The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has banned the classic comedy song ‘My Boomerang Won’t Come Back’ from the airwaves after a single listener complained about its content. Here is how the ABC, Australia’s national broadcaster and equivalent to the BBC, explained its decision:
Complaint: A 936 ABC Hobart listener complained that an offensive song was played on the Weekends program.
Complaint Finding Status: Upheld.
Audience and Consumer Affairs response: The broadcast of the song ‘My Boomerang Won’t Come Back’ was not in keeping with the ABC’s editorial standards for harm and offence; there was no editorial justification for playing it. The song was not on a regular ABC playlist but was aired because it was requested by a listener. This error was due to staff not being familiar with the track’s lyrics. The ABC apologised to the complainant, removed the track completely from the system and took steps to ensure that this would not happen again.
South London-born English comedian Charlie Drake (pictured above) recorded the song in 1961 and had an unexpected trans-Atlantic smash with the single. It climbed to near the top of the charts in the U.S. and Canada as well as reaching #14 in the UK and #1 in Australia.
Listening for yourself here:
The narrative concerns a young Aboriginal man who is cast out by his people because he can’t throw a boomerang. It was released on an obscure EMI subsidiary label called Parlophone, produced by an equally obscure in-house producer by the name of George Martin, who specialised in comedy records.
Martin, of course, went on to be the man who claimed everlasting music fame by producing the Beatles.
And now, in the overwhelming spirit of political correctness that even infects the rugged, far-off land of Australia, it has been banned forever because of the complaint of a solitary Tasmanian.