Banning songs not a rare occurrence for the BBC

The BBC has revoked a decision to ban the word faggot in the popular Pogues' Christmas song Fairytale of New York.

While the broadcaster has reneged on this latest bout of censorship, it is not the first time the BBC has banned unsavoury music.

We take a look at the top ten songs banned by the BBC over the past 50 years.

10. Killing an Arab - The Cure (1979)
More than a decade after The Cure released this single, it was banned from BBC air-play as the first Gulf War began. Several other songs were banned during this time, including Phil Collins' Something in the Air and Jose Feliciano's Light My Fire.

9. I Am the Walrus - The Beatles (1967)
The Beatles managed to get the BBC's knickers in a knot with this track, for mentioning, well... knickers. The lines "pornographic priestess" and "let your knickers down" were deemed inappropriate and the record banned.

8. Six Months In A Leaky Boat - Split Enz (1980)
New Zealand's own Split Enz found themselves on the receiving end of a BBC ban for their hit track, as the song was mistakenly believed to be about the Falkland War and thus, deemed too provocative.

7. Je T'Aime ... Moi Non Plus - Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin (1969)
It may have been the swinging 60s but this hit song was too much for the poor BBC to handle, the lyrics referring to sex without love.

6. Let's spend the night together - Rolling Stones (1967)
No strangers to controversy, this Rolling Stones' single was banned for promoting promiscuity. Earlier, the single Star Star was banned for the phrase "star-f***er".

5. Lola - The Kinks (1970)
It was a song about a drag queen, but surprisingly that wasn't what offended the BBC. The broadcaster maintains a strict ban on advertising through music and objected to the song's mention of Coca-Cola. The lyrics were later changed to "cherry cola" to avert the ban.

4. Honky Tonk Angel - Cliff Richards (1973)
The puritanical Cliff imposed his own ban on this song when he discovered that Honky Tonk Angel was in fact slang for a prostitute. Although this doesn't strictly qualify as a BBC ban, we're sure the broadcaster would have banned it, had they realised just what Mr Richards was banging on about.

3. Relax - Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1984)
Radio 1 refused to play this 80s hit, as presenter Mike Read objected to the "overtly obscene lyrical content" and both song and video.

Relax don't do it
When you want to suck to it
Relax don't do it
When you want to come

2. F***ing in Heaven - Fatboy Slim (1988)
Given the title of the song, and the fact it repeated the profanity more than 100 times, it's not surprising that Norman Cook's single didn't make it onto the BBC airwaves.

1. God Save The Queen - The Sex Pistols (1977)
Patriotism was at an all time high in 1977, when England celebrated the Queen's Jubilee and The Sex Pistols rendition of God Save the Queen was seen as sheer blasphemy. A particularly debauched boat party aboard a river boat, named the Queen Elizabeth, saw a nationwide ban on the band. But that couldn't stop the single storming the charts.

God save the Queen
The fascist regime
They made you a moron
A potential H-bomb

- NZHERALD STAFF

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