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Be careful little ears

May 4, 2011

Have you ever been driving down the road listening to some really great music, singing along, tapping your hand against the steering wheel? I usually put the sun roof back, windows down and crank up the volume (when I’m alone of course). There’s something about a great beat, passionate lyrics, sunglasses on and hair blowing that makes me feel good.

Then there are the times when I catch a word or phrase in the song that grabs my attention. I start to really hear the words; a story appears. Well, crap. The music is rocking and the lyrics are trash. This seems to happen pretty often nowadays. Heard of Ke$ha? Katy Perry? Rhianna?

I recently bought Eminem and Rhianna’s “Love the Way You Lie”. I love the juxtaposition of their styles and voices. Also, I like to think I cover Rhianna’s part pretty well. I began listening to the lyrics more. The song is definitely about domestic violence. Is domestic violence a taboo subject? It’s not something we talk about a lot, but I can appreciate a song that lays out a relationship honestly. I’ve never experienced domestic violence myself, but I know enough through my Psych classes in college to get the dynamics. I listened to the song a couple of times all the way through without belting out Rhianna’s part. The lyrics I started to worry about were at the end. “If she ever tries to ****** leave again I’ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire.” Rhianna’s part comes next. It wasn’t originally written for this song (or by Rhianna), but it fits so well. “Just gonna stand there and watch me burn. Well that’s alright because I like the way it hurts. Just gonna stand there and hear me cry. Well that’s alright because I love the way you lie. I love the way you lie.”

The fifteen year old inside me wondered if I should be listening to something like this. I’m wondering who’s around that can hear what I’m listening to. Granted, I’m not going to be playing this song when my mom is in the car (hi, mom). Probably won’t even play it when my hubby is in the car. But is that because there is something wrong with the song? In this case, I’m going to say no. I actually think Eminem (and a couple other collaborators) wrote an honest, descriptive song about domestic violence. It’s not anything I want someone to experience in life, but it happens and much like described in the song. How old do you need to be to listen to such a song? I would think older than what most of the kids are listening to it, but I could see a parent using it as a teaching tool.

I mostly listen to Christian stations, but I sometimes need content, beats, voices that are different. I was glad to find a rapper named Lecrae that I can listen to and get a more meaningful message while getting the rhythm and beats. Unfortunately, his music doesn’t get played on Christian stations around here. 

What are the solutions? Listening to secular stations I hear some great, thought-provoking music along with some junk. Listening only to Christian music on stations here I get some great music, but not always thought-provoking. There has to be a balance and at my age I think I can figure it out for myself. For all the kids and youth out there, I’m not sure they can when they really don’t think about the lyrics and what they mean. Should that bother me? I think so. What am I going to do? I have no idea. But when my son gets old enough to understand more I will definitely be monitoring what he hears the best I can. And if I can’t, I hope I’ll have the opportunity to talk to him about what he hears.

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