signup now
20 Greatest Songs with Swearing
  • March 21, 2014 : 07:03
  • comments

Let’s face it: Cursing is inarticulate. Humans have been speaking for at least 10,000 years, and when angered the best response we can compose is “Fuck you”? The grim rap-rock band Korn hinted at this paradox in its hilarious 2003 song “Y’all Want a Single,” a petulant reply to its record label’s request for a hit song. Jonathan Davis, who worked as a mortician before he was a singer, shouts, “Fuuuck that, fuuuck that,” over and over, tallying 89 fucks in the song, an average of one every 2.2 seconds.

Rap’s three greatest diss songs are Jay Z’s “Takeover,” Nas’s “Ether” and Tupac’s “Hit ’Em Up.” Jay Z’s attack on Nas is methodical, rooted in the accusation that he’d made only one great album, Illmatic. In reply, Nas bundles a series of taunts at Jay Z: He calls him ugly and a sellout and dubs him Gay-Z (this was before Jay was on it with Beyoncé). But these are Hallmark friendship cards compared with the Tupac song, which is vicious and unrelenting, the Keyser Söze of diss songs. Pac insults Biggie Smalls (“I fucked your bitch, you fat motherfucker”) and everyone in his orbit, including Puff Daddy and Lil’ Kim. Pac’s flames ignited the East Coast–West Coast rap wars, which culminated in his and Biggie’s murders.

Cursing: It’s fucking fun! Just ask the loutish English punk group Anti-Nowhere League, who must have pissed their bondage jeans recording this 1981 seven-inch B-side: “And I fucked a sheep / And I fucked a goat / I’ve had my cock right down its throat / So what.” Ironically, “So What” became the band’s meal ticket when metal superstars Metallica covered it on their Garage Inc. album. “Metallica bought me a Harley,” said lead singer Nick “Animal” Culmer.

From the same New York antiwar freaks who gave you the smash hits “Coca Cola Douche” and “Kill for Peace”—not to mention the lyric “I’m not ever gonna go to Vietnam / I prefer to stay right here and screw your mom”—comes this mocking folk-rock hootenanny that’s nearly the plot of a Jason Bourne movie. “Who can kill a general in his bed? / Overthrow dictators if they’re Red? / Fucking-a man! CIA man!” In the late 1960s the FBI described the Fugs’ debut album in an internal memo as “vulgar and repulsive.” Thanks for the compliment, J. Edgar Hoover!

When critics complained that South Park was nothing but fart jokes, co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone introduced Terrance and Phillip, whose cartoon show within the cartoon show revels in gas-based toilet humor. Early in Parker and Stone’s 1999 feature film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, the kids watch a Terrance and Phillip movie in which the duo quickly bursts into a faux–Broadway tune, “Uncle Fucka,” which begins, “Shut your fucking face, uncle fucka / You’re a cock-sucking, ass-licking uncle fucka.” Every adult in the theater leaves, but the boys remain seated, admiring (and soon imitating) this awesome display of filth. One of the songs from the movie was nominated for an Academy Award. It was not “Uncle Fucka.”

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
read more: entertainment, Celebrities, magazine, music, issue april 2014


  • Tony
    You forgot the grand daddy of all cuss songs. "Kick Out the Jams", by the MC5 FROM lINCOLN pARK, mi (Detroit)