This is a valid thing to consider. That song is product of its time and is too politically incorrect to play now. The song "Black Betty" could never be produced today and if you hear it in commercials, you absolutely will not hear the lyrics.I'm in a band that plays mostly originals with some covers sprinkled in. Last night we had a practice and were working on some covers. Out of no where our guitarist busts out Eric Clapton's "Cocaine". We jumped on it and it sounded absolutely amazing- we really nailed it. That song fits so well (musically) with our set and everything else we are playing. We played it several times even deciding on exactly where we wanted it in the set. The guys were making comments such as, "this one will get the crowd going!", etc. We walked away from practice feeling very satisfied with this "new" song.
I woke up this morning bothered by something. Although I've heard the song a million times and have been a fan of Clapton's for some time, is this (Cocaine) a song that we want to represent us or our band? I'm no Boy Scout (not that there is anything wrong with that) but it just seems that we would be somewhat irresponsible for playing it because we (as a band or individuals) in no way shape or form advocate drug use or wish to glorify it.
I have no problem explaining to the band that I don't wish to play the song. There are several (thousand) other songs we could do instead. We have another practice tomorrow night so I want to make a decision before then. I just feel that we as musicians should take some responsibility in what we deliver to our audience.
Am I being over "responsible" here?
Should I just chalk it it off to Rock-N-Roll?
Are there any songs that you wouldn't do because of subject matter?
It would be interesting to compile a list of songs that just can't be done anymore in very many places.