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Songwriting – Causing Offence With A Song


I have thought about this quite a lot. In the UK last year (or the year before) there was a theatre play in that was closed due to a particular group of people being offended by the content and demonstrating outside the theatre where it was being staged in order to get the play closed down. They succeeded. There was strong protest that this closure was evidence of pressures exerted by one group curtailing artistic freedom of expression of another.

The reason for my pondering this is that I have recently written a song which again reflects my strong atheistic views. This is just a song like any other and has no propogandist agenda attached. Nevertheless, the song can / will / does offend a few people.

Taking into account that there is a difference between expressing something that is intended to offend and expressing something that offends as an incidental by-product of that expression (but without the purpose of doing so), I have concluded that the feeling of being offended, in the latter case, is the problem of the person offended. I have further decided that I have no duty to consider this (potential offence caused) when I write, record, publish, or perform.

So I sing my song with gusto.

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