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Thu Oct 14, 2021, 04:32 AM

The Rolling Stones remove 'Brown Sugar' from tour setlist over lyrics depicting slavery


The Rolling Stones may have dubbed their tour "No Filter," but the iconic rock band has filtered out one of their most popular songs from their setlist.

The band retired their 1971 hit song "Brown Sugar" from their current tour, for now, over "conflicts" surrounding the controversial lyrics that depict slavery, rape and drugs, guitarist Keith Richards confirmed to The Los Angeles Times.

"You picked up on that, huh?" Richards told the outlet after he was asked why the band has refrained from playing it. He added that he doesn't understand the controversy.

"I’m trying to figure out with the sisters quite where the beef is," Richards said. "Didn’t they understand this was a song about the horrors of slavery? But they’re trying to bury it. At the moment I don’t want to get into conflicts with all of this."

According to Genius' song interpretation, "'Brown Sugar' runs through different white and Black sexual interactions," including nonconsensual sex between a slave and slave owner, who had "total ownership of Black women but also had total physical and sexual access."

The first verse of the song depicts slaves being sold in the slave trade in New Orleans and being beaten at will: "Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields/ Sold in the market down in New Orleans/ Scarred old slaver knows he's doing alright/ Hear him whip the women just around midnight."

"Brown Sugar" ends: "How come you, how come you taste so good? Just like a, just like a Black girl should."...


https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news/the-rolling-stones-remove-brown-sugar-from-tour-setlist-over-lyrics-depicting-slavery/ar-AAPu5Qy?ocid=BingNewsSearch

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Reply The Rolling Stones remove 'Brown Sugar' from tour setlist over lyrics depicting slavery (Original post)
Norbert Oct 14 OP
PoliticAverse Oct 14 #1
eShirl Oct 14 #2
underpants Oct 14 #4
MuseRider Oct 14 #16
betsuni Oct 14 #6
Captain Zero Oct 14 #7
MuseRider Oct 14 #18
Raine Oct 14 #9
themaguffin Oct 14 #19
NurseJackie Oct 14 #10
eShirl Oct 14 #14
ForgedCrank Oct 14 #22
Bettie Oct 14 #23
Towlie Oct 14 #24
treestar Oct 14 #25
LeftInTX Oct 14 #26
Haggard Celine Oct 14 #3
Withywindle Oct 14 #5
Initech Oct 14 #30
peacefreak2.0 Oct 14 #8
area51 Oct 14 #21
Retrograde Oct 14 #31
luvs2sing Oct 14 #11
arlyellowdog Oct 14 #12
2naSalit Oct 14 #13
brewens Oct 14 #15
Clash City Rocker Oct 14 #17
themaguffin Oct 14 #20
prodigitalson Oct 14 #27
RobinA Oct 14 #28
Initech Oct 14 #29

Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 04:47 AM

1. It's still on their official youtube channel...

(but with slightly different lyrics)...


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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 04:52 AM

2. I was never able to make out enough of the words to piece it together

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Response to eShirl (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 05:54 AM

4. New Orleans and Midnight was all I ever got

So, yeah. Me too.

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Response to underpants (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 08:33 AM

16. All I remember is the "Brown Sugar

how come you taste so good" and the "Yeah Yeah Yeah WHoooooooo". Usually I am a stickler for lyrics but the Stones I let go. So many of their songs were just too fun to worry about. Now it looks like I shoulda worried!

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Response to eShirl (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 06:10 AM

6. Me too!

Had no idea.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 06:29 AM

7. Honest. Me too. I thought it was about a poc gf.

Mostly 🎧 to the 🎸.

Over the years they opened with that song A LOT. I saw them in 72 and they opened with that even then.

Stevie Wonder was the opening act on that tour.

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Response to Captain Zero (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 08:35 AM

18. Holy Cow! That was some concert!

I have never been able to see Stevie .

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Response to eShirl (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 06:49 AM

9. I thought I heard from somewhere that it was about heroin addiction. 🤔 nt

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Response to Raine (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 09:02 AM

19. They have a song about addiction on that album

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Response to eShirl (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 07:04 AM

10. "This has got some weird-ass lyrics!" "Mick! Mick! Speak English!!"

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Response to NurseJackie (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 07:37 AM

14. ha! I need to watch that again

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Response to eShirl (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 10:32 AM

22. I was never a big Stones fan so I never listened very close anyway.

However, I just looked up the lyrics and the song appears to not be very complimentary at all toward slavery or slave owners, so I'm a bit confused about this one. The chorus line does appear to suggest that the writer likes "brown sugar" and is telling the audience that's the way it is supposed to be. Not sure what to make of that part.
In addition, other opinions I've read insist that this doesn't have anything at all to do with "black girls", but is instead, is a thinly disguised reference to heroin (ref: https://www.songfacts.com/facts/the-rolling-stones/brown-sugar).
But I suppose it's better this way than to leave that lingering question in everyones minds. Just get rid of it and don't look back.
It's their song, they can scrub it if they want. I'm not the best at trying to interpret the thoughts of artistic writings, especially when it comes to musicians.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 10:34 AM

23. Same here

And I never bothered to look them up.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 11:00 AM

24. Me neither. I don't pay much attention to rock lyrics because they often don't make sense.

 


Without actually listening to the lyrics I took it as nothing more than praise for black girls.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 11:02 AM

25. +1 I'm surprised at the lyrics

as to what they are and have heard that song as many times as any boomer.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 11:33 AM

26. It's about having sex with a slave.

I knew the lyrics said "Sold in a market down in New Orleans" and "English blood runs hot" but the actual lyrics are much, much worse. However, when the song first came out, I thought it was about an inter racial dating..LOL I thought the "market down in New Orleans" was another kind of modern day, market, if you know what I mean....

I was kinda naive at the time. I just thought it was Mick going after some hot black girl. I didn't get the slavery stuff till many years later.


Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
Sold in a market down in New Orleans
Skydog slaver knows he's doing alright
Hear him whip the women just around midnight

Brown sugar how come you taste so good?
Brown sugar just like a young girl should

Drums beating, cold English blood runs hot

Lady of the house wonderin' where it's gonna stop
House boy knows that he's doing alright
You shoulda heard him just around midnight

Brown sugar how come you taste so good, now?
Brown sugar just like a young girl should, now

Ah, get along, brown sugar how come you taste so good, baby?
Ah, got me feelin' now, brown sugar just like a black girl should

I bet your mama was a tent show queen
And all her boyfriends were sweet sixteen
I'm no schoolboy but I know what I like
You shoulda heard me just around midnight

Brown sugar how come you taste so good, baby?
Ah, brown sugar just like a young girl should, yeah

I said yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
How come you... how come you taste so good?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
Just like a... just like a black girl should
Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 05:47 AM

3. You mean it's not about the stuff I put in my oatmeal?

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 06:05 AM

5. I am okay with this

The lyrics are disturbing, and it's not that it's wrong to "write about the evils of slavery," it's that the song does come off as treating the particular sexual horror against Black women in a flippant way. Musically, it's no "Strange Fruit" (or even "Gimme Shelter" ) it's a party song.

I don't think they had evil intent when they wrote it or anything, but it's actually okay to listen to criticism sometimes. They're the fucking Stones, they have a huge catalog of hits. They can let this one go in live performance. It's not like it erases anyone's records.

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Response to Withywindle (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 12:03 PM

30. And you know MAGAs have already made this their anthem.

Because if you tell them they can't have something then they will find a way to buy / consume it, because they are spoiled children.

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 06:30 AM

8. Oh, jeez.

Their whole catalog is dripping with misogyny. Honky Tonk Woman, anyone?

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Response to peacefreak2.0 (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 10:19 AM

21. Misogyny indeed.

I'm not going to forget seeing this:

"I'm 'black and blue' from the Rolling Stones and I love it."

Source


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Response to peacefreak2.0 (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 01:46 PM

31. "Under My Thumb"

along with a lot of their earlier "Look at us, we're so BAD" repertoire.

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 07:06 AM

11. It was my favorite Stones song..

but like a lot of others, I had no idea what the lyrics were. I loved it for the beat and the great guitar work. I recently read the lyrics and was horrified. A good start for them, but if they’re cleaning up lyrics, they’ve got a lot more work to do.

Now..can anyone direct me to a version of that song without lyrics? I never did care much for Mick Jagger anyway. That guitar, tho..

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 07:15 AM

12. It makes me mad that I had a right to be mad

The Rolling Stones was male empowerment in the late 60s and 70s. I went to their concert with my late husband and told him that, but I was ignored. Paul McCartney is right, they are an American Blues rip off cover band. My husband finally got the points when our son was playing Rap music as a teenager and he was horrified. The Stones, Rap artists, whoever can record what they want, but as Jon Stewart just said, we have a right to call them out.

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 07:35 AM

13. The lyrics always bothered me.

A number of their songs had offensive lyrics that made me like the band a lot less. Jagger has always been an asshole and he made millions having lyrics that promoted assholism.

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 08:10 AM

15. Last time I saw them, they played Stray Cat Blues. They changed the lyric from, "I can see your

just 13 years old" to 16 years old. Good idea. I'm still surprised they didn't get a raft of shit about it.

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 08:34 AM

17. Are they still doing Midnight Rambler?

Because that one is no better. The protagonist is a rapist.

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 09:03 AM

20. This isn't new news and Mick discussed this.

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 11:48 AM

27. Regardless. They were always better than The Beatles nt

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 11:52 AM

28. The Stones

sing about some sleazy stuff! Film at 11. Next thing you know they'll be telling Mick he can't gyrate his hips. I think we're back where we started.

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Response to Norbert (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 11:59 AM

29. I'm going to see them tonight.

That's really interesting, I had no idea about the lyrics to that song. But glad they're correcting their past mistakes!

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