Tearing the heart out of music

My daughter likes to listen to Heart FM for reasons I’ve never quite felt the desperation to get to the bottom of, so it’s often what the car radio is set to when we go anywhere. I’m not a big fan myself, but when doing the Saturday trip to swim training today they actually played a few tracks I like, including Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”, Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” and Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye”. But there’s a problem with the last one. It’s been emasculated by removing Sean Paul’s part altogether. I’m lost as to why anyone would do that. Part of the power of the track for me is the counterpoint between the two singers. Without that it’s really quite bland.

I’m reminded of the version of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” that they used to play, where in reference to photoshopped images the lyrics are “we know that shit ain’t real” and the word “shit” was removed whereas it was apparently fine to leave “go ahead and tell those skinny bitches”. Seems bizarre to me that it wasn’t considered acceptable to call something “shit”, but referring to other women as “bitches” wasn’t a problem.

In the case of Rockabye however the rap sections don’t contain anything I’ve spotted as potentially offensive (and Sean Paul has been removed entirely, not just those sections). It makes no sense to me at all. Leave it alone. It’s a great track.

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