Musical cleansing – international

Prompted by comments on the earlier post, I did some investigation into government interference in what is played on the radio channels in various countries. I’ve been very surprised by the amount of countries that do actually regulate the airwaves, some them to a very large degree. Obviously, the adherence to the rules does vary from place to place as do the measures taken to enforce them.

This is what I was able to find out so far:


  • “Waltzing Matilda” must be played at least 5 times per day
  • A song including the phrase “tucker bag” (apart from WM) should feature every half hour
  • 20% of all output should be Aboriginal songs involving a digeridoo or other racially stereotypical instrument
  • Wallabies are good, kangaroos are bad – generally speaking.
  • Rolf Harris is banned
  • Any song insulting the British gets 10 bonus points
  • Any song mentioning convicts will result in a 10 point penalty


  • 90% of all music played must be by the following artists – Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Bryan Adams, Diana Krall, Crash Test Dummies, Nickleback or Shania Twain.
  • “O Canada” must be played at least 3 times per day.
  • Songs by artists from the USA are banned.
  • Any song lyric that includes the word “about” gets 10 bonus points on the basis that it highlights our unique culture and accent
  • In certain regions only – 95% of songs must be in the French language.


  • “God Save the Queen” must be played every hour on the hour in time with the chimes of Big Ben while everyone wears a bowler hat and makes jaunty poses with their umbrellas
  • 50% of songs must be in Oxford English language, 40% can be in foreign English (i.e. American), 10% can be other languages (but not French)
  • Any songs considered to be anti monarchy or government will be severely frowned upon
  • 15% of songs should feature the words that will resonate with the yoof, for example – mother fucker, fuck, nigger (only by black artists), death, Ho, kiss my ass and so on.
  • No music is allowed that might cause offence to any racial or cultural minority.
  • All music must be certified as “safe to play in public” by the Health & Safety Executive


  • “Jozin z Bazin” must be played continuously – as it’s the only good song we have!
  • All other music is banned.


  • 90% of all music played must be either composed by Mozart or be a variation on a theme by Mozart.
  • The remaining 10% should be German heavy death metal.


  • 80% of music must be largely meaningless and of poor quality but be sung by a lady with inflatable breasts.
  • 10% should be by Vivaldi, preferably “The Four Seasons”
  • 10% must be repeated plays of old hits like “Funiculi Funicula”
  • 10 bonus points are awarded if the inflatable lady has slept with the head of state.


  • 110% of music must be in the beautiful French language – end of!
  • Any French song mentioning the British is banned.
  • Edith Piaf must account for at least 20% of all content.
  • 50% of the music must be suitable for playing during revolutions or strikes.
  • Songs that celebrate food, sex or agriculture or modern architecture will get 10 bonus points.


  • All music will be played efficiently with no more than 12.5 seconds of ‘dead air’ allowed per month. This will be rigorously monitored by the Geshaftswerbungarbeitgesamtschnellerdeadair.
  • Beethoven, Bach & Brahms can be played during the day. Wagner should be played all night.
  • Music mentioning Hitler, Nazis or war is banned – unless broadcast in the general direction of Austria.
  • 10% of music must be dark and miserable heavy metal.
  • 25% of music must be Oom-Pah music good for drinking beer.


  • 60% of music must be by the Gypsy Kings (even though they are French)
  • Songs involving dead bulls will get 10 bonus points
  • Any mention of Franco is banned
  • Football songs must equally celebrate Barcelona & Real Madrid
  • No music will be played between 14:00 and 20:00 ( as it will disturb sleeping patterns)


  • 50% of all music played must have a bling factor and involve videos of people wearing the latest fashion and driving very expensive cars
  • The other 50% must celebrate either our glorious past or our glorious future, or both.
  • 10 bonus points for any song mentioning money
  • Any reference to Georgia, Chechnya or any of those places is banned
  • During elections, the Kremlin is the only place allowed to broadcast anything.


  • As a demonstration of who is in control around here – all music is banned until further notice.


  • We prefer small music by little known artists but we’ll take whatever we can get.

It should be noted that not all broadcasters adhere to the above regulations.


12 thoughts on “Musical cleansing – international

  1. Dude. Dude. You missed Rush in the Canada section.

  2. And Neil Young should probably be mentioned in the Canadian section too, even though most people probably think he’s American.

    What I want to know is: What about Slovakia???

  3. scatts says:

    Any suggestions?

  4. VLF says:

    Now that is work of art!
    Is it safe to assume that you DID find that apart form the fascist Polish government there are other whackos out there doing exactly the same?
    Next time I’ll invite you to my book-burning ceremony. Interested?

  5. DFP says:

    Let me have a try:
    – It doesn’t really matter that Slovak songs are really Czech (modern or from Czechoslovakia times), or performed by Czech artists – we were one not that long ago so it’s like they’re kind of ours too. Foreigners don’t have to know this – like they could notice the difference anyway.
    – Songs that feature words „Jánošík” and „langoš” get 10 bonus points; those that feature phrases „naše krásne Tatry/Slovensko” are to be played at least twice in a row.
    – It is recommended to play some Polish music come summer and winter. It makes the tourists feel more comfortable and eager to spend extra money here.

  6. Sylwia says:


    * The other 50% must celebrate either our glorious past or our glorious future, or both.


    The above sounds more like the US. Russians are more likely to sing about their glorious past and present leaders. Ever heard the song about Putin?

  7. Wiktor says:

    A funny comeback of a more light-hearted and funny Polandian (of yore). Good one.

    (Albeit it makes it look like someone’s trying to flee the flak drawn by the earlier article by fleeing into absurdity; enough about that, it’s me pretty petty Polish quibbling, aaah)

  8. scatts says:

    I need little excuse to flee into absurdity, Wiktor!

    But I do see your point, it might look that way. At my innermost deeply psychological level I may have been trying to lighten up what was in danger of becoming another polarised discussion.

  9. Wiktor says:

    Perhaps for the better, I guess. I haven’t seen it before, but a linko in the Brits playing Poles article led me to Ruddy Hell… And the Polish Cafe skits have been absolutely marvellous. Often exaggerated (well, ’tis comedy, after all), but also true, in a way. Pure brilliance.

    I guess what draws me to Polandian most is the ability to see the reflection of the Polish soul in the mirrors of foreigners’ eyes, so to speak. If I ever sound like a bitter Pole, then by no means should that be interpreted as a total rejection of what’s being posted here. I wouldn’t be coming back if I wasn’t interested.

  10. scatts says:

    I don’t recall you ever sounding bitter, not like some people who comment here. Even then, we don’t mind bitter as long as it makes sense and is not just a knee-jerk insult the British reaction to a perceived slandering of this great nation! :-)

  11. chihuahua says:

    Canadian heh?

    Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Denny Doherty (of The Mamas & the Papas), David Clayton-Thomas (of Blood, Sweat & Tears), John Kay (of Steppenwolf), the Guess Who, Bachman–Turner Overdrive, Bruce Cockburn, Tragically Hip, 54-40, Sarah McLachlan, Spirit of the West, the Lowest of the Low, Cowboy Junkies, Sarah McLachlan, Great Big Sea, Ashley MacIsaac, Moxy Früvous, Our Lady Peace, the Barenaked Ladies, and more:

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