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6 classic rock songs you didn’t know were about black women

Paul Natkin Archive

The subject of interracial love has come up numerous times in popular music. Janis Ian wrote of a young white girl being criticized for dating a black boy in “Society’s Child,” The Rolling Stones referenced white  slavemasters lusting after black slave girls in “Brown Sugar,” one of Stevie Wonder‘s most significant latter-day hits was “Jungle Fever,” the title track to Spike Lee’s controversial film about black-white romantic relations. The Pixies “Gigantic” is about a white woman and black man having sex under a tree. Really.

But there are several other songs where the racial undertones are far less blatant.

Here are a handful of well-known classic rock songs by white artists that fans may not have realized contained subtle odes to (or were completely inspired by) black women…

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10 Comments

  1. a on December 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    First off, Henley is singing about a girl who is tanned.

    • Dharma on February 24, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      I wish he had said “your tanned skin shining in the sun” cuz white chicks ain’t brown. Not even when they tan. “Tanned skin shining in the sun” actually would go well with the song. Why didn’t he say it?

    • yes on May 6, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      First off, why are you so sure and so bothered? Second, black women are tanned. They are born with them. LOL.

  2. b on December 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Blackbird by the Beatles is about black women in the civil rights movement?

    Nope.

    Next!

    • yes on May 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      You are soooo bothered. Why does this make you feel so insecure? Not every rock song is about white girls. Shouldn’t make you feel like any less, unless you are super-fragile.

  3. c on December 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    “Lady of the Island” by Crosby, Stills and Nash

    Again, it’s about a suntanned white girl.

    Jesus! Pay attention to the lyrics!

    “The brownness of your body in the fireglow/Except the places where the sun refused to go”

    • yes on May 6, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Places the sun refused to go would be pink… The place where all women are pink. Too bad you’re too dim to get that lyric.

  4. d on December 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    “Brown-Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison

    It was supposed to be Brown-skinned Girl?

    And, they went with the mistake on the box?

    Seriously, listen to the song and see if brown-skinned girl would sing better.

    Nah, I didn’t think so.

    • yes on May 6, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      The article isn’t saying whether it would sing better, just that that is what it’s about. A black girl with brown eyes, not the white girl you were picturing, you sad fragile human being.

  5. yes on May 6, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Wow, some people really don’t want these songs to be about black women for some reason. Why are you so invested in the racial romantic lyrical tastes of strangers? Does it bother you?