Lorde gets to “f–k” with FM radio censors in Tennis Court lyrics


Lorde has chosen Tennis Court for the third single from her debut album Pure Heroine, and it’s already climbing its way up the charts just as swiftly as its predecessors Royals and Team. And she seems to have pulled a one-over on FM radio censors in the process. In the second verse she predicts her own fame with the lyric “How can I fuck with the fun again when I’m known” – but at least some FM radio stations in the United States are playing the song without bleeping out the f-word.

“Fuck” is one of the relatively few words that routinely gets censored on FM radio, and artists often record alternate single versions of their songs with the word replaced or muted. But Lorde is getting a pass so far from some radio stations. Are they so eager to play the latest single from the rising pop star that they haven’t bothered to screen the lyrics yet? Or are they just assuming that the seventeen year old Lorde isn’t going to be singing any lyrics that aren’t allowed on radio?

Is she even really using the word? Two popular lyrics sites, AZ Lyrics and Direct Lyrics, both agree that Lorde is singing the “fuck” in Tennis Court, though neither site is official. She has used the word in interviews, so it’s not as if the f-word isn’t a part of her overall vocabulary. But for some reason some FM radio censors haven’t figured that out yet. We wonder how long this will stand before the complaints from conservative radio listeners inevitably roll in.

1 Comment

  1. Jasaga on May 27, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    The “F” word has been gotten away with off and on for several years on mainstream radio. The trick, it seems, is to not use it as an epithet. Lorde isn’t using it in such a way. I remember the first time I heard “M—–F—–” on a popular Washington DC radio show (it was on throughout the USA in 1967- the “Summer Of Love”), beautifully and artfully offered (not as a spoken, shouted epithet but as a sweetly, loudly sung one) melodically by Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane. The song was “Volunteers” and the line was “…up against the wall, motherfucker, tear down the wall.” It was loud and clear and not commented upon- which is amazing for that era.