Follow TV Tropes


Bowdlerise / Music

Go To

  • The common Scouting campfire song "Do Your Ears Hang Low" was bowdlerised from a WWI-era British soldiers' song called "Do Your Balls Hang Low".
  • The popular English hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful" by Cecil Frances Alexander usually now has its third verse omitted, due to its now-controversial endorsement of the British class system as divinely ordained.
    The rich man in his castle
    The poor man at his gate
    God made them high and lowly
    And ordered their estate
  • Advertisement:
  • Eazy-E's "Boyz-n-the-Hood" has clean radio edit lyrics, changing "Don't quote me boy, cuz I ain't said shit" to "Don't quote me boy, cuz I ain't said nothin' yet."
  • Kidz Bop is a series of cover albums sung by little kids. The lyrics are changed to be more kid-friendly:
    • An egregious example is the cover of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way", which edits out all references to people in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, as well as reference to race and ethnicity; making the song utterly meaningless.
    • Some of the edits actually make the songs sound dirtier than before, like "Wrap it up / Can't stop 'cause it feels like it's really close" (Wrap it up / Can't stop 'cause it feels like a overdose," from Cascada's "Evacuate The Dancefloor") or make no sense in the context of the song, like "And you out when you ain't got anyone" ("And you wild when you ain't got nothin' on / haha," from B.o.B. and Bruno Mars' "Nothin' On You").
    • Advertisement:
    • In Kids Bop 23, "Gangnam Style" was edited to change "Hey, sexy lady..." to "Hey, pretty lady..."
    • Averted possibly by accident on the same Kidz Bop "Gangnam Style" was on. In their cover of "50 Ways to Say Goodbye", they keep the word "crappy". Crap isn't really considered a swear word anymore (though there are times it will get edited like one because it's still considered rude, similar to how "sucks" and "screwed" can be edited if used in the rude or mildly risque sense) at least in America, however.
    • The Kidz Bop version of Alessia Cara's "Scars to Your Beautiful" removes the references to self-harm and eating disorders in the song, which similarly to "Born This Way" strips meaning from the song.
    • The Kidz Bop version of "Friends" by Marshmello and Anne-Marie changes "you're not my lover" to "you're not my other" - "lover" was presumably censored due to sexual connotations, and "other" can be taken as short for "significant other" (it also happens to be less of a slant rhyme for "brother")
    • Advertisement:
    • In their cover of "Photograph" by Nickelback, "What the hell is on Joey's head?" is changed to "What the heck is on Joey's head?".
  • Like Kidz Bop, the soundtracks for the live-action Alvin and the Chipmunks movie series change some lyrics to the songs they cover. For instance, the Chippettes version of "Single Ladies" leaves out the lyrics in the middle of the song, "Trouble" removes references to drugs, and "We'll Be Alright" changes "Our middle fingers in the air" to "We wave our tails in the air".
  • The animatronic shows at Chuck E. Cheese often altered lyrics to song covers to remove sex and drug references. For instance, during their cover of Run–D.M.C.'s "It's Tricky" "These girls are really sleazy/All they say is please me" was changed to "My name is Chuck E. Cheesy/You're all right here to please me" and "They offer coke and lots of dope/But we just leave it alone" became "We will take hugs, instead of drugs/And that is fine with me". Changes to Bowling for Soup's "1985" included turning "One Prozac a day" to "One workout a day" and "She's gonna shake her ass" to "She's gonna shake it right." The "1985" changes may be due to the lyrics being based off of the radio edit of the song.
    • Ironically, Jaret Reddick, the lead singer of Bowling for Soup, is the current voice of Chuck E. Cheese.
  • One of the first ever official "radio-friendly" versions of a song was of Jimmy Dean's famous country song "Big Bad John", where the radio version replaces the last line "At the bottom of this hole lies a hell of a man" with "... lies a big, big man".
  • Adele: "Rolling In The Deep" officially has a line that goes, "Go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your ship bare." Except the "ship" sounds more like "shit" (which, knowing Adele, was probably the intended word in the first place.) In any case, when the song appears on radio, the possibly-offending word is played backwards, and when Adele sang it at the Grammys in 2012 she replaced "ship" with "stuff."
    • in the U.K., Eliza Doolittle had a similar issue with her song "Pack Up". The original lyrics were "And I like to tiptoe 'round the ship goin' down", but on BBC Radio 1 and Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 77, the lyric was "And I like to tiptoe 'round the tiff goin' down". Apparently the Brits just can't differentiate "ship" from "shit" for some reason, so they play it safe on the Beeb.
    • It's not just the Brits. Across the pond, the Keri Hilson song "Knock You Down" had the "ship" in the line "I'm the commander-in-chief of my pimp ship flyin' high" blanked out on the radio. Apparently, Ne-Yo mentioning "flying" immediately after the word didn't clue censors into the context.
  • Bob Carlisle's album Butterfly Kisses (Shades of Grace) has a song called "It Is Well with My Soul" (not the hymn), that borrowed a few lines from a well-known James Brown song for the bridge. Problem: Carlisle's mostly Christian audience (at the time) likely wouldn't have appreciated the term "sex machine". So the lyric becomes: "Get up (get on up)/Stay on the scene/Aww, you know what I mean."
  • Kanye West:
    • "Power" originally had a second verse that started with a somewhat unwarranted Take That! against Saturday Night Live and a much-needed Take That! against Kanye himself:
      "Fuck SNL and the whole cast
      Tell ‘em Yeezy said they can kiss my whole ass
      More specifically, they can kiss my asshole
      I’m an asshole? You niggas got jokes
      You short-minded niggas’ thoughts is Napoleon
      My furs is Mongolian, my ice brought the goalies in
      Now I embody every characteristic of the egotistic
      He know, he so, fuckin’ gifted
      I just needed time alone, with my own thoughts
      Got treasures in my mind but couldn’t open up my own vault
      My childlike creativity, purity and honesty
      Is honestly being prodded by these grown thoughts
      Reality is catchin’ up with me
      Takin’ my inner child, I’m fighting for it, custody
      With these responsibilities that they entrusted me
      As I look down at my dia-mond-encrusted piece"
    • Naturally, when Kanye West was chosen as the musical guest for the season 36 episode hosted by Bryan Cranston, the entire second verse had to be changed. One would expect the SNL Take That! to be altered and some of the profanity to be replaced with euphemisms, but instead a completely new verse was written. The new second verse goes like this:
      "The brown hero, live from Ground Zero
      Machine gun flow, made her get a Ross Perot
      And this is disestablishmentarianism
      With my night goggles on, got military vision
      And it’s still a very Christian way to think about livin’
      When you prayin’ for freedom ’cause your mind been in prison
      ‘Cause they tryin’ to control every single big decision
      You ain’t effin’ the system, then why the eff is you livin’?
      Look, dawg, you can cop whatever suits you on
      Three-piece, cuff links and the accoutrements
      They been feedin’ us ish without the nutrients
      So I’m back with another hit to let the truth be known
      And your boy still fresh with the Gucci on
      Them Italians sure know how to make what the moodies want
      And they really can’t take what Doobie on
      But I be on the same thing ’til you prove me wrong."
    • "Gold Digger" replaces "She ain't messin' with no broke niggas" to "She ain't messin' with no broke broke". It ends up becoming a subverted rhyme.
    • The music video version of "All Falls Down" censors "white" in the line "And a white man get paid off of all of that" due to racist connotations.
  • Some stations edited the reggae-rap bridge from Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue", either because it was mildly suggestive ("Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, feelin' kinda sick / Just a spoonful of sugar make it better real quick"), because it was so bizarre sounding, or both.
    • Many also take out the part near the end in which Jennifer Nettles sings with Auto-Tune.
  • Averted in the Green Day album 21st Century Breakdown. Wal-Mart attempted to get Green Day to record a censored version of the album, as the store does not sell explicit albums. The band refused.
  • Canadian music video channel MuchMusic has a history of censoring references to suicide. While it is unsurprising that the word "suicide" was removed from Papa Roach's "Last Resort," more surprising was the removal of the word "resort", despite being part of the title! Guess the censors didn't like the expression "last resort" in association with suicide.
    • On a related note in the past, when they did outright ban a video, they aired it as part of a late-night special called Too Much 4 Much, which also featured panel discussions on why it should or should not have been banned.
  • "No News" by country music band Lonestar: "Joined a cult, joined The Klan" became "Playing guitar with The Band", which incidentally goes much better with the next line of "on the road with Pearl Jam"
  • "Alright Guy" by Todd Snider. In the official music video, the line "Now maybe I'm dirty, and maybe I smoke a little dope / Hey, it ain't like I'm goin' on TV and tearin' up pictures of the Pope" muted the word "dope", while the lyric "Hey, I was only kidding when I called them a couple of dicks" (which works as a Double Entendre, as "dick" used to mean a police officer or a police detective, and now means either "penis" or "someone who is mean or morally repugnant") reverses the word "dicks".
    • And when Gary Allan covered the song in 2001, the "pope" line was changed to "This one time for medicinal purposes, they forced me to smoke some dope / I'm pretty sure I can still be the President, but I don't think I'll ever get to be the Pope". Changing the second half is at least justifiable to remove the then-dated reference to Sinéad O'Connor's controversial performance on a 1992 episode of Saturday Night Live (similarly, "that new book with pictures of Madonna naked" becomes "that old book"), but that first half is rather egregious. Even more bizarre is that Gary did not change the "dicks" line.
  • Downplayed weirdly with the KONGOS song "I'm Only Joking". The chorus contains this couplet: "What are you smoking?/I'm just fucking with your head." Probably because alternative radio tends to be more lenient, the drugs are kept intact while the f-word becomes f(silence)cking.
  • Rock and roll songs from the 1950s were considered menacing enough by the (non-teenage) audiences of the day note  that, for a while, Pat Boone was able to become very successful by recording bowdlerised covers of popular songs.
    • Boone wasn't alone. Elvis recorded a notably toned-down version of Big Mama Thornton's raunchy "Hound Dog", and Bill Haley & His Comets adjusted the lyrics to Joe Turner's "Shake Rattle and Roll" to be more palatable to mainstream listeners (though they kept the song's most sexually explicit line intact: "I'm like a one-eyed cat, peepin' in a seafood store").
    • There's also Elvis' cover of Smiley Lewis' "One Night", which substituted "One night with you is what I'm now praying for" (itself a fairly racy line for 1959) for the original's "One night of sin is what I'm now paying for".
  • When Moby covered Mission Of Burma's "That's When I Reach For My Revolver", it was changed to "That's When I Realize It's Over" for MTV due to MTV's rules against mentioning anything associated with guns, gunfire, and gun violence (and, yes, that rule applies to most rap songs).
  • Some editions of The Lemonheads' It's A Shame About Ray change the title of "My Drug Buddy" to "Buddy". The lyrics receive no editing whatsoever though.
  • Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks held a contest on their website to determine how their single "Senator" would be bowdlerized: The original line was "what the senator wants is a blow job" and the winning entry was "what the senator wants is a corn dog".
  • Kid Rock:
    • Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow's "Picture": "I've been fueling up on cocaine and whiskey" has several edits to the word "cocaine": it's either muted, reversed, or replaced with "water" depending on the station.
    • He also parodied this in the song "Cowboy".
    "Curse like a sailor/Drink like a mick/My only words of wisdom are/<RADIO EDIT>"
    • Speaking of that song, many stations blank out some or all of the second part of the line "lock me up and snort away my key", as well as the word "white"note  in the phrase "I'mma paint his town red, then paint his wife white!"
    • The YouTube version of the official music video for Kid Rock's "I Am the Bullgod" censors anything even tangentially related to alcohol or drug consumption by distorting the vocals. This includes brand names and descriptions of symptoms (i.e. the name 'Jim Beam' and the phrase 'bloodshot eyes' are censored). Close to half the song, and almost the entire second verse, is incomprehensible.
  • Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" has all the gun references (mostly the words "bullet" and "gun") removed from radio edits and the rare times it appears on a music video channel.
  • The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Gimme The Loot" includes a line about robbing a pregnant woman at gun point. Apparently, this was considered beyond the pale by either album producer Sean Combs or someone at the record label, because even the otherwise uncensored version of the song still censors that line. It's somewhat bizarre to listen to a song that's full of cursing and violence and realize you've just heard the word "pregnant" bleeped out. "Machine Gun Funk" also Sound Effect Bleeps out the phrase "the blue suits" (referring to police officers) with police sirens for unknown reasons, though the line is so relatively innocuous that this might have even just been done because it sounded cool.
  • Nicki Minaj:
    • "Superbass" is a victim of this. However, no two stations can seem to agree on what is and isn't acceptable to air on the radio, resulting in no two stations airing the same cut of the song. You might as well listen to the uncut version and save yourself the headache.
    • "Starships" had "We're higher than a motherfucker!" in its chorus, which actually went uncensored for a while because, if anything, it sounded more so like she was saying "mother......ker!" (because of the large amount of pitch-shifting during said vocal), until stations began to catch on, blurring it out so the line sounds like, "We're higher than a (record scratch)!" Many stations also censor "Onika", Nicki's real name, in the line "My name is Onika, you can call me Nicki", due to complaints that it sounds like "n*gga".
      • "Fuck who you are and fuck what you like" is also left uncensored in the clean version, despite "Fuck" usually being written as "That's" when referring to the clean version.
  • Toby Keith has apparently gotten less leeway on the word "ass" over the years: it was untouched on "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)" in 2002, but 2009's "American Ride" turned "Daddy works his ass off" to "Daddy works his can off"; 2011's "Red Solo Cup" muted the last word of "Freddie Mac can kiss my ass"; and 2014's "Drunk Americans" originally just muted "We don't give a rat's ass" in the chorus, but a later edit changed it to "We don't care, we don't ask" on the first and third iterations, and "We don't judge, we don't laugh" on the second. "Red Solo Cup" also altered "And you, sir, do not have a pair of testicles / If you prefer drinkin' from glass" to "And you, sir, do not have a pair of vegetables", possibly for Rule of Funny.
  • Trace Adkins' "Rough & Ready" had two edits for the radio: "Got a 'what are you lookin' at, asshole' smirk" to "got a 'what are you lookin' at, pretty boy' smirk" and "Work boots, one blue suit / Size too small, don't wear at all / Unless somebody kicks, gets hitched / That's a bitch, it makes me itch" to "...don't fit, it makes me itch".
  • The band Kick Axe contributed two songs to The Transformers: The Movie - because executives deemed their band name inappropriate for young audiences, the soundtrack album credited them as Spectre General instead.
  • A radio edit for Panic! at the Disco's song "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" censored "god" but not "damn" from "goddamn" (a word frequently used in the song). In fact, the music video also lampshades the need to censor it by having Brendon Urie cover his mouth on "god".
  • Blake Shelton:
    • "Drink on It" changes "Man, he sounds like such a prick" to "Man, I'd like to bust his lip".
    • A year later, "Boys 'Round Here" changed "backwoods legit, don't take no shit" to "...don't take no lip".
    • And in 2016, an edit of "She's Got a Way with Words" emerged that changed "She put a big F.U. in my future" to "She put the SOL in solo" (a baffling choice since "SOL" typically stands for "shit outta luck", meaning that they just traded one implied profanity for another), while also changing "words like 'lying', 'cheating', and 'screwed'" to "...and 'truth'". Other stations just edit out the line "She put a big F.U. in my future" entirely. One wonders why he didn't have any trouble with this when he put out "Some Beach"note  over a decade prior...
  • The radio edit of Disturbed's "Down With the Sickness" cuts out most if not all of the "Every night I dream..." part because of implied child abuse and massive use of the F-word. In Rock Band 2, the solo is left intact, but the lyrics are removed.
  • The radio edit of Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" removes the entire "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!" part and immediately cuts to the end. The cover in Guitar Hero 2 simply changes the lyrics to "Now you're under control, I won't do what you tell me!" and "UNDER CONTROLLLLLLL!!!".
  • After Lee Hazelwood threatened to sue them over their lyric changes, the only way Megadeth could include their cover of "These Boots" on subsequent releases of Killing is My Business... and Business is Good! was to censor every changed lyric, resulting in a remastered version with about half the words being bleeped out, which makes their version seem much filthier than it actually was.
  • NWOBHM band Tank have an odd subversion. The booklet in the 2005 reissue of Honour and Blood blatantly changes the lyrics of many of the songs to remove violent or controversial content. However, the actual audio remains unaltered aside from the remastering, leading to numerous situations where what the booklet says is clearly not what Algy is actually singing. While some of the changes may well be a case of the people making the booklet trying to write out the lyrics by ear instead of looking them up and ending up with a Mondegreen, others definitely seem to be deliberate, such as the removal of all references to Islam in "The War Drags Ever On" (which plays the "all Muslims are terrorists" card so hard that many people would be shocked to learn that it was written over a decade and a half before 9/11). For example, the lyrics for the first verse of the song are actually:
    A war is raging that we don't understand
    And I doubt that we can
    There's no mistaking the mad sons of Islam
    As they spill blood on the sand
    A strange religion that destroys through the Koran
    Freedom's lost in this land
    Hades or Heaven, they're under its command
    Whatever rights had a man
    • But according to the booklet, what he's singing should be heard as:
    A war is raging but we don't understand
    And I doubt that we can
    There's no mistaking the terms of this land
    As they spill blood on the ground
    A strange religion spreads through the crowd
    Put them out of this land
    Hades or Heaven, they're under their command
    Whatever rights have a man
  • Brazilian comedy group Casseta & Planeta has a song that the chorus roughly translates to "I am so sad/I am a fucking wreck/I'm in the shit/Became a card out of the deck". The G-rated version featured on this televised performance has an impressively funny array of bowdlerization. Said chorus is translated first to a quite risqué version (I am a goddamn wreck/I got down to pick up the soap), another alludes the original line "eu me fudi" ("I've fucked myself") with "I've made a fondue", and the final one is a Stealth Pun lampshading that they're running out of words to replace the cuss word "caralho" ("I bought a dictionary, couldn't find a word that rhymes with baralho").
  • Lily Allen:
    • According to Wikipedia, while performing the song "Not Fair" on The Graham Norton Show in 2009, she changed the lyric "I spent ages giving head", to instead "I spent ages kneading bread". Yeah, we don't get it, either. Another censored version played on radio simply blanks out that entire line.
    • For her song "Fuck You", the radio edit quite creatively censors all instances of the word "fuck" with various animal noises. They only appear after the initial "f-" sound, so it's still quite clear what word's being censored.
  • Oddly, the lyric sheet to the self-titled album by OKGO has a line in "Don't Ask Me" listed as "Don't waste my blasted time" instead of "Don't waste my fucking time". The actual song isn't censored though.
    • OKGO have covered "Oliver's Army" by Elvis Costello live - instead of singing its one N-Word Privileges-averting section ("All it takes is one itchy trigger / one more widow, one less white nigger"), they repeat a line from a previous verse ("If you're out of luck or out of work / we can take you to Johannesburg")
  • Invoked in the video for Raghav's "Top Of The World", in which he covers his mouth in the line "you would think that I'm fucked, but I'm not" (the offending word is blurbed out as well, and only the edited version is available on iTunes).
    • "We go burn this shit down" is also blurbed in "Fire".
  • 3OH3's "Don't Trust Me" originally had the line "don't trust a ho" in the chorus, which became something like "don't trust her". "I'm a vegetarian and I'm not fucking scared of him" also becomes "I'm a vegetarian and I'm not [DRUMBEAT] scared of him". Furthermore, a 'super clean' edit was released to some radio stations, censoring the controversial lyric "do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips".
  • The radio version of House of Pain's "Jump Around" is heavily censored due to the large amount of expletives and violence references; e.g. "If your bitch steps up I'm smackin' the ho" becomes "If your girl steps up I'm smackin' her" note  and many words or phrases were silenced.
  • The chorus of Black Grape's "Kelly's Heroes" was originally written as "Don't talk to me about heroes / most of these men snort cocaine" - it ultimately got recorded as "Don't talk to me about heroes / most of these men sing like serfs"note . The band sang "most of these men snort cocaine" whenever they played it live, even on television performances where this was censored via cutting out audio anyway.
  • Again invoked in the video for the clean version of Marianas Trench's "Desperate Measures", in which Josh Ramsay covers his mouth in the blurbed portion of the line "payback is a motherfucker".
  • Some radio edits of Korn's "Here To Stay" replace the lyric "This shit's gone way too far" with "This crap's gone way too far".
    • When "A.D.I.D.A.S." was released as a single, the radio edit changed "all day I dream about fucking" to "all day I dream about humpin'".
  • When Weezer covered Green Day's "Worry Rock" for a tribute album, they changed the line "fucked without a kiss again" to "hugged without a kiss again". Their cover wasn't released as a single, so this was apparently just an issue of the band themselves not wanting to use that kind of language.
  • Some radio edits of White Zombie's "More Human Than Human" play all the swears in reverse and edit out the intro with the pornographic moaning entirely.
  • The radio edit of Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" replaces the swear words with jittered versions of the words said previously, or replaces them with new words entirely.
    • A bizarre one is the line "Here we go, here we go, satellite radio" has the word satellite blanked and replaced with some audio distortion. Apparently terrestrial radio doesn't want you to know about Sirius XM.
  • Whenever Busted's Thunderbirds Are Go was played on the Big Toe Radio Show on BBC7 in the UK, the first 2 lines of the second verse were cut out, presumably to remove the word "ass".
  • Early pressings of The Doors' self-titled debut omits the phrase "high" from "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" and Morrison's Cluster F-Bomb from "The End". Subverted during their performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which, like the Rolling Stones example above, tried to alter the lyrics to "Light My Fire" - specifically the "girl we couldn't get much higher" line. The band refused and kept the line intact, leading Sullivan to sever the deal for the Doors to perform on the show again.
  • The UK's BBC Radio 1 did an absolute slaughter job of Rihanna's "S&M". The words "sex", "chains", and "whips" in the pre-chorus were erased, the latter two replaced with audio distortion. The portions of the song where she sings "S-S-S-and / M-M-M" simply have no vocals on them. The icing on the cake? The song was officially referred to as "Come On" whenever it was played, including The Official Charts show. She was not happy and complained about the change on Twitter. Stateside, it aired uncensored.
  • The concert film Larger Than Life was released with the intention of being all-ages friendly, in spite of the fact that one of the songs performed by Gogol Bordello in the film is "Think Locally Fuck Globally." In addition to being part of the title, the word "fuck" is featured heavily in the lyrics. This leads to awkward moments when the band members are clearly saying something but there's no sound coming out (not even a bleep). Even more confusing is that the song is one of two chosen from what was clearly a full set performed by the band. Why didn't the editors simply choose to include a different song?
  • Bad Ronald's single "Let's Begin" had several lines censored or altered in the radio edit. "Smoke good weed get a long lasting high" became "Smoke good trees get a long lasting vibe"note , "pass the shit around" became "pass it around", and a line about "lickin' Larry's johnson" was cut off after "lickin'". The chorus also had an incidence of 'weed' changed to 'trees', and shortened 'shit' to 'shh'.
  • The version of "My Old Kentucky Home" sung at the Kentucky Derby changes "darkies" to "people". Either way, the lyrics "the darkies/people are gay" still sounds funny to modern ears.
  • Subverted by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Rather than change references to "Ol' Massa whippin' the darkies" in "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny," the legislature retired the old state song and held a contest for a new one.
  • Several Cole Porter songs are frequently subjected to this:
    • "I Get a Kick Out of You" is commonly performed in one of two Bowdlerised versions, which remove the reference to cocaine and replace it with "perfume from Spain" or "a bop-type refrain."
    • It's unlikely you'll hear singers nowadays launch into the first chorus of "Let's Do It" as it was originally written: "Chinks do it, Japs do it / Up in Lapland little Lapps do it..." (The replacement lyrics about birds, bees and educated fleas were taken from one of Porter's later choruses, but they spoil the nationality theme of the first refrain.) Likewise, the line "Roosters with a doodle and a cock do it" was changed to "Even little cuckoos in their clocks do it".
    • The original verse of "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" included the lines, "But now I tell/Each young gazelle/To go to hell—/I mean Hades." This was replaced with more innocuous lines in the published version, ending on "duties" to rhyme with "cuties" (instead of "ladies"). The lines following "he treats it so well" and the entire second chorus were also removed, perhaps because they add even more Double Entendre to an already risqué song.
  • "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" is often sung using the standard edition with all the Double Entendres removed when not performed as part of Pal Joey. One would need to Bowdlerise far, far more than this song to make a clean version of Pal Joey, a feat which was accomplished in the film version.
  • The Rolling Stones had to record a special version of "Let's Spend The Night Together" to play it on BBC radio because it implied sex. The bowdlerised version was called "Let's Spend Some Time Together". They were also forced to play this version when they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in the United States, but Mick expressed his displeasure with this by rolling his eyes and giving the camera exaggerated looks of disgust while singing.
  • D12's Purple Pills, a song about drug use, was rewritten to Purple Hills, a song about travelling while engaging in drug use. ("Blue and yellow purple hills?" Yeah, they're high either way.) Strangely enough, an even cleaner version of the edited version was made, blanking out some of the substitute words from the original clean version, names of laxatives, as well as the word "guy" at one point.
  • After the 9/11 terror attacks, several songs that mentioned bombs and war were censored — among them was Electric Six's "Gay Bar", which included the lyrics, "Let's start a war, start a nuclear war!" In the United Kingdom, the offending words were replaced by the sound of whips cracking. In the American radio edit for alternative and college radio, however, the lyrics were replaced entirely with "Let's do an edit, do a radio edit!"
  • Rapper Styles P's song Good Times Pt. 2 (I Get High) has two versions, a milder version with slightly different lyrics that goes with the music video and the more explicit version on the CD (the drug use remains constant throughout both versions). The mild version is arguably of higher quality, as the hardcore version uses profanity and references to violence to sound 'gangster' but the music video version flows better with more assonance and consonance. (For example, "I get high 'cuz I ride, what's better to do/ and I'ma always stay live, 'cuz I'm better than you" rhymes better than replacing the second line with the explicit version's "and I never give a fuck, 'cuz I'm better than you".)
  • The Clear Channel version of "What It's Like" by Everlast, replaces all "objectionable" words — including "Chrome '45"note  — with humorous sounds (well, the music execs probably find them humorous, at any rate).
    • Who else found the way they'd changed "Like cutting off his balls" to "Like cutting off his -" followed by the sound of a very loud pruning shears to be a lot more painful than the uncensored line?
    • There are actually *six* different official radio edits of the song. The less heavily censored versions are dubbed "No Curses", while the more heavily edited ones are labeled "No Curses, No Drugs, No Guns". And for each level of censorship, you can choose either a version with Sound Effect Bleeps, or one that simply silences the words.
  • Fleetwood Mac's 2003 song, "Peacekeeper", changes the line "Take no prisoners, only kill" to "Take no prisoners, break their will".
  • Dr. Demento has been known to use duck calls and other funny noises to drown out obscene words in some songs, such as over the repeated refrain of "What the fuck?" in The Fools' "Psycho Chicken".
    • He has also been known to cut-n-paste parts of songs to remove "offensive" material. The version of Dr. Hook's "Freaking at the Freaker's Ball" broadcast on the program, for instance, had the line "All the fags and the dykes are boogyin' together" electronically replaced with a copy of "White ones, black ones, yellow ones, red ones" from later in the song.
    • He also took out a brief snippet from "Ti Kwan Leep/Boot to the Head" where Ed Gruberman complains, "All this faggy stuff is starting to piss me off!"
    • The funniest Dr. Demento version is Frank Zappa's "Titties and Beer," in which most of the song is bleeped out, including the title, which Dr. D introduces as "Beepers and Beer." This hasn't kept the song from being a perennial Funny Five favorite.
  • The song "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails is a complete subversion. Aside from removing the word "fuck" 4 times, the song is left completely unedited when played on the radio. This may be because most Moral Guardians are scared shitless of Trent Reznor. There is an occasionally aired version that also cuts out "penetrate" (as in "you let me penetrate you"), though evidently "violate you" and "desecrate you" are still okay.
  • Johnny Cash's cover of fellow Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt" changed "I wear this crown of shit" to "I wear this crown of thorns", a nod to the fact that he was a devout Christian.
  • tool's "Stinkfist" has no individual profane words in it, but it is frequently referred to as "Track #1". The line "finger/knuckle/elbow/shoulder deep within the borderline" is also often edited to remove the body part.
  • The Black Eyed Peas re-wrote "Let's Get Retarded" as "Let's Get It Started" to be ABC's theme song for the 2004 NBA playoffs. A few months later, it became a Breakaway Pop Hit when it was released as a single and as a bonus track on a re-release of Elephunk. It significantly overtook the original in popularity and awareness; many people aren't aware that there was a "dirty" version of the song to begin with.
  • The radio version edit of Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" changes "I told you once, you son-of-a-bitch" to "son-of-a-gun."
    • Even better, when this song was put in Guitar Hero III, it was censored... even though the official soundtrack CD has the line as "son of a bitch".
    • This particular edit seems to completely change the tone of the song. "Son of a Bitch" in the correct tone shows complete contempt, but no matter how you say "Son of a Gun", there's a feeling of affectation in it.
    • Then there's Charlie's song "Long Haired Country Boy" where the line "but I will take another toke" is replaced by "but I will tell another joke". It also replaced "I get stoned in the morning, and get drunk in the afternoon" with "I get up in the morning, and lay down in the afternoon".
    • Charlie Daniels bowdlerized many of his own songs after becoming a born-again Christian.
  • Radio Disney edits many of the songs they play. Some of the edits are rewrites, and others have lines completely removed. One example: Kelly Clarkson's "Walk Away" had the line "So before you point your finger, Get your hands off of my trigger" removed as well as an entire verse between the last two choruses for sexual connotations.
    • So did Allstar Weekend's "Not Your Birthday" when played there: "Quit your bitching" was changed to "Stop complaining."
      • In the same song, "Before the drinks are gone" was changed to "Before the night is gone," and "Nobody gives a damn" was changed to "Nobody really cares."
    • Destiny's Child's "Jumpin' Jumpin'" changed from a song about clubbing at 11:30 PM to a song about partying on Friday night.
    • The original second verse of Hot Chelle Rae's "Tonight Tonight" describes waking up from a hangover with a strange tattoo which he doesn't know how he got, that "kinda looks just like you/mixed with Zach Galifianakis". The Radio Disney Edit has it so the narrator is on a plane with a pilot looking "just like you/Zach Galifianakis" instead. Interestingly, "my girlfriend went and cheated on me" from the song's beginning is left intact.
    • Selena Gomez' "Hit The Lights" has two separate verses ending in with Precision D Strikes. The edited version replaces "too damn scared to fly" and "too damn scared to try" with "toooooo...scared to try/fly".
    • Weezer's "Beverly Hills" changes "my automobile is a piece of crap" to "my automobile isn't all that great" and replaces "my friends are just as cruel as me" with "got nothing in my pocket," which appears later in the verse. It is very strange to listen to.
    • In the Radio Disney version of Ashley Tisdale's "He Said She Said," the lyrics "Baby I can see us movin' like that (like that)/Baby I can see us touchin' like that (like that)/Baby I can see us kissin' like that (like that)" become "Baby I can see us bein' like that, (like that)/Baby I can see us dancin' like that (like that)/Baby I can see us chillin' like that (like that)." Furthermore, the vocals were entirely re-recorded, with the breathy background vocals removed from the instrumental, removing any trace of Intercourse with You from the original.
      • And though the girl the boy falls for in the same song remains "so Jessica Alba fantastic," she goes from "blowin' your mind with her asset" to having "got everything, you can't pass it."
    • In the Radio Disney edit of P!nk's song "Get the Party Started", the line "I'll be burning rubber, you'll be kissing my ass" is removed (whereas other radio edits would replace "kissing my ass" with "kissing my ends", "watching me pass" or cover "ass" with a Sound-Effect Bleepnote , "KBIG 104" (for a Los Angeles radio station) or a computerized voice saying, "Radio Edit").
    • The edit for Emily Osment's "Lovesick" goes from, "You look so low, low/Together we can get high/Hi-fi/St-st-st-stereo" in the first verse to "You look so low, low/Together we can get hi-fi/Hi-fi/St-st-st-stereo."
    • Weird Al's "The Saga Begins" (which details the plot of the Phantom Menace) has a line change on that station too (that Al recorded to avoid a bad-sounding edit): "Do you see him hitting on the queen?" is changed to "Do you see him talking to the queen?"
    • As "All About That Bass" was gaining traction, Radio Disney approached Meghan Trainor about making a sanitized version of the song for their station. She complied, re-writing some of the lyrics and removing any references to body parts. "I got that boom-boom that all the boys chase, and all the right junk, in all the right places" becomes "I got them smooth moves, they say I look great. Yeah, I'll be the star on all them big stages", and "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night" becomes "Boys like the girls for the beauty they hold inside".
      • This version of the song is also played on some adult contemporary stations and in retail establishments such as Kohl's and Walgreens and has since become known as the "AC Version". It also appears in Just Dance 2016, part of a video game series that is infamous for censoring their songs almost to Radio Disney levels to avoid a Teen rating from the ESRB.
    • Their edit of The Chainsmokers' "Closer" changes "I drink too much and that's an issue" to "I think too much and that's an issue", as well as blanking "Now I'm looking pretty in a hotel bar", "So baby pull me closer, in the backseat of your Rover", and "Play that Blink-182 song that we beat to death in Tucson". However, on a very rare occasion for Radio Disney, they undid the last two edits after being mocked on the Internet and letting the same lyrics go through in a country cover of the song.
    • Radio Disney's edit of Shawn Mendes' "Mercy" blanks out "I'm prepared to sacrifice my life".
    • Hey Violet's "Guys My Age" isn't exactly appropriate thematically for Radio Disney, but they sure did try their hardest. "Now I'm out and wearing something low-cut/'Bout to get attention from a grownup" became "Now I'm out and wearing something so fun/'Bout to get attention from a new one". "Smoking weed, he'd never want to leave the house" was also changed to "Making beans, he'd never want to leave the house".
    • Dua Lipa's "New Rules" has a large chunk of the chorus blanked out/replaced with an echo in the Radio Disney edit.
    One, don't pick up the phone
    You know he's only calling 'cause he's drunk and alone
    Two, don't let him in
    You have to kick him out again
    Three, don't be his friend
    You know you're gonna wake up in his bed in the morning
    And if you're under him, you ain't getting over him
    • Dua Lipa's "IDGAF" plays with the phrase implied in the title replaced with "I don't need your love", though the original title can still be seen on car radios that display the titles of songs as well as Radio Disney's website.
    • Demi Lovato's "Cool for the Summer" plays with the verse that most implies a same-sex fling ("Got a taste for the cherry, I just need to take a bite") removed, as well as the lyrics "Kiss one another/Die for each other". (Oddly enough, the blatantly sexual "Got my mind on your body and your body on my mind" is left intact, and even repeated over the removed "cherry" verse.)
    • Radio Disney's edit of DNCE's "Kissing Strangers" is excessively repetitive, removing Nicki Minaj's verse and replacing the line "Can't quit/Take sips" with an additional "Language/Use lips". "Wanna taste you" is also oddly changed to "Wanna taste ooooh", considering how similar they sound.
    • On Radio Disney, Hilary Duff's "All About You" changed from a song about a dirty secret in the backseat to a little secret at the sunset.
    • OSTON's "Shrug" had several Kidz Bop-like changes (the only difference being the artist re-recording it herself): "What the hell" was changed to "What's the deal", "I can't relate to all your bullshit" to "I can't relate to what you're saying", "Rip the dress off my body" to "Skip the rest of the party", and "vodka soda" to "cherry soda".
    • Akon's "Lonely" was edited to remove the "took all the bullshit" line, and changed "And I noticed that my girl wasn't by my side" to "Wondering why she had to go and take that flight".
    • JP Saxe and Julia Michaels' "If The World Was Ending" has the verse "You'd come over and you'd stay the night" (a fairly tame line in and of itself) changed to the completely chaste "You'd come over and we'd talk all night". "Would you love me for the hell of it?" was also tweaked to "for the thrill of it".
    • Goldo's "Boom Da Boom" was completely rewritten for Radio Disney, because it mentions, among other things, having sex with celebrities, a high-speed chase, a toke, and an AK-47. This radio edit was also featured in an episode of House of Mouse.
  • In "NOW That's What I call Polka" "Weird Al" Yankovic covers "Thrift Shop" and changes the lines "I'm in this big ass coat" to "I'm in this big 'ole coat" and "this is fucking awesome" to "this is super awesome."
    • When he performed his song, "Couch Potato" on Nickelodeon, he had to make a couple of changes, such as removing the reference to the Playboy channel, and slightly alter the lyric, "But I only saw Will & Grace one time, one day. Wish I hadn't, 'cause Tivo now thinks I'm gay!" He had his band shout "Hey!" when he got to the last word.
  • When the Eels album Daisies Of The Galaxy was released, Dream Works Records requested they record bowdlerized lyrics to "It's a Motherfucker" for an edited version of the album to be sold at Wal-Mart. E complied, in a tongue in cheek Writer Revolt sort of way, by changing it to "It's a Monster Trucker", complete with unintelligible CB radio speak during instrumental breaks.
  • Songs with potentially offensive references to Jesus in their title frequently have it omitted. For example, "Trip with Jesus" by The Union Underground is frequently just referred to as "Trip...", and some playings shorten the line "trip with Jesus" to "trip...". Not so bad? British metal band Orange Goblin has a song called "Jesus Beater" (it isn't actually as offensive as the name would make you think). It got bowdlerised, though... into "Wife Beater". Sure, that's also another term for a tank top shirt, but it's easy to take the wrong way.
  • The official edited version of the Beastie Boys album Ill Communication has some rather perplexing Bowdlerizations. (Many would also find the very concept of an "edited version" perplexing, but that's beside the point.) Aside from being poorly done in general — portions of the entire finished mixdown are reversed instead of just altering the vocal track — there are edits to completely innocuous words such as "shifting" and "funky". But the most humorously misguided edit on the album would have to be in "Get It Together", when the word "crack" is edited out of the line "Never ever ever smoking crack." So instead of getting a nice anti-drug message, the hypothetical listener of this family-friendly album now has to wonder exactly what it is that the Beasties will never ever ever smoke. (The same song has the word "shit" unedited in one lone instance.) A later song also has the word "Cheeba" (a slang term for marijuana) edited out of the line "I stopped smoking Cheeba, that was part of the key."
    • The later To The Five Boroughs also has an edited version, but it's much less of a hack job, as almost all of the songs actually have alternate vocals recorded to mask the offending words. Hearing the edited version of "Ch-Check It Out" on the radio, for example, you would never guess just how profane the song really is. "Wait a minute, all you Klingons in the fucking house? Turn this motherfucking party out? Where'd all this come from?"
  • "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba goes from "pissing the night away" to "KISSING the night away."
  • In Karaoke Revolution 2, the Boys II Men song "I'll Make Love To You" is edited to say, "Throw your rose on the floor / I'm gonna take my rose off too," which makes absolutely no sense in a song that's about having sex.
  • Spoofed in "Oh Susie" by German singer/comedian Frank Zander, in which all the (still quite obvious) "dirty" words are replaced with random noises ostensibly due to Executive Meddling.
  • Some radio stations completely replace the second verse of the Dire Straits song "Money for Nothing" because of the repeated use of the word "faggot." Their greatest hits CD also has the edited version. OZ FM, a radio station in St. John's, Newfoundland, got in trouble for playing the unedited version in 2011 after a listener complaint.
    • Mark Knopfler himself changed the word to the slightly less offensive "queenie" in an MTV concert performance and on the On The Night live album.
  • The Monty Python song "I Bet You They Won't Play This Song On The Radio" is a joke about this, being a very pretty song about bowdlerization which features more and more elaborate and bizarre bleep sounds to cover up its supposedly offensive words. It has frequently been played on the radio, because the result (although very suggestive) is not technically obscene:
    I bet they won't play this song on the radio
    I bet you they won't play this new [bleep] song.
    It's not that it's [buzzer] or [parp-parp] controversial
    Just that the [pinging bell]ing words are awfully strong.
    You can't say [buzzer] on the radio
    Or [arrow swish] or [thunk of arrow in target] or [agonised scream]
    You can't even say I'd like to [football rattle] you one day
    Unless you're a doctor with a very large [flexatone boing]
    So I bet you they won't play this song on the radio
    I bet you they daren't [record scratch]ing well programme it.
    I bet you their [cash register shing-ching]ing old Programme Directors
    Will think it's a load of horse [fart noise]
  • The song "Seasons in the Sun" is a highly bowdlerised version of a French song "Le Moribund" ("The Dying Man") by Jacques Brel. Both are about a dying man saying goodbye to his friends and family, but in the original, it becomes pretty clear that all the people that the narrator is saying goodbye to were people his wife was having an affair with.
  • When Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl" was originally released in 1967, a lot of radio stations objected to the line "Making love in the green grass" because of the sexual connotations, so the record company issued a version that poorly edited in the line "Laughin' and a-runnin', hey hey" (from earlier in the song) over the other line. That version was quickly forgotten and the uncensored version became the standard one over the years. Then, for reasons unknown, the censored version was included on the popular 1990 Best of Van Morrison comp.
  • The song "Almost" by Bowling for Soup, a title quite appropriate in that after the edits its almost a different song. For example:
    I almost got drunk at school at fourteen
    Where I almost made out with the homecoming queen
    Who almost went on to be Miss Texas
    But lost to a slut with much bigger breastses
    • ...became...
    I almost got punked at school at fourteen
    Where I almost got a hug from the homecoming queen
    Who almost went on to be Miss Texas
    But lost to a girl who sewed her own dresses
    • Then we have this little number. Note the omission of "Drunk" and "fourteen" but the distinct presence of "slut with much bigger breatses". Seems like a stupid place to draw the line.
  • The Drifters' "Under The Boardwalk" originally had the line "(Under the boardwalk) We'll be making love" in the chorus, but radio stations objected, so it was changed to "(Under the boardwalk) We'll be falling in love." The Bowdlerized version has become the standard, although some oldies stations have started playing the original.
  • Mocked in Desorden Público's song "El día que prohibieron la violencia y el sexo en la tele" ("The day where sex and violence were banned from TV"), which is about what the title says. The result: all the programming is screwed, since everything Newscasts to Soap Operas is damaged when not outright off air, people stops watching TV at all since there is nothing to watch; and to appeal to those yearning for the lost things producers use those media not affected by the ban, so now people "can hear gunshots and moans on the radio".
  • Eminem:
    • The single version of "My Name Is" featured substantially rewritten lyrics. They're generally either just slightly toned down or so intentionally ridiculous that you can easily figure out the original content anyway ("I just drank a fifth of kool-aid, dare me to drive?"), but a couple of lyrical substitutions are different enough for the real words to be a little surprising when you're used to the radio version. Even knowing his reputation, it can be kind of jarring to find out "If you see my dad, ask him if he's bought a porno mag and seen my ad" is actually "If you see my dad, tell him I slit his throat in this dream I had". More crazy censored lines include "Well, since age twelve, I've felt like a caged elf who stayed to himself in one space chasing his tail" (which was originally "Well, since age twelve, I've felt like I'm someone else because I hung my original self from the top bunk with a belt") and "I'm about to pass out in the garage and fall in the grass faster than a fat man who sat down too fast" (which was originally "I smoke a fat pound of grass and fall on my ass faster than a fat bitch who sat down too fast").
      • Even the unedited version of this track is still more edited than the original. The original version of this track had "My English teacher wanted to have sex in junior high / the only problem was, my English teacher was a guy" in the place of "My English teacher wanted to flunk me in junior high / Thanks a lot, next semester I'll be 35" Then later in that verse, "Extraterrestrial, killin' pedestrians, rapin' lesbians" was replaced by "Extraterrestrial, running over pedestrians in a spaceship". In both cases, the lyrics that follow these changes make more sense with the original lyrics. Especially with the latter, where "while they're screaming (at me) 'let's just be friends!'" it's the only way it makes sense at all.
    • Other Eminem songs, such as "Stan", were censored simply by muting half the song's lyrics, including the entire verse in which Stan throws his girlfriend in the trunk of the car and drives it into a river (most of the misogynistic insults and the references to violence against his girlfriend [tossing her in the trunk, not slitting her throat, and binding and gagging her] have been edited).
    • The edit of "My Fault" replaced references to with Magic Mushrooms with mushroom pizza.
    • Some songs, like "Fack" and "Drips", don't even get censored versions on the clean album, replaced by 4 seconds of silence.
  • The version of Alice in Chains' "Man in the Box" played on MTV contains the altered line "buried in my pit" (and later "shove my nose in spit"). Radio stations, which had actually been playing it uncensored previously, also switching to this version post-Nipplegate. Thankfully, they've now started just cutting the word short rather than using the rather silly alternative.
    • Presumably for the sake of the singers among us, Rock Band 2 uses the version that replaces the instances of "shit" rather than removing them.
    • And let's not forget the edit of "Heaven Beside You", which included the line "that's fracked up".
      • Some stations remove the offending line completely, messing up the flow of the chorus.
    • Which is extremely ironic, considering that the song is about censorship in mass media.
  • The MTV version of Tom Petty's "You Don't Know How It Feels" censored the line "Let's roll another joint" in an odd way, by just playing the offending word backwards (it sounded something like "let's roll another t'nohj"). Amusingly, when Tom Petty accepted an MTV video music award for the video, he couldn't help noting that whenever he saw his video on TV, there was one word of the song he could never make out.
    • Some radio stations present the lyric as "let's hit another joint," which could still mean what Petty wanted it to mean and isn't an improvement over "roll".
  • In the Nickelback song "Rockstar", the radio version bleeps out the word "drugs" in the line "The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap." The bleep, of course, only makes it sound worse (and redundant, because the bleep in the second line in relation to the "girls come easy" line that came before it could translate to either "whores" or "pussy").
  • The "clean" version of "Baby Got Back" has the infamous intro removed (with the Valley Girls talking about a black girl's butt and saying she looks like a rapper's girlfriend), and "walking like hoes" changed to "walking like Flo Jo"note . (Which makes no sense, since he's now making fun of the very women he wants to keep his like.)
  • Taylor Swift has had this happen twice. "That's fine, I'll tell mine you're gay" in "Picture to Burn" became "That's fine, you won't mind what I say." "Teardrops on My Guitar" also changed "'cause it's so damn funny" to "'cause it's just so funny", even though "damn" is usually considered acceptable in country music.
  • When Jimmy Buffett plays "all ages" shows, his staple "Why Don't We Get Drunk (and Screw)" gets bowdlerised. Most noticeably the title line gets changed to "Why don't we get lunch in school?", though a number of other "family friendly" changes are present.
  • When Da Vincis Notebook sang "Another Irish Drinking Song" in concert, a line about a Catholic priest who dropped dead "underneath the altar boy" was abandoned. Instead, they sang, "In respect to all our Catholic friends, we won't sing this line tonight."
  • Radiohead's song, "Creep," has a radio edit in which the line, "I wish I was special/You're so fucking special" is replaced with "I wish I was special/You're so very special." This is retained in the Rock Band version of the song. In one acoustic version performed for a radio session, Thom Yorke lampshaded it by deliberately croaking out "very" in a very different tone of voice from the rest of the song every time the line came up. A large number of covers use the radio edit line.
  • An example where the title was bowdlerized, but the song remained intact, involved Nirvana's In Utero. Wal-Mart would not stock the CD until the cover art was changed (because, to them, medical drawings of the female body are offensive) and the title of "Rape Me" was changed on the cover to "Waif Me." No attempt was made to censor the song itself.
  • In a subversion, The Dresden Dolls' song "Coin-Operated Boy" has two versions:
    "I can even fuck him in the ass!"
"I can even take him in the bath!"
  • The original line is actually the second line. "I can even fuck him in the ass" was a mid-performance ad lib by Amanda Palmer — though it's now well-known enough that people regularly mistake the original line as Bowdlerisation.
  • One band name that was bowdlerized was the Butthole Surfers. When they hit the Top 40 with "Pepper," many radio stations called them the "BH Surfers." Their name is even rendered as "B***h*** Surfers" on the clean version of the album Electriclarryland.
    • Speaking of "Pepper," three words were censored from the radio edit: "bullet", "shot", and "rapist".
    • Christian parody band ApologetiX did a parody of "Pepper" (titled "People") - because the band name wasn't appropriate for their audience, they credited the original to "The Buttonhole Surfers".
    • In one of the SNES "Play it Loud" commercials, they played their song "Who Was in My Bed Last Night", but bleeped the "hell" part of the song. "Who the *bleep* was in my bed???"
      • Another ad in the same campaign featured another Butthole Surfers song, "Goofy's Concern", which was a particularly baffling choice because nearly every line of the song starts with "I don't give a fuck about...". However, the censorship was more seamless this time: they mainly used instrumental portions of the song, with Gibby Haynes' vocals being cut down to "I don't care what you want me to be / I don't care what you want me to see" and a couple of inarticulate Metal Screams.
  • When Alice Cooper had a Top 40 hit with "Only Women Bleed," Casey Kasem introduced the song on American Top 40 simply as "Only Women."
  • When Sawyer Brown covered Dave Dudley's Signature Song "Six Days on the Road," "I'm taking little white pills" became "I'm passing little white lines" because the Country Music audience of the late 1990s was presumably less accepting of a drug reference. Although it was likely meant to indicate the white divider lines on a highway, it also ends up sounding more like a reference to cocaine, arguably making it an inversion.
  • When it first became a hit, Bush's "Everything Zen" generally got the line "Should I fly to Los Angeles, find my asshole brother?" by uncensored, but now more often it's replaced by "...find my in-law's brother", or else the word "asshole" is just played in reverse.
  • Weezer had to re-record "We Are All On Drugs" as "We Are All In Love" in order for it to get played on MTV. Despite the fact that it wasn't a pro-drug song, and in fact wasn't even about taking drugs in the literal sense. Oddly, in the video itself, Rivers Cuomo is seen reading a newspaper with the headline clearly reading "WE ARE ALL ON DRUGS", and this goes completely uncensored.
    • That wouldn't be Weezer's first experience with censoring on MTV. Their 2001 hit "Hash Pipe" had the first word edited out from the song and the title, referred to on the network as "H*** Pipe" or just "Pipe". The same was done with radio airplay of the song on some stations, as well.
  • The 1979 David Bowie song "Boys Keep Swinging" has the lines "When you're a boy/Other boys check you out" in the first chorus. When Bowie performed the song on Saturday Night Live later that year, censors muted that second line, and the vocal remains muted on the Season 5 DVD release. At least he got to perform the song — RCA chose not to release it as a single in the U.S. (also counts as Values Dissonance, as it was not subjected to this in the U.K.).
  • The Song "Big Rock Candy Mountain" is a supreme example of this, in its original form it was about a hobo convincing a young boy to follow him with tales of mountains made of candy, who he then forced to "sit on his peg". The original ending of the song even went like this:
    I've hiked and hiked till my feet are sore
    And I'll be damned if I hike any more
    To be buggered sore like a hobo's whore
    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
    • In that same song, the chorus once contained the line "Oh the buzzing of the bees in the cigarette trees." After smoking became less socially acceptable, the line was changed to say "sycamore trees" (or "[insert any type of stick-like candy here] trees") instead.
  • On some radio stations the line "Praying to a God that I don't believe in" in the song "Breakeven" by The Script was changed to "Praying to a God that I barely believe in", changing it from an atheist reference to merely agnostic. Other stations will repeat the line from later in the song, "But no wise words gonna stop the bleeding."
  • Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," has three edited versions for the line that says "Read between the lines, what's fucked up and everything's alright". One says "what's messed up" which makes sense, one substitutes it with "what's freaked up" which just sounds absolutely ridiculous in the context of the song, and a third version just removes the word entirely.
  • The radio edit of "In One Ear" by Cage the Elephant naturally cuts short the refrain's repeated references to "people talking shit", but more interestingly the line "the crowd will only like me if they're really fuckin' drunk" becomes "the crowd will only like me if they're all smacked up". That's right, the band got rid of the f-bomb, but also turned a reference to alcohol into a reference to heroin.
  • The single version of Marilyn Manson's song "The Beautiful People" changes one line to "There's no time to discriminate/Hate every other hater that's in your way."
    • For their performance of "Dope Show" at the Video Music Awards, MTV insisted they alter a lyric mentioning "cops and queers" (which MTV also censored out when playing the music video itself). The band complied... by changing it to "the pigs and the fags", which was apparently okay (even though it means the same thing as the objectionable line, and these days, "fag" is considered so objectionable as a homophobic slur that it's subject to being bleeped on television. "Queer" isn't as strong a homophobic slur as it once was, but no one really uses the word much anymore because it's fallen out of favor).
    • In fact this does make it more offensive, as queer is used affectionately by many gay people and their straight friends to refer to themselves. It's very rare for fag to be anything other than self-deprecating, if not always an insult.
  • It was of course completely inevitable for this to happen with Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You". There are actually two different radio edits, "Forget You" and "F You" - the latter at least has the same amount of syllables. Some versions even have "Fuck You" changed to "Fox News". "Forget You" has some awkward editing such as simply blanking out the n-word and using "Ain't that some shhh-".
  • Some editions of Lady Gaga's "The Fame Monster" have all instances of the word "bitch" truncated into "bit".
    • Temporarily averted in the case of her breakout hit "Poker Face" — Gaga herself admitted to being amused that nearly no one noticed that the exact words in the chorus were "P-p-p-poker face, F-f-fuck her face" except for someone at KIIS-FM in Los Angeles. It's hit-or-miss on stations that leave it censored and those who didn't get the memo.
  • The Mikado's "Punishment Fits the crime" song used to have a vain lady "blacked like a nigger/With permanent walnut juice". These days, she is more usually "painted with vigour".
  • The title of Snoop Dogg's "Sexual Eruption" is changed to "Sensual Seduction" for radio and MTV versions. The words, however, are not changed.
  • Sean Kingston's song "Beautiful Girls" has the word "suicidal" blanked out of the chorus when it plays on more family friendly stations such as Radio Disney, which makes the chorus incomprehensible, because instead of going "You'll have me suicidal, suicidal/when you say it's over" it is "You'll have me (silence), (silence)/when you say it's over". Other times, it may be substituted with "in denial".
  • Alan Jackson's "I'll Try" opens with the line "Here we are, talkin' bout forever / Both know damn well it's not easy together". Even though it wasn't his first time swearing in song, and "damn" usually goes uncensored even in country, the "damn" became a "too" on the radio edit.
  • In "Runaway Love" by Ludacris, the word high in the line "Momma's on drugs, gettin' high up in the kitchen" is cut out, but that whole verse is about a girl who is being molested by her mother's boyfriend, and in general the song is about runaway teens.
  • Comedian Billy Connolly's parody version of the song "D.I.V.O.R.C.E." contained a line about the singer's wife calling him "an F-ing C". This was beeped out on the single.
  • P!nk's song "F**kin' Perfect" was changed for the radio, obviously. The lyrics change from
    Pretty pretty please, don't you you ever ever feel
    Like you're less than, f**kin' perfect
    Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel
    Like you're nothing, you're f**kin' perfect, to me
Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less than perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel
Like you're nothing, you are perfect, to me
  • In addition to that, the title was shortened to "Perfect".
  • The version on Now That's What I Call Music 38 sounds like the original with the F word removed, but no gap between words because of it. Strangely the track listing lists the song as "F**kin' Perfect". Coincidentally, this was the same Now Album to feature both "Tonight I'm Loving You"note , and "Forget You"note .
  • On the subject of P!nk, "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" cuts the word "shit" out of the chorus for the radio and leaves it as "I've had, you've had, we've had".
  • The admittedly Contemptible Cover of Roxy Music's Country Life features two women in transparent underwear standing in front of a forest. A version made for stores that otherwise wouldn't carry it cuts the girls out altogether, leaving a picture of a forest.
  • Eric Church:
    • "Smoke a Little Smoke" contains the line "Dig down deep, find my stash / Light it up, take me back" twice. To skirt the drug reference, the first one becomes "Dig down deep, find my glass / Fill it up, take me back" (which fits nicely with the previous line, "break out the wine, forget again") and the second becomes "Dig down deep, strike my match".
    • This struck again with "Creepin'", which changes "Your cocaine kiss and caffeine love" to "caffeine kiss and nicotine love".
  • The Yo Gabba Gabba! performance of Pool Party changed the verse "Girls so cute! / In their swimming suits!" to "Wear your swimming suits! / They're a hoot!" This was most likely because Yo Gabba Gabba is a toddler's show, and parents probably would have thought the original lyrics were risque.
  • Kenny Chesney:
    • "Reality" changed the line "Yeah, some days it's a bitch, it's a bummer" to "…it's just bad, it's a bummer" for the radio edit.
    • For the radio edit of "All the Pretty Girls", "All the lost boys say 'I wanna get laid'" becomes "All the lost boys wanna stay out late".
  • Speaking of Chesney… when Montgomery Gentry Covered Up his "Some People Change", they turned "Can't trust that colored fella" to "that other fella". Although the line is reflecting the opinion of a narrow-minded individual who changes his mind, the original line still probably wouldn't have gone over well on radio.
  • The clean version of A$AP Rocky's "Fuckin' Problems" has so much cut out that it makes absolutely no sense.
  • From the song Bye Bye Babylon by former BIONICLE promoter band Cryoshell, the line "Or you can wish me hell" was replaced by "Be sure I will be there" (from a later verse) when LEGO released the song on their site and on one of their DVD animated movies.
  • The radio edit of "I Love It" by Icona Pop changes "You're from the 70's, but I'm a 90's bitch" to "...but I'm a 90's chick". Which just barely manages to still rhyme with "we gotta kill this switch". The word "shit" in "I threw your shit into a bag and pushed it down the stairs" is also changed to "stuff", which stands out a little less because the offending word isn't rhymed with anything.
  • "Redneck Crazy" by Tyler Farr changes "I'm gonna get my pissed off on" to "…my redneck on" for the radio edit.
  • 30 Seconds to Mars' "Up in the Air" has a lyric-swapped version with "fucked up our life" replaced with "This is my life". Interestingly enough, all instances of "I'll wrap my hands around your neck" in that version were replaced with "I'll wrap my hands around your heart, which is arguably just as bad if not worse than your garden variety neck strangulation and made even more glaring when compared to the other edited version of the song. That version just takes out "fucked" and doesn't censor the neck bit at all.
  • The album version of "I Like My Bike" by Chicken Damage has a single verse that gets repeated three times and a Title-Only Chorus. The radio version bowdlerizes the last line of its lone verse a bit differently on each repetition: "here's my dick, why don't you suck it?" becomes "here's my toe why don't you suck it?", "Here's a gun, why don't you cock it?" and finally "Here's my love, why don't you hock it?".
  • Jake Owen's "Eight Second Ride" has a rather egregious and inexplicable one: "Climb on up, but honey, watch the cup that I'll be spittin' my dip inside" became "…my dip tonight" on the radio edit, thus causing "tonight" to rhyme with itself. Exactly what was wrong with "spittin' my dip inside", besides the dodgy grammar, remains unknown.
  • Another inexplicable one in Lady Antebellum's "Lookin' for a Good Time" changes "Would you get the wrong impression if I called us a cab right now" to "if I asked you to dance right now." To prevent "dance" from appearing twice, "you shouldn't dance like that" in an earlier line becomes "move like that." This change is particularly baffling, as the whole song is about a one-night stand, and many of the lyrics are far more suggestive.
  • When the original Jesus Christ Superstar Rock Opera was released in 1970, Judas's first song, "Heaven On Their Minds," was released as a single. On the album, the song is Judas's critique of Jesus's growing role as Messiah. In the single, seemingly half of the words are changed ("If you strip away the myth from the man" becomes "If you strip away the sleep from your eyes," for example). It also adds background singers for some reason. May or may not be deliberate Bowdlerization, when you take into account the pattern of Rewritten Pop Versions of songs from other shows by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.
  • A version of The Beatles' "The Ballad of John and Yoko" distributed to American radio stations in 1969 blipped the word "Christ" from the line, "Christ, you know it ain't easy."
    • Chicago radio personality Bob Stroud recalls his former radio station in Michigan replacing the word "Christ" with a matching musical note lifted from the song. Pity the poor staffer who had to go into the production studio and splice that note into every instance of the "offending" word coming up in the song.
  • Subverted in M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes". What initially seems to be Sound-Effect Bleep is, in fact, the official, er, lyrics, to the song. Those noises (a gun shooting then cocking and a cash register noise) have themselves been censored into less offensive noises, like a dull popping sound.
  • In the U.K., BBC Radio 1 played a censored version of the Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" during Christmas 2007, blanking the words "slut" and "faggot". Cue angry listeners, the Pogues, and the late Kirsty MacColl's mother accusing the BBC of trying to censor a character's POV and demanding an apology. The BBC quickly apologized and played it unaltered later the same day.
    • Celtic Thunder's cover of the song on their Christmas Voices album was heavily Bowdlerized:
      • "You're an old slut on junk" was replaced with, "You're an old cut-up drunk."
      • "Cheap lousy faggot" was replaced with, "You're cheap and you're haggard."
      • "Happy Christmas your arse" became "Happy Christmas me lass."
    • There's an alternate version of the song by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl themselves which uses the "cheap and you're haggard" line.
    • By 2020, the Pogues had mellowed on the issue, as a tweet by UK alt-right provocateur Lawrence Fox complaining that the BBC had "cancelled" them by playing the censored version led to a public response, on the band's official Twitter account, reading simply "Fuck off you little herrenvolk shite".
  • Pink Floyd's Money. Heard on the radio in New York, "do goody good bullshit". Heard on the radio in North Carolina, "do goody, good, bull". Early in their career, they performed a song called "Let's Roll Another One" on stage, but when they wanted to release it as a single B-side, the record company forced them to take out all drug references. It became "Candy and a Currant Bun" instead, but they also changed the lyric "please just walk with me" to "please just fuck with me".
  • Steve Miller's song Jet Airliner removes the offensive word from the line "Funky shit going down in the city" for radio airplay; most stations use an edit that shortens the intro and replaces "shit" with "kicks".
  • The Stories' "Brother Louie", a song about the joy and pain of an interracial love affair turned marriage proposal, lost its unique punch when a brief spoken word interlude representing the fathers of the fated couple was cut out from the original Hot Chocolate version that it was a cover of. White voice: "No spook in the family." Black voice: "No honk in the family."
  • Wheatus' song "Teenage Dirtbag" was censored on UK radio by blanking words out of one verse:
    Her boyfriend's a dick
    He brings a gun to school
    And he'd simply kick
    My ass if he knew the truth
    • On MTV in America, "dick" and "ass" were left in, but not "gun." Either this was because of the Columbine shooting, or the fact that MTV has a rule against showing guns (even going as far as to edit out words associated with guns, like "bullet" or "shot"). Or both.
    • The song was released on a music CD tie-in for the anime Beyblade: V-Force in the UK - the only word edited from that release was 'gun'.
  • NWA — Boyz In The Hood: "Jockin' the bitches, slappin' the hoes" changed to "Jockin' the freaks, clockin' the dough", among other obligatory changes (despite that, in black slang [at least in the 1990s], a "freak" is a misogynistic — yet more acceptable than "bitch," somehow — term for a woman who is into sexually deviant acts [read: anything that's not the missionary position]. However, kudos to the radios for not keeping in the "slappin' the hoes" line and finding a substitute line that actually fits with the Gangsta Rap aesthetic).
  • The BBC edit of "Respectable Street" by XTC censored out all off-color references, which makes the song incomprehensible. In the line about "which sex positions pleases her old man", "sex position" is replaced by "preposition", while "Saturday I saw him retching over our fence" becomes "...stretching over our fence".
  • The band James subverted this with the video for their biggest hit, "Laid". The third line of the song, for both the radio and album version of the song, is "She only comes when she's on top." In the video, the line is changed to "She only sings when she's on top" — except the singer is quite obviously singing the original lyric, and the word "hums" appears on screen. Also, it's not quite clear why mention of a female orgasm had to be edited on MTV when the radio didn't bother editing it at all.
  • The song "Baby Shark" was originally a rather gory campfire song where the sharks actually eat people, and is also Older Than They Think, but the version that became popular in the late 10's through YouTube is one that removes all of the violent lyrics to be appropriate for young children.
  • "Toes" by Zac Brown Band was hit hard with this. The first line in the chorus get changed from "I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand..." to "...toes in the sand" and "ass in the lawn chair, toes in the clay" at the end of the song to "toes in the water, toes in the clay" on the radio edit. The line "roll a big fat one" also had "fat one" silenced. Other edits just silence the occurrences of "ass"; still others use "toes" for "ass" but leave in "fat one"; still other stations just play the song uncensored.
    • Interestingly, the countdown show Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 always played it completely uncensored when it was climbing the charts, but now censors it to "toes in the sand" whenever it's used for a retrospective.
  • Another odd example from Country Top 40. When it was on the charts, Jerrod Niemann's "One More Drinkin' Song" had the line "marga-daiquiri-screw-olada on the beach" censored to "…chill-olada" for no real reason, even though the "screw" is clearly referring to the alcoholic drink known as the screwdriver. This is even more egregious in that the more profane uses of "screw" in "Crying on a Suitcase" by Casey James or "Neon Light" by Blake Shelton never got censored.
  • Jason Aldean's "Johnny Cash" has several edits as well. The album version has a spoken "screw you, man" in one verse; depending on the station, this was changed to "I'm outta here," silenced, or played as-is. Some versions also delete "Hear that train a-comin', rollin' around the bend / The man in black gonna rock your ass again" at the end.
  • Speaking of Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue" notoriously beeps "'cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you Sue." At the end, he says "And if I ever have a boy, I think I'm gonna name him... Bill or George, any damn thing but Sue!" The "Damn" is just snipped out of the radio version.
  • They Might Be Giants' "Become A Robot" has the lyric "here's hoping you don't harbor a death wish", which the lyric sheet to Then: The Earlier Years lists as "here's hoping you don't harbor a wishnik" - after some confusion among fans about what the actual lyric was, it turned out that the band themselves censored the printed lyric out of concern that it might be disturbing to children.
    • Sometimes during live shows (usually their "all ages" shows), the band would censor the song "Damn Good Times" to "Dang Good Times" and replace all of the "damns" with "dangs".
  • Steve Earle's "Guitar Town" changed "Everybody told me you can't get far / On $37 and a Jap guitar" to "…cheap guitar" for the radio edit.
  • Akon's "I Wanna Fuck You" replaces "Fuck" with "Love" in radio plays for obvious reasons.
  • "Young, Wild, and Free": The line in the chorus "So what we smoke weed" is changed to "So what we don't sleep" on radio broadcast. Oddly, all other marijuana references are left mostly intact.
  • Maroon Five's "Payphone" changes "full of shit" to "full of it" and "one more fucking love song" to "one more stupid love song" in its chorus for radio airplay. Wiz Khalifa's "Man, fuck that shit!" distorts the two swear words. When it is played on AC stations, on Radio Disney, and in its appearance on Now That's What I Call Music! Volume 43, the rap bridge is replaced with a new one that has a few instrumental seconds before Adam Levine sings "now baby don't hang up, so I can tell you what you need to know, baby I'm begging you just please don't go, so I can tell you what you need to know."
  • Eamon's "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)". The entire chorus is a Cluster F-Bomb. It was heavily censored for radio airplay, in which all uses of "Fuck" and "ho" were left silenced, making the entire chorus incomprehensible.
  • Some radio stations, such as KDWB, censor the words "skeet blanket" (a blanket males use to have A Date with Rosie Palms) from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop".
    • "Cock" is invariably replaced with a rooster crowing.
    • "Fucking awesome" is censored as "____ing awesome".
    • The line "probably should've washed this, it smells like R. Kelly's sheets. <Pissssssss> But shit, it was 99 cents!" not only censors the "shit", but also the "pissssss" to make it sound more like a hiss. Some stations remove the bit about R. Kelly altogether, given that it's a reference to his sex scandal.
    • The line "damn, that's a cold-ass honky" inevitably gets censored in some mixture of three ways; different stations tend to drop the "damn", "ass", and "honky" as they see fit.
  • The clean version of Bruno Mars' "Treasure" completely takes out the opening computer voice saying "Baby squirrel, you're a sexy motherfucker." The MTV version of the video keeps the opening line but blanks out "fucker".
    • There are at least two different edits of "Gorilla": one that changes "Give it to me motherfucker" to "Give it to me like you wanna" and one that concludes the line with the sound of a hollering gorilla.
  • The KDWB version of Olly Murs' "Troublemaker" removes the words "damn" and "hell" from Flo Rida's rap. Oddly, other songs get the green light for saying those words. Just Dance 2014 also does this with the song, even though Flo Rida ad-libbing "The same damn thing" in the background near the end of the song is left unaltered.
  • Some radio stations edit out the word "hell" from the first verse of Kelly Clarkson's "Heartbeat Song" by skipping it rather than muting it so that the line sounds like "Where the did you come from?".
  • The official clean version of's song "Scream & Shout" (featuring Britney Spears) has the line "Britney, bitch!" censored by adding an echo to the word "Britney" to fill in the gap caused by removing the word "bitch". On some radio stations, the line as a whole is replaced with the line "Bring the action" from earlier. Just Dance 2016 replaces the word/echo with a loud clap sound. Also, the line "You're gonna turn the shit up" is changed to "You're gonna turn-turn it up".
  • When Lloyd Price performed his version of the song Stagger Lee on American Bandstand in 1958, Dick Clark had him change the entire song. It went from being a story of Stagger Lee arguing over the roll of the dice while gambling with a man named Billy, so he goes home, gets his .44, comes back to the bar, and shoots Billy (while he begs for his life), to a story about Billy stealing Stagger Lee's girlfriend then feeling guilty about it so he gives her back to him and they remain friends. Compare: Original Version Bandstand version.
  • When Lyle Lovett's "If I Had a Boat" was released as a single, the line "Kiss my ass/I bought a boat" was changed to "Adios/I bought a boat".
  • "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon Five often has the lines in "My ego is big/I don't give a shit" altered in one of two ways: either the "shit" will be cut short so it sounds like "sh-", or the lines from the second verse ("I'll make you believe/That I've got the key") will replace them. Two music video games took a third option; RockBand just blanked the word entirely, while Just Dance 4 changed it to "I don't give a spit". Later Just Dance games change it to an edit that says "I don't give a damn" instead (ironically, Just Dance usually censors the word "damn" in other songs despite using it as a censor itself here).
  • One of the best subversions came from Visual Kei. The original version of Stab Me In The Back by X Japan was about oral and anal Intercourse with You between men. This obviously wouldn't fly on the radio in the late 1980 s or even on the major label album Jealousy in its production in 1990, so Yoshiki Hayashi rewrote the lyrics... to be something even more taboo in Japanese society, doing drugs. The Refuge in Audacity worked, and the drug version of Stab Me In The Back became a track on Jealousy at its 1991 release.
    • Some fans did bowdlerize the lyrics of the original version when they posted them online (either out of prudery or trying to avoid trouble with their ISPs or spammers), leading to a short-lived fandom meme about "lick pens erect."
  • Violet UK's Blind Dance, as mentioned in its entry on the Bleached Underpants page. One version is Gothic Metal Intercourse with You BDSM. The version most people have heard is the commercial/radio edit, which is much shorter and an ambient sound pastiche Apocalyptic Log.
  • One radio edit of "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus censors "Everyone in line in the bathroom / trying to get a line in the bathroom" by cutting off the second use of the word "line" (since it's a double entendre about cocaine use). But oddly enough, this same edit leaves in "Dancing with Miley", which sounds way too much like "Molly", a slang term for MDMA.
    • During Miley Cyrus' infamous 2013 VMAs performance, the word "Miley" was replaced by a brief moment of Dead Air.
    • The "Director's Cut" of her (in)famous "Wrecking Ball" video has all the scenes of Miley naked (or near naked) and writhing in the construction set and on the wrecking ball replaced with a close-up of Miley singing (making the entire video play out like a modern version of Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" video).
  • "Shakin' the Blues Away" (1927) by Irving Berlin. The original version (popularized by Ruth Etting) contains the lyrics "Every darkie" and "Do as the darkies do", which are changed to "Everybody" and "Do as the voodoos" do in later versions, such as the Jukebox Musical Easter Parade and Doris Day and Ann Miller's versions from The '50s. Irving Berlin's "Abraham" had its lyrics altered similarly.
  • Similarly, the lyrics of Show Boat (written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II in 1927) have also been changed multiple times due to Values Dissonance. The (even at the time, deliberately shocking) opening line "niggers all work on the Mississippi" was changed to "darkies all work" in the 1936 film. Other versions change it to "colored folks all work" (in The '40s) or "here we all work", or cut the opening number completely. Some versions of Joe's song "Ol' Man River" change the line "white boss" to "rich boss", and the lyrics that mention getting drunk and being sick of living were also changed in one of singer Paul Robeson's versions.
  • Certain edits of "Rock Your Body" by Justin Timberlake cut out the line "Bet I'll have you naked by the end of this song", replacing it with an earlier part of the refrain. Thus: "No disrespect, I don't mean no harm / I can't wait to have you in my arms / Hurry up 'cause you're takin' too long / I can't wait to have you in my arms". A little repetitive perhaps, but at least "long" and "arms" come somewhat close to still rhyming.
  • Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" has three possible radio edits due to the line in the first verse, "Yeah you PMS like a bitch I would know":
    • On some stations, "Like a bitch" is replaced with a repetition of "like a girl" from earlier in the verse.
    • Other stations and the Just Dance game use the song with the line re-recorded to replace "bitch" with "chick". Just Dance even refers to the song as "Hot N Cold (Chick Version)".
    • Other stations will simply mute "bitch".
  • "Follow Your Arrow" by Kacey Musgraves censors the word "joint" in the line "Roll up a joint, or don't / Just follow your arrow wherever it points". The line was also censored when she sang it at the Country Music Association awards in November 2013.
  • When it was first recorded in 1982, "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake had the line "Like a hobo, I was born to walk alone". The much more famous 1987 recording replaced "hobo" with "drifter", to avoid the inevitable mondegreen "Like a homo".
  • Near the end of "Look It Up", Ashton Shepherd says the word "asshole". The radio version and the album both have it edited out, but the standalone single on iTunes has it uncensored. The uncensored version was also a bonus track on early pressings of the album.
  • The 7" single version of Marillion's "Garden Party" replaced the Precision F-Strike with "I'm miming," breaking rhyme with the preceding "I'm rucking." When performing this version on Top of the Pops, Fish shut his mouth for the edited bit, pointed towards his shut mouth and winked at the audience.
  • Another victim of MTV's 90s policy of censoring drug references was "Scooby Snacks" by Fun Lovin' Criminals. The chorus is "Running around robbing banks all wacked off of Scooby Snacks", with Scooby Snacks as a slang term for Valium. The MTV version cut out "wacked" and just left a pause there, which if you weren't familiar with the song led you to think they were censoring a more profane word.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Plato's Stepchildren," the music Alexander Courage wrote for Spock's flamenco dance is called "Spick (sic) Spock" ("spic," if you're wondering, is an American derogatory term for people of Hispanic descent). When La-La Land issued their 15-disc set of music from the series, this track was understandably renamed "Dancing Spock" (thankfully, this was the only title to have to be changed).
  • "Carry On" by Pat Green changed the line "Billboards and bullshit got her down" to "Billboards and BS got her down" for the radio edit.
  • Hilariously, the censored version of "Jizz In My Pants" by The Lonely Island replaces the word "jizz" with... orgasm sounds.
  • The Country Music song "What a Way to Go", recorded by both Bobby Borchers and Ray Kennedy, changed the line "I got hogtied by a hooker in Ohio" for both artists' radio edits. Borchers' version changed it to "looker", and Kennedy's to "redhead".
  • "Ready Set Roll" by Chase Rice. The radio edit changes the first lines of the chorus ("Ready set let's roll, ready set let's ride / Get your little fine ass on the step, shimmy up inside") to "little fine self".
  • Sarah McLachlan's "Building A Mystery" includes the lyric "You're so beautiful / a beautiful, fucked up man" - the radio version either changes it to "a beautiful, but strange man" or just renders that line incomprehensible, and in on-air performances for TV or radio, she has sung the lyric as "a beautiful, messed up man".
  • Dierks Bentley:
    • "Drunk on a Plane" sometimes has the line "I'll call her up and tell her kiss my ass" censored near the end, usually to "Kiss my… yeah, you know".
    • "Different for Girls" changes "gotta get laid tonight" to "Gotta get some tonight".
  • Surprisingly averted with "Here for the Party" by Gretchen Wilson, which somehow snuck the line "I'm here for the beer and the ball-bustin' band" past the notoriously conservative mainstream country audience.
  • Many versions of the folk ballad "Frankie and Johnny" contain Bowdlerized replacements for the line about Johnny "finger-fucking Alice Fry" (or any other rhyming name).
  • The 1941 Polydor recording of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem Mass uses an altered Latin text in accordance with Nazi Germany's anti-Semitic theological revisionism, eliminating references to Zion, Jerusalem and Abraham.
    • Some of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's original lyrics were also sanitized. One example is "Leck mir den Arsch fein recht schön sauber" ("Lick my arse right well and clean"), Köchel catalog number 233/382d, was published as "Nichts labt mich mehr als Wein" ("Nothing pleases me more than wine")note . Bona Nox is another example. Mozart was really fond of scatology, in both music and written correspondence. Much to the dismay of many modern aesthetes.
  • David Byrne's song "Like Humans Do", off the album Look into the Eyeball, includes the line "I never watch TV except when I'm stoned." The song was included as one of the stock song files on Windows XP—but this version replaced the drug reference with another lyric: "We're eating off plates and we kiss with our tongues." The overall song is so surreal that the altered line doesn't sound out of place at all. Most people don't even know the original lyrics.
  • Florida Georgia Line's "Sun Daze" changes a reference to "getting laid" to "getting paid" on the radio edit. The infamous "Set you up on a kitchen sink / Stick a pink umbrella in your drink" line, however, was untouched.
  • Billy Currington's "Like My Dog" bleeped "bitch" in the line "When I say his sister is a bitch".
  • A favorite song for grade school choruses and children's church choirs is "The Rhythm of Life." This version is perfectly fine for children and some mainstream religious organizations, but it differs greatly from the original non-bowdlerised version from the musical Sweet Charity. It can cause confusion for children or parents searching for the song.
    • For example, there are clear differences between
And the voice said "Neighbor, there's a million reasons
Why you should be glad in all four seasons.
Hit the road Neighbor; leave your worries and strife.
And spread the religion of the rhythm of life." (choral version)
And the voice said "Daddy there's a million pigeons
Waiting to be hooked on new religions.
Hit the road Daddy; leave your common-law wife
Spread the religion of the rhythm of life." (musical version).
  • There are two slightly different radio edits of "Time Of Our Lives" by Pitbull and Ne-Yo: One changes part of the refrain from "I work my ass off" to "I work my tail off", and the other simply chops the word "ass" in half, leaving something like "I work my aah off".
  • In Lil Jon's "Get Low", the line "To all skeet skeet motherfucker, to all skeet skeet goddamn" replaced the swears with just a continued repeated "skeet skeet skeet skeet". As Dave Chappelle pointed out, this arguably makes the song even filthier, putting the focus of the lyrics straight on the uncensored reference to semen.
    "You know what's so dope about 'skeet'? White people don't know what it means yet! When they figure it out, they're gonna be like 'my God, what have we done?'"
  • Many radio edits of Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff" bleep out the word "skin" in the line "I've got a chainsaw/I'll skin your ass raw", turning it into "I've got a chainsaw/I'll [bleep] your ass raw". Again, a case where censorship makes a song even dirtier, turning Fred Durst's threat of violence with a power tool into a threat of being sodomized with a power tool.
  • The radio edit of "Addicted to a Dollar" by Doug Stone took out all instances of "hell" ("The more money that I'm making, hell, the less I can call mine"), which is unusual since "hell" is usually considered mild enough for Country Music audiences.
  • The album version of "Trouble" by Gloriana contains a combination Lyric Swap and Precision F-Strike, as the line "If you're runing around, you better run from me / Pack up your bags and get gone, get gone" becomes "pack up your shit" on the third chorus. Obviously, the radio edit loops "pack up your bags" from one of the earlier choruses to cover the radio-unfriendly word.
  • Little Richard's hit "Tutti Frutti" was originally about gay sex. The lyrics were rewritten so it could be sold as a retail recording.
  • The radio edit of "Jealous" by Nick Jonas changes "She's so fucking beautiful and everybody wants her sex" to "She's so sexy beautiful and everyone wants a taste". The original version created a Broken Base from people who are grossed by Nick being so explicit, despite the fact he is an adult.
  • "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" by Enrique Iglesias is a radio edit of "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)". More people are familiar with the radio edit so the more graphic version can come off as jarring.
  • Cimorelli, due to starting out as singing covers (and still do), applies this trope only on songs that have questionable lyrics. One example being their take on Meghan Trainor's "Lips are Movin'"- changing Trainor's "You give me bass" to the sisters' own "You give me love". Another would be their take on Justin Bieber's "Sorry"- "Missing more than just your body" is now "Missing more than just your memory", which still rhymes. This trope applies due to their Catholic upbringing and maintaining the good role model status.
  • A few months before the release of Franz Ferdinand's debut Franz Ferdinand, the band rerecorded the homoerotic single "Michael" to be about a guy and girl fighting over the same man. The band eventually scrapped this and released the track as is, along with a video that seems to overlap with A Party, Also Known as an Orgy.
  • The synth-rock group Death In Vegas were originally called Dead Elvis, until objections from the Presley estate forced them to change it. Dead Elvis still remained the title of their first album.
  • Pearl Jam's "Leash" from the 1993 album vs is one of the band's most profanity-riddled songs, with the chorus consisting of the lines "Drop the leash, drop the leash/get out of my fuckin' face." In the lyric sheet, the profane line is written as "get out of my lucky face."
  • Filipino rock band Eraserheads' 1993 song "Pare Ko" ("My friend") became a hit with fans, owing largely to the surprising mentions of the words "'tang-ina" ("son of a bitch," or in the song's context, "fuck it"), and "nabuburat" ("pissed-off," with root word "burat" being Filipino slang for the male sexual organ — "dicked-off," anyone?). Even in 1993, this was still unusual in the Philippines, a traditionally conservative country. When local moral guardians complained about the cuss words, the Eraserheads released a clean version for radio, with "'tang-ina" replaced with "walang hiya" ("shameless," though a Filipino equivalent of "dammit" or "darn it" in English), and "nabuburat" replaced with "naiinis" ("annoyed," though also applicable for "pissed-off.").
  • "7 Years" by Lukas Graham often has the line "By eleven, smoking herb and drinking burning liquor" censored when played on radio: Usually the line is either skipped altogether or almost entirely blanked out, leaving awkward pauses where the words "smoking herb", "drinking", and "liquor" were. Alcohol references usually aren't censored on top 40 radio, but an exception was probably made because it's specifically a mention of underage drinking.
  • "Leader of the Pack" by the Shangri-Las is played in Germany without the big crash, because, that could confuse drivers when they hear it via the car radio. Outside Germany this probably would be filed under Insane Troll Logic.
  • The clean version and radio edit of "Cake By The Ocean" by DNCE changes the "Goddamn" to "Hot damn" and the line "Let's lose our minds and go fuckin' crazy" to "Let's lose our minds and go crazy-crazy".
  • Sick Puppies' song "You're Going Down" originally contained the lines "Define your meaning of fun. Is it fucking, druggin', or guns?" and "When my fist hits your face and your face hits the floor." The more common cleaner version replaces the lines with "Define your meaning of fun. To me it's when we're getting it done" and "With my fist in your face and your face on the floor" (which is barely different but is somewhat less graphic). The "little petty shit" is also edited so that "shit" is masked by a guitar sound, though not completely. The "cry like a bitch" part is left perfectly intact.
  • Many rock and metal songs contain two versions of their song: with growls and without. It's likely often to make the song more mainstream sounding or less frightening. Skillet's "Monster" is an example of a song which comes with a growl-less version.
  • The radio edit of Justin Timberlake's "Not A Bad Thing" changes the line "You might fuck around and find your dreams come true" into "You might look around and find your dreams come true".
  • In the radio edit of gnash and Olivia Brien's "I Hate U, I Love U", "fucked around" is changed to "messed around".
  • Dove Cameron's cover of Christina Aguilera's song "Genie In a Bottle" changes some of the more innuendo-laced lyrics, in particular "You gotta rub me the right way" is changed to "You gotta ask me the right way". Then again, it's to promote the Descendants series and the said cover was commissioned by Disney of course...
  • iHeartRadio has several family-targeted stations in its "Kids & Family" section which play Top 40 music, even if it's inappropriate for children. The ones that fall under that criteria are heavily altered. Some examples:
    • David Guetta's "Hey Mama" plays with almost the entirety of Nicki Minaj's verse blanked out, despite the fact that the swearing was already censored in all versions.
    • Natalie La Rose's "Somebody" plays with "I wanna take shots with somebody" in the chorus blanked out, along with the background shouts immediately afterward of "shots, shots, shots!", leaving a weird silent hole in the chorus.
    • Rihanna's "Needed Me" plays with every single curse word, sexual reference, or allusion to drugs blanked out...which doesn't leave much song. YG's opening "Mustard on the beat, ho!" even has the "ho" blanked out, something even the most prudish radio stations typically let go.
    • Major Lazer and DJ Snake's "Lean On", rather then using the 'into the sun' Radio Disney/super clean edit, blanks out the word 'gun', making the refrain "Blow a kiss/fire a [awkward silence]".
    • Fifth Harmony's "Work From Home" originally blanked out "turn the bed into the ocean", "I just need your body", "nothing but sheets in between us", and "I pipe up, she take that". This edit was switched out sometime in 2020, with only the line "I pipe up, she take that" being cut entirely.
    • Charlie Puth's "We Don't Talk Anymore" attempts to remove "I overdosed", however the editing is quite sloppy, making the line "I over (sudden cut) should've known your love was a game..."
    • "Blame it on Jesus" is blanked out from Bruno Mars' "24K Magic", something that even Radio Disney let go. (Interestingly, the clear erection reference to "pretty girls waking up the rocket" is left intact.)
    • Several verses are cut entirely from DJ Khaled's "Wild Thoughts", making the wild thoughts in question Rihanna is singing about rather hard to interpret.
    • Maroon 5's "This Summer" has the clean version played with the slight implication of swearing removed from the chorus (making it "This summer's gonna hurt like a mother a-ha, a-ha" as well as the words "smoking" and "champagne" blanked out.
    • Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" plays with "You said the gun was mine" cut, again something that Radio Disney leaves intact.
    • Shawn Mendes' "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" has the word 'naked' reversed, despite it being used in one of the most innocent contexts possible ("She says that she's never afraid/just picture everybody dekan"). The edit was later redone to cut the line entirely.
    • Ariana Grande's "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored" has anything vaguely suggestive removed, including the line "Practically on my knees" (despite the line clearly referring to her begging for him to leave his girlfriend, not oral sex). The theme of homewrecking stays fully intact.
    • Ariana Grande's "7 rings" has completely innocent lines such as "Think retail therapy my new addiction" and "Nothing but net when we shoot" blanked out due to the very slight possibility they could be interpreted as drug/violence references (despite the latter clearly referring to shooting in basketball).
    • Dua Lipa's "New Rules" has the suggestive bits/references to alcohol in the chorus cut entirely, as opposed to the Radio Disney version which simply replaced them with an echo.
    • Cher Lloyd's "Want U Back" has the self-censorship of "I don't give a (shh)" additionally censored, blanking out the "shh".
    • Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" has the word "God" blanked out of "oh my God", even though it was frequently said on Nick's sitcoms as late as 2014.
    • Jonas Brothers' "Sucker" has the word "medicine" distorted/removed out of the line "You're the medicine and the pain", something Radio Disney leaves intact.note 
      • Oddly, when an actual Nickelodeon show had the band perform the song, the medicine line was kept intact. However, "stumbling out of bars" was changed to "looking for where you are."
    • Billie Eilish's "bad guy" is edited to the point of the second verse being reduced to two lines.
    • Ellie Goulding's "Close to Me" has part of the chorus changed from "And I don't wanna be somebody without your body close to me" to "And I don't wanna be somebody with anybody close to me", completely changing the meaning of the song. (The chorus was also left intact by Radio Disney, though they opted for the solo version while Nick Radio plays the rap with blanked words.)
    • Ed Sheeran's "South of the Border" is made into an absolute mess with all the copy-and-pasting of different parts of the song, leading to nonsensical (and still suggestive!) lyrics such as "So join me in this put my time in/I won't stop until you sweat, darling". At one point, the word "kiss" is muted. Cardi B's verse is also cut entirely, despite being labeled as the version with Cardi B by iHeart.
    • Ellie Goulding's "Worry About Me" uses the copy-and-paste method to cover up an offending word, without caring if the line makes sense or not: "Been jumping through hoops to get under you" in the chorus became "Been jumping through hoops to get been having you" (with 'been having' taken from "Been havin' good times" in the first verse).
  • Some radio station single edits abridge the Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane" to exclude the line "We've been up and down this highway/Haven't seen a Goddamned thing".
  • When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings the Christmas song "Sleigh Ride," they alter the lyrics "....when they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie," substituting the word "cider" for "coffee." Members of the LDS Church generally abstain from drinking coffee (and tea), as it goes against the doctrine called the Word of Wisdom.
  • The Miracle of Sound song "Brothers of the Creed" had the line "And I kill for good/Under my white hood" changed to "Signal's out of range/I was forced to change" after Gavin Dunne (the Irish songwriter) realised that it could be taken to refer to the KKK rather than Assassin's Creed.
  • The chorus for the song Black Swan from Thom Yorke's first solo album consists of the line "This is fucked up, fucked up" sung repeatedly. Apparently, for a joke, Yorke attempted to make a censored edit of this song by replacing all the swear words with various brass instruments. Sadly this edit has never been released to the general public.
  • The Duke Ellington-penned jazz standard "(In My) Solitude" was originally recorded with lyrics in one of the later verses: "My man and me, we gin some, / and pray some, and sin some." Other musicians would sometimes replace those with alternate lyrics (which also make it easier to gender-flip the song): "I end up like I started / just cryin' my heart out."
  • Christian Rock band The 77's tried to put out an album named Pray Naked. Their record label, fearing backlash from the church crowd, released it under the title The Seventy Sevens instead—ignoring the fact that they already had another Self-Titled Album. Also, the name of the title track was blacked out on the album artwork. Amusingly, the song itself wasn't censored at all, and the phrase "pray naked" pops up a bunch—and there's even a bit of phone chatter specifying that it's the album name. Members of The 77's have also been known to write the real title on the cover any time they're asked to autograph a copy. All in all, hardly anyone actually refers to the album by the label-mandated title.
  • Neil Cicierega does this occasionally in his music mashups, purely for comedic purposes.
    • "Rollercloser" is basically a funk remix of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer", which originally had the repeated line "I wanna fuck you like an animal," in the chorus. But he replaces the offending word with funk vocal samples—either suggestive grunts, or phrases like "Boogie!" or "Get down!".
    • "Annoyed Grunt" uses the chorus of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes", which was originally a celebration of robbery: "All I wanna do is [gunshot sounds], and [cash register sounds], and take your money!" Neil's version turns the chorus into nonsense by substituting other random sound effects: Mario Paint sounds, Homer Simpson saying "D'oh!", Austin Powers saying "Oh yeah, baby!" and so on.
    • And he's just as likely to invert this and make a song more offensive than it originally was. On "Bustin'", he edits the Ghostbusters theme to make "bustin'" a pretty blatant Unusual Euphemism. And on "Piss", he turns Chumbawamba's "Tubthumper" into a song about literally drinking piss, and uses the word more times than the original did.
  • LoCash wennt for a Stealth Pun in the bridge to "Ring on Every Finger", which contains the line "Droppin' little F-bombs like 'forever'". Apparently this was too much for some listeners, because it became "love bombs" on the radio edit. Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 interestingly zig-zags this, as the show alternates between playing "F-bombs" or just omitting the bridge entirely.
  • The censored version of Saliva's "Always" changes the lyrics "The pistol's shaking in my hands" to "The anger's shaking in my hand".
  • MTV censors references to suicide or Self-Harm. This doesn't work so well for songs like "Last Resort" like Papa Roach, which is all about someone being Driven to Suicide.
  • "When It Rains It Pours" by Luke Combs. The first line is "Sunday morning, man, she woke up fighting mad / Bitching and moaning on and on 'bout the time I had". For the radio edit, "Bitching and" is muted, resulting in a surprisingly seamless edit.
  • When Alabama covered "Sweet Home Alabama" for the tribute album Skynyrd Frynds, they replaced the verse about Watergate and George Wallace with a new lyric praising Alabama football.
  • The edit of Zayn's "Pillowtalk" that plays on Macy's "mstyle" radio station, in addition to blanking out the word 'piss' in the chorus (which isn't censored in the traditional radio edit), blanks out any words that even slightly allude to sex, such as "bodies together" and "dirty and raw".
  • While rap music from the 90's and early 2000's fell victim to this trope as often as you'd expect, the song "Ride Wit Me" by Nelly became unintentionally amusing this way. In the chorus, the line "If you wanna go and get high with me" is censored into the much more suggestive "If you want to go and ________ me." Some networks turned it into "If you want to go and get ____ with me" instead, which makes the censorship a bit pointless but at least it doesn't sound like it's implying sex.
  • Old Dominion had this happen with all three singles off their second album Happy Endings. "No Such Thing as a Broken Heart" muted the second half of the offending word in the line "All of this bullshit that goes down on TV"; "Written in the Sand" changed "Let's cut through the shit" to "Let's cut to the quick", and "Hotel Key" swapped out "Smokin' a little from a half-an-ounce" to "Stuck in the middle, loving every ounce".
  • The VEVO version of 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" goes as far as to mute things like "I let you lick the lollipop", "If you be a nympho, I'll be a nympho" and "I melt in your mouth, girl, not in your hand", leaving the listener to likely fill in much worse words than what's actually being blanked.
  • The Irish folk song "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye" has a line in the chorus that goes 'Oh darlin, dear, you look so queer.' The Dropkick Murphys version omits this line entirely.
  • The VEVO version of Petey Pablo's "Freek-a-Leek" is even more censored than the version that was featured in Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition (an E10+ game), blanking out words like "drink" and "headboard".
  • Maren Morris's "Rich" has two examples. The line "I'd basically be sitting on a big-ass pile of dimes" loops in a second "big" to cover "ass", while the line "Shit, I'd be rich" censors "shit" with a cash register ding.
  • "Animal Fair":
    • The Fisher Price version removes the second verse, which goes "the monkey he got drunk and sat on the elephant's trunk, the elephant sneezed and fell on his knees and that was the end of the monkey."
    • The version used as the theme of The BBC 1980s programme of the same name, which was a wildlife show for very young children, has "the monkey fell out of his bunk". And instead of that being the end of the monkey, it asks "What became of the..."
  • "Fix" by Chris Lane censored the line "that good shit" into "that good ish".
  • The 2 Live Crew album As Nasty As They Wanna Be (which was famously the subject of an Appeals Court ruling declaring that it wasn't obscene, since it had artistic merit) also had an edited version titled As Clean As They Wanna Be. Despite the title, it still contained two songs (one of which new to the album) that had explicit lyrics. As Clean As They Wanna Be attracted legal controversy for a different reason, as it also contained a Sampled Up parody of "Oh, Pretty Woman", that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court copyright case over music parodies.
  • The music video of Lil' Kim's "How Many Licks?" is considerably more censored then the version of the song on the clean version of the album. "Imagine your tongue in between my thighs" is only censored in the music video, making it seem considerably more explicit then it actually is. The music video goes on to mute Kim's moans, leaving a hole in the song with just the instrumental. Kim's reference to some infamous gangs ("Eses, Bloods, Crips") was also muted.
  • "Freaky Friday" by Lil Dicky and Chris Brown, about the two of them having a "Freaky Friday" Flip, has the n-word censored (from "What up my nigga" to "What up my winna"). This makes the lyrics nonsensical, since Lil Dicky!Chris's lines before that are about how he has N-Word Privileges now that he's in a black man's body.
    • Another Lil Dicky song, "Earth," has an official "clean version" to show kids. All the curse words and sexual references are replaced with goofy animal sounds or just plain silence, rendering most of the jokes completely senseless. Note the visuals don't change at all (except blurring out a brief scene where Lil Dicky's pants are down), and references to HPV and a monkey's anus remain intact.
  • Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's "The Next Episode" blanks out certain lyrics, but also has some parts re-recorded with alternate lyrics: Most prominently, the word "motherfuckin'" becomes "one and only" (as in "it's the one and only D-O double G" and "it's the one and only D-R-E"). Depending on the edit, Nate Dogg's verse either ends early due to the lyric "smoke weed every day", or there's just an awkward pause between the words "smoke" and "every day".
  • When Beck's "Dreams" was initially released as a single, it included the lyric "stop fuckin' with my dreams" in the bridge - aside from being The Not-Remix, the version on the album Colors replaces it with "stop draggin' down my dreams"... which does give it some Added Alliterative Appeal. Digital versions of the album still include the original single version as a bonus track.
  • Many lyrics sites transcribe the song "The Right Stuff" (originally by Hawkwind, covered by Monster Magnet among others) as having the lyrics 'not even if this sardine-can should shake itself apart.' The actual lyrics in every version go 'not even if this dixie-chick should shake itself apart'. They're referring to a fighter jet - although 'sardine can' is a perfectly acceptable substitution given the context, it's unclear why they thought a substitution was necessary.
  • Despite foul language and drug references in the lyrics, the label wanted to release The Knack's "(She's So) Selfish" as a single - a promotional radio edit changed "the qualude scene" to "the lame-o scene" and cut off the words "shit" and "fuck". This edit accidentally ended up on a CD reissue of Get The Knack.
  • The cover art of White Zombie remix album Supersexy Swingin' Sounds is a pin-up-style photo of a nude Sheri Moon Zombie on a hammock: She's strategicially posed in a way that you don't actually see anything, but nonetheless a "clean" version sold at K-Mart and Walmart gave her a blue airbrushed bikini.
  • The radio edit of "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo blanks out the words "bitch" and "fuck". Amusingly, Wisconsin radio station WIXX Green Bay uses an edit that also censors the phrase "Minnesota Vikings" - The Minnesota Vikings are considered a rival football team to the Green Bay Packers, and the rivalry is considered to be Serious Business for the local audience.
  • Musical Youth's cover of the Mighty Diamonds' "Pass the Koutchie" replaces most of the marijuana references with food references, due to the age of the band members when it was recorded in 1982. Their "clean" version is called "Pass the Dutchie."note 
  • Christian rock band Brave Saint Saturn wrote some mildly offensive lyrics for their second album, which got censored on the album itself. When Reese sings "When you hear this song, I hope it hurts like hell" (in "Enamel"), the word "hell" is obscured by a record scratch. Then on "Heart Still Beats", bursts of static cover up the phrases "pissed off" and "go to Hell". The band wasn't informed of these edits beforehand, and they weren't happy with the results. Afterwards, they distributed the uncensored versions of both songs to their fans online.
  • The radio edit of S'Express's "Theme from S'Express" removes the "Suck me off" sample, originally from Karen Finley's "Tales of Taboo"(as was "Drop that ghetto blaster".
  • "Junior" musicals are often scripted versions of this (among other changes designed to make the show easier for younger actors). For example, Legally Blonde Jr. removes some of the most explicit sexual references (including an entire verse of "So Much Better"), while Once On This Island Jr. omits the protagonist's suicide, instead simply saying that the gods "turned her into a tree".
  • Doug Supernaw's cover of the Dennis Linde composition "What'll You Do About Me" changed the lyric "And I'm on the porch with a two-by-two" to "...dinner for two" on the radio edit, due to concerns from listeners over the Stalker with a Crush lyrics.
  • The official clean version of E-40's "U and Dat" censors the word "monkey" in the chorus. While it is being used as an Unusual Euphemism, it's in a way that couldn't possibly be fairly ruled as indecent or even picked up on as suggestive by young children.
  • The clean version of Cardi B's "WAP" (which stands for Wet Ass Pussy) changes the words to "Wet and Gushy". Which, really, is only marginally less explicit than the original.
  • When Radio Disney played "Do the Bartman" in the late 90s, Bart's instance of "damn" was censored.
  • The BBC refused to play "Lola" by The Kinks not for any perceived obscenity (even though the song is about an encounter with a possible transvestite) but because it included a reference to Coca-Cola, which breached the Corporation's ban on advertising. The band were in the USA at the time and Ray Davies had to fly back to London to rerecord the offending line, changing it to "cherry cola".
  • The Mike Posner song "I Took a Pill in Ibiza" is variously referred to as "In Ibiza" or the bizarre "I Took a Plane to Ibiza".
  • The Lloyd, Andre 3000 and Lil Wayne song "Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)" has a clean version and an explicit version - the clean version swaps out "pussy" for "loving".
  • Ellie Goulding's "Close to Me" has a radio edit where Swae Lee's line "I had to cut my bitch off, she bein' stubborn" loops the "cut my" part to censor the word "bitch," leading to the nonsensical line "I had to cut my cut my off."
  • The radio edit of Dua Lipa's song "We're Good" changes the lines "We're not meant to be like sleeping and cocaine" to "We're not meant to be that's never gonna change".
  • Olivia Rodrigo's 2021 Breakthrough Hit "Drivers License". The lines changed from "But I still fucking love you babe" to "You know I still love you babe".
  • The Natural Born Hippies song "Best Looking Guy in Town" was used for the Disney/Pixar Cars video game because the song fits the main character's egocentric, braggart personality. However, as the lyrics mention the sexual phrases "gonna get laid" and "making you cum" the edited version replaces these lyrics with repeated ones, turning it into a completely clean song.
  • The "Crocodile Rock" cover recorded for the kids' film Gnomeo and Juliet replaced a few names with the titular characters' names, but to remove sexual implications, the line "Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights, when Suzie wore her dresses tight" was fully replaced with "Everybody is feeling right, 'cause we're gonna dance all night."
  • The song "Vintage" by High Dive Heart says "you can call me old-school, but I like to hear my music on that FM band" on the album, but on Sirius XM, "that FM band" is changed to SiriusXM.
  • A retail edit of Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" changes "open up your plans and damn, you're free" to "then you're free" and "god-forsaken right to be loved" to "god-intended right to be loved."
  • Some radio edits of "Oliver's Army" by Elvis Costello cut the one N-Word Privileges-averting verse. When the UK's BBC Radio 6 Music used one of these edits in March 2013, it was met with condemnation from listeners who claimed the aversion was justified due to the intended anti-racist and anti-war theme of the song (while other complaints blamed Political Correctness Gone Mad).
  • Lorrie Morgan's "I Just Might Be" removed the word "damn" from the line "I just might be the best damn thing you ever threw away" for the radio edit.
  • The music video for Queen's "Bicycle Race" features over 40 completely naked women performing in a bicycle race around an elliptical course, which was already controversial, but this ended up carrying over into promotional material, with one poster featuring the back of one of the naked women on a bicycle. Said image would become the cover for the single of "Bicycle Race"/"Fat Bottomed Girls", but it would be bowdlerized to include a thong over the visible crack. ...Meanwhile, there's no indication of any bra covering the chest.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: