Elvis Costello vows to retire his provocative anti-war ‘Oliver’s Army’ because of racial slur

Elvis Costello vows to retire his provocative anti-war ‘Oliver’s Army’ because of racial slur
Frontpage featured

When Elvis Costello used a racial slur in his 1979 hit “Oliver’s Army,” the British rocker did it to send out an anti-war message — not promote racial divisions. But regardless of the context, Costello, now 67, has announced that he will no longer perform the song on stage. And he is asking radio stations to stop playing it, according to CNN.

“Oliver’s Army” became a hit during The Troubles, the violent conflicts that rocked Northern Ireland during the 1970s — when some residents of Northern Ireland (many of them Protestant) wanted to remain in the U.K. while others (many of them Catholic) wanted to leave the U.K. and become part of the Republic of Ireland to the south. Costello used the term “white n*****” in the song to describe soldiers who became cannon fodder in military conflicts while the affluent and the elite avoided combat. Some Brits, in those days, used the term to describe working-class White Americans who fought in the Vietnam War while more affluent Whites went to law school or medical school instead.

Costello told the Telegraph, “If I wrote that song today, maybe I'd think twice about it. That's what my grandfather was called in the British army — it's historically a fact — but people hear that word go off like a bell and accuse me of something that I didn't intend.”

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.