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What exactly do you have in the sand?

October 13, 2009 - Michael Palmer
Okay, I may have mentioned my long commute to work. I listen to the radio, pretty much all along the dial. Rock, pop, oldies, classical and country.

I have noticed a particular discrepancy in the censorship of one particular song. The Zac Brown Band song Toes.

The lyrics go:

I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand

Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand

Life is good today

Some radio stations have a version where the lyrics have been modified to:

I got my toes in the water, toes in the sand

Both of these stations have squelched two words “fat one” from a later stanza:

Adios and vaya con dios

Yeah I'm leaving GA

Gonna lay in the hot sun and roll a big fat one

And grab my guitar and play

It is a reference to marijuana use. However, several stations and a country music video network confuse the issue further by allowing the three letter word to remain and bleeping the “fat one” later in the song.

Then there is the station that uses the toes times two tamed down version but allows the “fat one” to remain later in the song.

Not being a big proponent of the 'judging a book by it’s cover' theory of social interaction, I will refrain from stating that after seeing the band at Jamboree in the Hills and combining that with the fact they are in the music business, I would not be shocked to find them in Willie Nelson’s tour bus.

Should these lyrics be modified for the radio listening audience? Sure, that’s fine. I can always buy the CD or put it on an I-pod. That is not the issue.

It just interested me that there is little consistency in the censorship. Considering that most radio stations are satellite linked to a network that supplies all of their music, it is even more of a conundrum.

I like the song, regardless of the version. Just thought I would share.


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