Cee Lo’s memorable song of 2010

Back at the end of August, I posted on attempts to cope in print and on air with the title of Cee Lo Green’s song “Fuck You” (from the album The Ladykiller). Now the panel of the NPR show All Songs Considered have coped (in the show of December 7) with the title in selecting their choices for the best songs of the year (“The Year in Music”).

(Hat tip to Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky.)

The program can be accessed here; “Fuck You” is the very last of the 16 songs discussed. Here’s the text available on the site:

Album: The Lady Killer
Song: F— You [Explicit]

LANGUAGE ADVISORY:  This song contains explicit language not suitable for all audiences.

Song of the Year: “Using swear words is tricky in songs. It can be gimmicky or shocking, and sometimes they begin to lose their effect. But the contrast between Cee Lo’s soulful sound and voice, and the bite, and flippancy, and humor with which he delivers the phrase — it just makes it timeless. I feel like this chorus could be added to the canon of great phrases in soul songs. This is a song I came back to over and over again once it came out. I love it. It’s potent.” —Carrie Brownstein

(Agreed. Check out the official video — with title printed as “F**k You” — here, where you’ll hear “I’m like, fuck you”, with quotative like, plus occurrences of shit.)

But the really interesting part is the discussion preceding Brownstein’s evaluation and the playing of the song, unbleeped. There seems to be no transcript, so I’ll paraphrase here.

In the first mention of the title, fuck is bleeped. But then the host, Bob Boilen, advises the listeners that if they’re offended by the F-bomb, like the one just bleeped out, they should go away, and have a good new year, because there’s no way the show can play the song or talk about it without using the word. And they go on straightforwardly from there. (I hope without repercussions from the FCC.)

On a later show we got listeners’ votes for the best album of 2010; Cee Lo’s The Ladykiller came in at #25.



2 Responses to “Cee Lo’s memorable song of 2010”

  1. Pop music « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Cee Lo Green (here and here) and Vampire Weekend (here). We’re up to date here on […]

  2. Rhymes « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Cee Lo took home a Grammy for “Fuck You”, as Best Urban/Alternative Performance. In any case, the media had once again to cope with the song’s title. (Earlier discussion on this blog here and here.) […]

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