A list of 100 banned songs – the Chinese censorship

Reply Fri 2 Sep, 2011 08:02 am
Chinese Ministry of Culture has recently published another (third in a row) list of banned songs. Lady Gaga prevails in the list but there are also tracks of Katy Perry and Beyoncé and bands like Backstreet Boys or Take That. The purpose of banning the songs was to “save the order in Chinese music market”. According to the Minister of Culture those tracks are “harmful to the national cultural security and must be cleaned up and regulated under the law". The songs connected to politics, religion or sex are prone to make it to the Chinese black list, but also the ones about “youthful independence”.

The songs recently added to the banned list are, among many others, Lady Gaga’s controversial "Judas" and "The Edge of Glory" and "E.T." and "Last Friday Night" by Katy Perry. Surprisingly there were also the tracks that are not considered controversial at all as "Honey and the Bee" by Owl City, "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys and "When We Were Young" by Take That.

I found some examples of the lyrics that might have caused the objection of the censors: Check it yourself:

LADY GAGA: "Bloody Mary"
… ends with Spanish phrase "Oh, libertad, mi amor" – Oh, freedom, my love

… contains "This is my prayer/ That I'll die living just as free as my hair"

LADY GAGA: "Judas"
… in there are already some stronger words: "In the most Biblical sense, I am beyond repentance, Fame hooker, prostitute, wench; vomits her mind"

Kanye West raps: "I got a dirty mind, I got filthy ways (...) I be so fa-a-ar up, we don't give a f-f-f-f-ck"
Then Katy sings on: "Kiss me, k-k-kiss me, infect me with your love, and fill me with your poison, take me, t-t-take me, wanna be your victim, ready for abduction"

KATY PERRY: "Last Friday Night"
Also banned, because: "There's a stranger in my bed, There's a pounding my head (...) I smell like a minibar, DJ's passed out in the yard, (...) There's a hickey or a bruise, Pictures of last night ended up online I'm screwed (...) Last Friday night, We went streaking in the park, Skinny dipping in the dark Then had a menage a trois"

But why are the Backstreet Boys’ and Take That’s hits condemned? I couldn’t find anything wrong with the lyrics of "I want it that way". Maybe "You are my fire, The one desire" didn’t strike a sympathetic chord of Chinese censors? Or was it the “youthful independence” in the phrase "When we were young, Had the world by the tail, Good would prevail, (...) And none of us would fail in this life" of "When we were young" by Take That?

It’s hard to tell. Anyway we will never know because Chinese government doesn’t explain its decisions.

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