Judge rules lyrics are “phonetically indistinguishable from an offensive term”.
Dozens or even millions of Britains have found they may have been offended without their knowledge by 90s chart topper ‘Country House’ by Britpop band Blur, following a landmark ruling which found that the band could not prove the chorus did not contain an expletive.
“I have been listening to this song for years,” said housewife Martha Wainwright of Preston, Lancs “It never occurred to me that I might actually be singing along with an unsavory arboreal/anatomical term.”
The issue was raised by Stephen Spleen of Christian Orifice who campaigns for anything which offends him personally to be banned. “I don’t listen to much popular music because it is the work of Satan” he calmly explains “But I do allow my children to listen to the wireless for 15 supervised minutes once a week as a treat.”
He describes the moment he first realised an offensive term may have been snuck into the seemingly innocuous ditty, “I first heard it during our regular family listening time some months back. I could scarcely believe my ears. I found myself unable to remove a vivid image of a mighty oak bedecked with female genitalia from my mind. Though the DJ said the title was ‘Country House’ I wasn’t fooled.”
“I have now locked all my children in the basement and will never let them out again,” says Spleen “Any sane person would do the same.”
Mr Spleen brought his case to the High Court of Offendedness, where expert testimony was heard.
Professor Yeardley Smith of the California Raisins Institute for Wordy Things testified that ‘Country House’ was an ‘undeniably homophonic with the term in question’, an opinion welcomed by Mr Spleen. “Whilst I cannot condone the use of any term, technical or otherwise which includes the syllables ‘ho’ and ‘mo’ in immediate succession I nevertheless welcome this commonsense conclusion”.
Blur’s label EMI have immediately withdrawn all copies of CDs containing the song from the shelves, as well as instigating a series of covert nationwide burglaries to remove offending copies from people’s homes. They will also design a computer virus which scans users’ hard discs for mp3 files of the song, then replaces any sections of the audio featuring the ambiguous phonemes with a short snatch of Susan Boyle.
A Facebook group called “I am retrospectively offended by Blur” already has over 3 million members, and a petition on the 10 Downing Street website has attracted more signatures than all the ones about important things put together. ‘#blurfail’ has been the top trending topic on Twitter since the news was announced, and none of these facts are worthy of being reported by any serious publication.
Blur fans have hit back, pointing out that the disgruntling syllable should be seen in the context of the surrounding lyrics, a view given short shrift by Mr Spleen. “People give too much consideration to ‘context’. If I were to expose myself in a children’s playground, would that be forgivable in the ‘context’ of youthful high spirits? Apparently not.”
Noel Gallagher of sometime Britpop rivals Oasis took the opportunity to launch an attack on Blur frontman Damon Albarn saying “Maybe he should’ve done his fooking song in French, where there is a clear, thought subtle, phonetic distinction between ‘ou’ and ‘u’. The obvious example would be the difference between ‘vous’ and ‘tu’. Didn’t he learn that during GCSE French? I know I fooking did.”
Comedian Keith Allen, who just happened to be nearby, said “This is a terrible indictment of morality in this country. People are getting offended by this when there are real issues out there. My poor daughter has had to fall back on her TV career and celebrity endorsements because her major label funded music was downloaded by so many people. Now she can barely afford to do all the enjoyable but ultimately extraneous things normally associated with a career in the creative industries.”
“Won’t someone think of my children?” he added.
Albarn was keeping a low profile today and a spokesperson merely stated that he was ‘Busy writing an opera about flamingos in Welsh or something’. However when our reporter tracked him down outside a jellied eel shop in London’s fashionable London district the sometime mockney replied that the verdict was “a fair cop”.