In France, we do not censor the masses. The proof, Florent Pagny was able to sing My freedom of thought without any constraint. Yes, that was the best example I had on hand. But in the world, the freedom to broadcast songs, it is not always guaranteed. And in some countries, we have simply decided to ban titles. Over there, the government is a bit like the guy on the passenger side of the car: he’s the one who decides what we have the right to listen to, and he’s the one who puts his right of veto on the songs he doesn’t like.
- 1 1. Beatles songs were banned in the Philippines
- 2 2. “Nini to salite” by MPR is banned in the Democratic Republic of Congo
- 3 3. “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was banned in the state of Ohio
- 4 4. Arthur Fields’ “I Don’t Want to Get Well” was banned by the United States
- 5 5. “It’s Wrong (Apartheid)” and other Stevie Wonder songs were banned in South Africa
- 6 6. BTS’s “Go Go” was banned from airing in South Korea
- 7 7. Many songs are banned in karaoke in China
1. Beatles songs were banned in the Philippines
You could imagine a whole bunch of political reasons why the Beatles were banned in the Philippines, but none would be as silly as the reality. The real reason is that Ferdinand Marcos, President of the country between 1965 and 1986 (and President of bad taste, by the way) did not like them because they had snubbed his wife Imelda Marcos. The first lady had sent them an invitation to lunch which they had to refuse because they had already made a commitment, and that really pissed off little Ferdinand. The guy threw a tantrum and decided that the Beatles would no longer be listened to in his country. The ban didn’t last very long, but long enough to make it clear that Ferdinand Marcos was a kid.
2. “Nini to salite” by MPR is banned in the Democratic Republic of Congo
In November 2021, the DRC banned several songs that criticized the government. Proof, if needed, that the term “Democratic” present in its name is not really justified. Among these songs are Nini to salite, a song by the group MPR (Popular Music of the Revolution) which passed the million views in a few days on YouTube. The title speaks of the suffering of the Congolese people and directly challenges the power in place. As a result, we can understand that a country with an authoritarian government puts it directly on its blacklist.
3. “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was banned in the state of Ohio
On May 4, 1970, a shooting took place at Kent State University in Ohio. The Ohio National Guard fired on students peacefully demonstrating against the Vietnam War, killing 4 of them. A month later, Neil Young and his pals Crosby, Stills and Nash were singing Ohio, a title that recounts this event. The lyrics explain that the “Nixon’s Little Soldiers” did “four dead in Ohio”, which obviously did not please those in power. The song was banned from most major radio stations and in the state of Ohio, but many independent radio stations continued to play the song in support of musicians and protesters, which propelled it to 14th place in the charts. charts. A Streisand effect as we like them.
4. Arthur Fields’ “I Don’t Want to Get Well” was banned by the United States
In 1918, in the middle of the First World War, this song was released about a wounded soldier who does not want to get better and return to the front because he has fallen in love with his nurse. The theme is rather funny, but the joke didn’t make the United States War Department smile so much, which preferred to ban the title for fear that real soldiers would take their cue from the guy in the song. Not very fun guys.
5. “It’s Wrong (Apartheid)” and other Stevie Wonder songs were banned in South Africa
In 1985, Apartheid, the segregation regime in South Africa, was still in place. So when Stevie Wonder released It’s Wrong, a song about how bad Apartheid is, it went wrong at the government level. But what really made the South African Broadcasting Corporation decide to ban Stevie Wonder’s songs from its radios was when the singer received an Oscar the same year and dedicated it to Nelson Mandela, a political prisoner since then. 1962. That, they really didn’t like.
6. BTS’s “Go Go” was banned from airing in South Korea
As surprising as it may seem, several songs by BTS – the South Korean group that exports the most in the world – are banned from the airwaves in the country of K-pop. This is the case of the song Go Go, whose words are neither political nor violent. The only reason South Korea banned it from being broadcast on the radio was that the lyrics included slang expressions like “Yolo Yolo.” We have to believe that the Korean authorities are worth our French Academicians in the “Big boomers” category.
7. Many songs are banned in karaoke in China
Well, already, China is one of the biggest countries in terms of censorship, so a lot of songs are banned there, but one news in particular made us laugh in 2021. Indeed, China decided to ban songs KARAOKE songs because they could “threaten national security”. I don’t know if the guys have ever participated in a karaoke, but it rarely starts revolutions. Among the banned songs are At the will of the people, taken from the musical Les Miserables and become an anthem of protesters in Hong Kong. We hope they will let them For you to love me again of Celine Dion otherwise there will really be no good reason to live in China.