real Nigga Roll Call’

It’s the sweariest track in history apparently, with 295 words that could be deemed offensive by someone somewhere, according to the Guinness Book of Records. You can’t say anything nowadays!

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, ‘Stagger Lee’

‘Stagger Lee’ is a traditional American folk song, but that didn’t stop the Bad Seeds from leaving their indelible mark on it with plenty of profanity and more besides. on no track does the singer get more into the dastardly mind of a killer with more hilarity than on this live Murder Ballads favourite. “I’m a bad motherfucker, don’t you know,” drawls Cave as the incarnation of the twisted killer, “and I’ll crawl over 50 good pussies just to get one fat boy’s asshole”. Charmed, I’m sure.

Eminem, ‘Kim’

In which Em imagines stuffing wife Kim in the boot of a car and driving her into the river. Even by mid-noughties Eminem’s standards, this is horrific. On the plus side, he references the fact that he shares childcare of their daughter Hailie (“Yesterday I changed your diaper”). Truly, a modern man.

The Notorious B.I.G., ‘One More Chance’

Where would hip-hop be without a bit of controversy? For instance, what was the Notorious B.I.G. packing? “So recognise the dick size in these Karl Kani jeans,” he boasts during ‘One More Chance’, “I’m in thirteens, know what I mean?” Not really. The track, taken from the late, legendary MC’s 1994 album ‘Ready to Die’, is utterly filthy, and all the better for it. So that’s why they called him Biggie.

The Beautiful South, ‘Don’t Marry Her’

Given that a ‘clean’ version was released as the single, it’s easy to forget the naughty, giddy thrill that was the original, as singer Jacqui Abbott implores, “Don’t marry her – fuck me.” The reference to “sweaty bollocks”  was altered to “Sandra Bullocks”, though tragically there’s no mention of a “wizard’s sleeve” that could be changed to “Keanu Reeves”.