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  • Banned By The BBC

       March 19, 2005

    Now that I have my iPod, I've been spending a lot of time going through my CD collection to put songs on it. It's like rediscovering old friends. One such old friend is the wonderful Split Enz's song "Six Months in a Leaky Boat". For those of you who aren't familiar with the early 1980s New Zealand pop scene, Split Enz is most famous for hits like "I Got You" and "One Step Ahead". The band also later spawned Crowded House, who hit it big with "Don't Dream It's Over".

    Anyway, with the release of "Six Months in a Leaky Boat", Split Enz were poised to make it big internationally. Unfortunately for them, the BBC banned the song because, at a time when England was fighting the Falklands War, the title was considered "too provocative". Here are the lyrics to this scathing, anti-war song:

    When I was a young boy
    I wanted to sail around the world
    That's the life for me, living on the sea
    Spirit of a sailor, circumnavigates the globe
    The lust of a pioneer, will acknowledge
    No frontier
    I remember you by, thunderclap in the sky
    Lightning flash, tempers flare,
    'round the horn if you dare
    I just spent six months in a leaky boat
    Lucky just to keep afloat

    Aotearoa, rugged individual
    Glisten like a pearl
    At the bottom of the world
    The tyranny of distance
    Didn't stop the cavalier
    So why should it stop me
    I'll conquer and stay free
    Ah c'mon all you lads
    Let's forget and forgive
    There's a world to explore
    Tales to tell back on shore
    I just spent six months in a leaky boat
    Six months in a leaky boat

    Ship-wrecked love can be cruel
    Don't be fooled by her kind
    There's a wind in my sails
    Will protect and prevail
    I just spent six months in a leaky boat
    Nothing to it leaky boat.

    Yep, that's it. While they were at it, I hope the BBC also banned pretty much everything by Jimmy Buffet. Not to mention "Brandy".

    Hollywood liberals and singers from Linda Ronstadt to the Dixie Chicks have spent parts of the past couple of years whining about the "chilling of dissent" in "John Ashcroft's America" (I guess now it's "Alberto Gonzalez's America"). It's worth noting that those who opposed the likes of Michael Moore, Natalie Maines and Sean Penn were individual Americans exercising their own First Amendment rights. There's a huge difference between that and the restrictions on free speech made by the governments of other countries.

    In America, both conservative wingnuts and liberal moonbats enjoy freedom of speech. Contrast that with the restrictions on speech in such "enlightened" countries as Canada, the Netherlands and yes, the UK.

    Of course, we have to be ever-vigilant against those who would restrict our rights. We need to pay more attention to actual attempts to restrict speech and less to the whining of those whose real complaint is that too many people disagree with them.

    Posted by at March 19, 2005 01:27 PM

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