Music Shapes Minds and Hearts

,A week month or so ago, Jennifer @ Momma Made It Look Easy asked a question on Facebook:

“Let’s talk song lyrics. What do you do about sexually suggestive song lyrics when they come on the radio? For example, Flo Rida’s new song Whistle, Katy Perry’s Peacock, DEV’s Dancing in the Dark. Do you change the station? Tell your kids they can’t listen because it is inappropriate? Does that open up the door for more questions? How do you explain it is inappropriate? Or do you just hope that they don’t figure out the meaning or start singing it in the produce aisle at the grocery store?

I started by trying to listen to the link to a video that Jennifer had provided.  Oops.  That’s not one I would even listen to with the kids in the room. By the time I scrambled to stop it, 24 seconds had passed.  Plenty of time.

Whistle, indeed.  It was an oral sex tutorial.

My simple answer: I turn it off.

Is anything that simple?  When your children are small, maybe you can turn it off and if they protest, say,”What?  Oh.  I wasn’t paying attention to the song. I’m just trying to find a station with the weather on.”

Not here.  Not anymore.

When I was a kid, we listened to the radio, a lot.  My husband’s favorite freakish gift of mine is that I have a nearly complete catalog of 1970s pop lyrics in my head, accessible at any time.  Off the top of my head, I can list several that are about  intercourse, oral sex, or masturbation–all hits on the Adult Contemprary Top 40 before 1985.

 I went around singing whatever was on. I wonder what boys thought.  I wonder what random men in public places thought.  I don’t wonder much.  Neither, do I wonder, now that I am an adult, familiar with idiom and euphemism, what men think, when my daughters sing along to the greatest hits of their time.

Periodically, I take the lyric of a song and parce it out for my daughters. They hate this.

Yet, I’ve noticed, if they are listening to the AC station regularly, they become even more oppositional, even more self-centered, and begin to dress with less regard to fashion or self-respect.

Some songs have to do with suicide, stalking, infidelity or one night stands. The middle ground is selfish, self-centeredness and inflated ego, mixed with tales of co-dependency and a search for meaning in mediocrity.

We become what our hearts meditate on.

It’s a parent’s privilege, not only to guard their children from too much information too soon, but also to grow those people’s hearts into unselfish, hard-working, imaginative, healthy adults.

Trouble is, the radio station is marketing to young adults aged 18-24, and they like it dirty.

The strategy that works best in our home is a full toolbox:

–Ask them to turn it off.

–If it’s my option, I turn it off.

–If it’s somewhere that the radio doesn’t belong to us– a)distract,  b)re-direct, or c)leave the area.

— “Please don’t sing that song. I know it’s just a catchy tune, but it says two things and one of them is not nice.”

“What, Mommy?”

“You don’t need to know.  You just have to trust me.”

Just like God says to me, when He asks me to relinquish something mediocre for an excellent promise I will not receive until much later.

Just Slip This Into the Anglo-File

You know, I’m susceptible to the charms of English culture.  If we were into labels, we might call me an Anglophile.

In the early 90s, I used to sit in the wingback, sipping tea.  While BBC on PBS laughed at itself on TV, I could watch the dirty, little city washed in slow rain through the bay window.  The children took all that quiet time on Saturday night away.

I like tea (For awhile it was a big deal.  Like tea rooms and throwing “teas” instead of showers, receptions, or brunches.). It’s some comfort in a cup.

Add in boy bands, li’l divers, and Olympic coverage.

Add We-only-got-an-episode-and-a-half-of-Downton-Abbey-before-the-end-of-the-season-Whatemahgondoo?

Add That Great Movie We Saw On Our Anniversary.

And this:

Creative Commons Images: Flikr

Sherlock Holmes. Set in “Of the moment” London, some of the original titles and a multitude of details of the original stories are included in edge-of-your-seat, hour-long mysteries.  The final episode of the second season is to be continued…  IN 2013!

There is a sleek, post-modern, coldness about the visual.  Probably intended to convey some theme-driven effect.  Whatever.  The stories are engaging.  The twists and turns, totally unpredictable (Mostly).  This is the first time I’ve seen Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock, but my girls were familiar with his work(???).   Dr. Watson is played by Martin Freeman, who’ll play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit.

It seems there is controversy about Cumberbatch’s appearance.  Some think he’s handsome and some don’t.  Initially, I found him unattractive.  But he just kept talking.

And talking.

It’s an extremely sexy show.  Not because stories are about sex (except the one, amazing, do-NOT-let-your-children-watch-it episode*), but because the script is razor sharp.  It takes my logophilic breath away.

“What did he say? Go back!Go back!Go back!Go back!”

Yes, the family gets tired of my shtick.  But it’s so…

Smart.

Brits!!!  What makes them so terribly…just so?

All the tea?

What are you looking forward to the next season’s shows?

 

*there is another episode where there are short moments of snarling dogs.  I’d use caution with allowing smaller kids around the TV.  They won’t be getting story, but the images might disturb.

The story about sex has a scene where the actress is completely naked, shown from behind or from the front, seated and placing her riding crop strategically.  Our most conservative friend enjoyed it.

Taking What Isn’t Yours

Oh, of course, I might be thinking of stealing someone’s things.

In this case, however, I am talking about impatience.

Wanting something that hasn’t been given.

Something isn’t coming fast enough.

I want the harvest without the growing season.

Humans.

So smart.

We can produce a hydroponic tomato.

It looks like a tomato.

Tastes like…  Nothing.

We feel we deserve more.

We know it’s coming.

We want the profit without the accounting,

the privilege without the responsibility,

the authority without the commitment.,

the license without the wisdom,

the freedom without the participation,

Humans.

So silly.

The riches without the rules,

the majesty without the Ruler.

It never satisfies…

 

“Elizabeth: I hardly believe in ghost stories, Captain Barbossa.
Barbossa: Aye. That’s exactly what I thought when first told of the tale. Buried in the island of the dead that which cannot be found except by those who already knows where it is. Find it, we did. And there be the chest… and inside, be the gold. We took them all! Spent ’em, traded ’em and fritted ’em away, for drink and food and pleasurable company. But the more we gave them away, the more we came to realize. The drink would not satisfy, food turned to ash in our mouths, nor the company in the world would harm or slake our lust. We are cursed men, Miss Turner. Compelled by greed, we were. But now, we are consumed by it.”

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

 

 

 

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