Song lyrics are the bane of my life at the moment.
I have already written about my angst over Katy Perry and her songs.
In fact, the more pop songs enter my world, the more I’m becoming freaked out by them.
I don’t usually listen to lyrics.
I’m sure exquisite yearnings of epic love songs have completely passed me by as I’ve travelled through life but I’ve managed to get to middle-age despite this.
If I do listen to the words, I can’t make them out.
I’ve learned recently, corrected by my children, that what I hear is completely wrong and complete nonsense (as if today’s lyrics were poetry of Shakespearean proportions.)
What is, in fact, ‘Baby, I’ll be bulletproof,’ I hear as ‘Mummy, I’m Babe Ruth.’ And so on.
My kids are at an age where they want the radio on and they want to dance.
And I’m simply not sure how to keep this music out.
But when I don’t, I’m appalled by what I hear – songs of violent arguments, raps about abuse, sex and more sex.
Which brings me to Lady Gaga…
I don’t know much about Lady Gaga but I’m learning.
I know she’s out-Madonna’d Madonna, and she wore a meat dress, although I’m not quite sure what her message was there. I know her music videos are, according to my kids, ‘disturbing.’
I do know the lyrics to her songs make me cringe.
I know all about her disco stick and her poker face and her bad girl meat.
The reason I know this is because I read the little booklet that comes with her CD.
I knew straightaway I wasn’t going to like it because the font size was so small that parents couldn’t possibly read the words without their reading glasses.
The reason I read the lyrics is because while deciphering them isn’t a skill of mine, it is one that, if it were paid, my kids would quickly be able to support me with.
One in particular is a whizz at understanding and remembering lyrics; it is astounding.
So it was inevitable that I found myself in one of those cringeworthy parenting moments. We were in Wholefoods and they kept singing the chorus of Lady Gaga’s ‘I Like It Rough.’
In case you don’t know, the chorus just repeats that phrase over and over (seems like it anyway) in a rather melodic way that is strangely comforting.
When we got home and were putting the groceries away, they carried on and on. In the end I couldn’t stand any more and decided to address it.
Just sort of casual-like.
‘You know those words? They’re rather rude. I don’t think Nanna would like them.’
I’m not sure that was a terribly PC thing to say but my higher neurological thought processes had abandoned me.
‘Yes, what do you think those words mean?’
They turned around and looked at me. They paused. They looked at each other like I was one weird mother.
That was their answer. Straight up. Camping.
They thought ‘I like it rough’ was all about Boy Scouts.
What’s rude about camping? For the second time this weekend, I had no words.
‘Nothing,’ I answered quickly, ‘nothing at all. Camping is a perfectly healthy, positive endeavor to be enjoyed by all.’ (Note the irony.)
And with that they returned to putting the groceries away, none the wiser.
Until they are much older and something triggers their thoughts back to this day when they thought ‘roughing it’ meant campfires, singalongs, tents and s’mores.
And I claimed a small, undoubtedly temporary, victory against an industry that seems to be stomping all over my family values and over which I seemingly have no discernible defense.
What do you do about music? How can I balance my need to protect them and their need to fit in? Or are they innocent (and it goes over their heads) until they are not? Please let me know in the comments!
If you liked this article, please do me a favor and share on Facebook or Twitter. There are buttons at the top and bottom of this article.