The Rolling Stones recently announced that they have dropped their classic concert standard “Brown Sugar” from the set list for their current North American tour due to the controversial lyrics of what Keith Richards says is a song about the “horrors of slavery.” The Stones’ current swing through the New World is ironically called the No Filter Tour, even as they caved to the ever growing woke mob by cancelling a song that is purportedly about the evils of slavery. No matter, the term “Brown Sugar” is now verboten.
Marsha Hunt, a Black (Brown?) American-born singer is cited by some as the inspiration for the song, as she and Mick Jagger met when Hunt was a cast member of the London production of the musical Hair. Their relationship was a closely guarded secret…until well after their daughter Karis was born in 1970.
On the other hand, Up And Down With The Rolling Stones, a book by Tony Sanchez, claims that the song title also refers to the perils of being “mastered” by heroin that is cooked in a spoon until the drug becomes brown, yielding “Brown Sugar.” So maybe the song is about both a heroine and heroin.
In any case, by caving to the crazed cancelling crowd and sending “Brown Sugar” down the memory hole, the very liberal rock group is heading down the proverbial slippery slope. Even a perfunctory glance at its popular song titles reveals many more that will soon have to be dispensed with.
“Paint It Black” is obviously the next to go. What is wrong with the color Black, boys? “Harlem Shuffle?” Seriously? Gone. Then there is “Sweet Black Angel.” Sense a theme here? Not much different than “Brown Sugar,” is it? Just a little darker. Does anyone really believe “Stupid Girl” is going to be around much longer? “She’s So Cold?” “Under My Thumb?” And how about “Little T And A” for crying out loud? Think someone might have a problem with the song “Bitch?” Or “Mother’s Little Helper,” a tune about moms addicted to anti-depressants? “Rocks Off?” Can you say toxic masculinity? Misogyny much?
Perhaps “Honky Tonk Woman” could be saved by rebranding it as “Honky Tonk Non-Binary Person,” although that title still smacks of a redneck bar.
That begs the question: which of their songs might the Stones have left to play? In today’s climate, “Sympathy For The Devil” would be utterly unobjectionable, as would “Sweet Neo Con,” a song savaging all things Republican and conservative. In fact, when the latter was first released in 2005, many thought it might elicit complaints and calls for its censorship. Turns out, there were no repercussions whatsoever. Because conservatives don’t like censoring others. Or defending themselves and what they purport to believe in. Wild Horses can’t get most Republicans to stand up for anything. They appear to be in need of an Emotional Rescue. Or spine-enhancement surgery.
So, as Tears Go By, I Can’t Get No Satisfaction. I guess You Can’t Always Get What You Want.
It’s All Over Now.