10 Commandments

Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This socially charged track features the voice of activist Saffiyah Khan, who offers 10 essential decrees.

    Thou can catcall me on the street but know I will catcall you back and say you're looking pretty sexy in your joggers or suit or newfound look of confusion.

    Saffiyah Khan is a half-Pakistani, half-Bosnian activist and model from Birmingham, England. She shot to online fame after confronting a member of the right-wing EDL in Birmingham in 2017.
  • The song is a female response to Jamaican ska legend Prince Buster's 1967 track of the same name. Buster's original is a hyper-sexist rant, which The Specials Terry Hall thought needed revising. Bassist Horace Panter told Uncut magazine:

    "We'd listened to the original and buried our heads in our hands, because it's very un-PC. So we tried to reinterpret it for the 21st century. Terry was talking to Saffiyah and we thought, 'Why don't we turn the whole thing on its head and have it from the contemporary feminist point of view?' And the result is quite extraordinary."
  • Khan agonized for weeks over her commandments, only to finish them up the night before the London recording session. After Hall made a few last-minute edits, she nailed her vocal in a couple of hours.

    "We said, 'We'll lift you up on our shoulders and let you say what you want to say - it's your time to shout now,'" guitarist Lynval Golding told Billboard. "We gave her room to do her thing. I'm really pleased with the way she went about it."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Zac Hanson

Zac HansonSongwriter Interviews

Zac tells the story of Hanson's massive hit "MMMbop," and talks about how brotherly bonds effect their music.

Elton John

Elton JohnFact or Fiction

Does he have beef with Gaga? Is he Sean Lennon's godfather? See if you can tell fact from fiction in the Elton John edition.

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)Songwriter Interviews

The co-writer/guitarist on many Alice Cooper hits, Dick was also Lou Reed's axeman on the Rock n' Roll Animal album.

70s Music Quiz 1

70s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

The '70s gave us Muppets, disco and Van Halen, all which show up in this groovy quiz.

Movie Stars In Music Videos

Movie Stars In Music VideosSong Writing

Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis and John Malkovich are just a few of the film stars who have moonlighted in music videos.

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"They're Playing My Song

The first of Billy's five #1 hits was the song that propelled Madonna to stardom. You'd think that would get you a backstage pass, wouldn't you?