LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — Elvis Costello announced that he plans to forego future live performances of Oliver’s Army, his most successful hit, over some of the lyrics.
The song, written about political and religious conflict in Northern Ireland, includes a racial slur used to describe Irish Catholics. When Costello released the track in 1979, it peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart, and was his highest charting hit.
In a statement provided to The Telegraph, Costello says he’s dropping the song from his playlist due to the choice of words in the lyrics.
“That’s what my grandfather was called in the British army – it’s historically a fact,” Costello told the Telegraph. “But people hear that word… and accuse me of something that I didn’t intend.”
In recent years, radio stations have been bleeping the offensive lyric, but Costello told the Telegraph that he feels the bleep simply highlights the missing word.
Costello is one of numerous artists who have changed lyrics or stopped performing hit songs over potentially sensitive lyrics. Last year, the Rolling Stones announced they will stop playing their hit Brown Sugar due to its use of racial stereotypes and Irish band Lynched changed their name to Lankum due to the historical connotations of the term.