The Censorship of Music:
It’s our Right
In 1967, The Doors agreed to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show; executive producers asked that the word “higher” be removed and replaced with “better” from their hit song, “Light my Fire”. The exact lyrics are “You know that it would be untrue , You know that I would be a liar ,If I was to say to you ,Girl, we couldn't get much higher, Come on baby, light my fire, Come on baby, light my fire, Try to set the night on fire”. This is a key example of censorship at work. Some say that music has been censored since the 1900’s. Some other prominent musicians that have been censored are Dixie Chicks, Madonna and Eminem (Free Muse). The people that are trying to censor music are religious extremists, presidential candidates and, government officials. These groups say that certain music contains anti-Christians themes, profanity, sex and violence. They censor the music by restricting or eliminating radio play, boycotts and protests (Dority). I believe that censorship of music in the United States is wrong. It is wrong because it is a violation of our freedom of speech; it limits the amount of artistic expression an artist can have and gets in the way of breaking down barriers which might not be touched any other way.
When you think of artistic expression, music probably is not the first thing that comes to mind. Most people think of painters or poets, but music is no exception. To censor music is in fact attempting to eliminate our artistic expression. In fact, musicians sometimes even censor their own work to avoid being singled out or rejected by groups (Dority). This reason alone is reason enough to stop the censoring of music. As Victor Lombardi’s states in his thesis paper titled, “Music and Censorship”, “Once an artist, an individual produces art, something that may be thought of as a commodity. A censor who seeks to limit the distribution of this commodity not only harms the artist economically, but also professionally,...