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If U Want Free Speech, Go To Russia

<i> Harry Shearer produces and hosts a weekly radio program, "Le Show," on KCRW and is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times Magazine. The song is being released this week by Virgin Records</i>

Within one seven-day period, the rap group 2 Live Crew was arrested in Florida and the Soviet Union passed a law allowing freedom of speech.

This is the sheriff of Yahoo County talkin’ If you’re sellin smutty rap, you better start walkin’. No use suin’, no use squawkin’. The judge sez I can come in and hush ya.

If U want free speech, go to Russia. Go to Russia.

Now, right-thinkin’ people are takin’ a stand. Givin’ each other a he’pin’ hand. Wipin’ up the crap that’s spread all over this land. Your rights stop where my rights crush ya. If U want free speech, go to Russia. Go to Russia.

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From museums to movies to record stores, We’re dryin’ up America’s sores. A mind is a terrible thing to have without doors. So don’t make me come in and cuff and cuss ya. If U want free speech, go to Russia. Go to Russia.

What’s the good of bein’ fresh if you’re not clean? I’m stronger than dirt, if you get my meaning. In Russia, they just abolished censorship, But hey, it’s just another communist trick. So you can rest assured they won’t get ticked off, If you talk trash about your dingus to Gorbachev. I can’t do much about drugs and crooks, But I can force dirty words back into hiding, Where they belong, in books. So take a not-so-mean old sheriff’s advice, Talk nice when you’re in my jurisdiction. Avoid the friction, don’t get your head bent. Forget the First Amendment After all, it was written a long time ago. And I sent my only copy to Moscow.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not against rap But every bad kid needs an occasional slap.And there’s plenty of clean art all over the map. If you make poo poo, I’m gonna come flush ya. If U want free speech, go to Russia. Go to Russia.

1990, Dog on the Beach Music (ASCAP)

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