For better or worse, a catchy tune can creep into your mind and stay there for days. Often, I find my mind has become a portable, inbuilt radio.
Ask yourself, do you like Justin Bieber? Perhaps not. But do you know all the lyrics to ‘Baby’? Well of course you do, and I bet you sing them to yourself in the shower (And cue “Baby, baby, baby ooooooooooohhhhhhhhh”). Well that was until One Direction released ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ and then you had “Baby you light up my world like nobody else…” continually jumping up and down inside your cerebrum
A catchy melody and a good hook are gold in the record industry. Remember ‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls? I loved it as a kid. At least until my parents told me the lyrics weren’t exactly, umm…appropriate for an eight –year-old. And then there was ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ by Britney Spears. It kick-started the singer’s career way back in 1998, yet the lyrics seem to imply either loneliness or domestic violence.
Oh yes, both these songs are fun; catchy; memorable…they defined our childhood. And because of this we can pass these lyrical discrepancies and sing along to them happily.
UK boy band ‘One Direction’ just released their new music video for their single ‘Live While We’re Young’. I should warn you in advance that I am a ‘Directioner’, I love pop and when you mix it with some good looking British boys, well it’s very hard for me to dislike them in any form. The new music video shows the five lads dancing, having fun with their friends; pretty harmless stuff. Then I listened to the lyrics…
“ Let’s go crazy, crazy, crazy till we see the sun I know we only met but let’s pretend it’s love And never, never, never stop for anyone Tonight let’s get some and live while we’re young”
Immediately my ‘Christian’ antenna went up. Doesn’t “get some” sort of imply…sex? And when you mix this with “till we see the sun”, well there’s no question about the meaning. But what concerns me more is that the boys sing
“I know we only met but let’s pretend it’s love”
Are they saying that it’s not just ok but GOOD for their zillions of fans to sleep around because it ‘feels good’ and because they are young?
I understand the fact that these are five boys aged between 18-21. It would be expected that they would enjoy girls, partying and booze. Perhaps this fits into their moral compass, and who I am to judge that?
What I don’t like is the fact that now billions of girls worldwide are now not only dreaming about having sex with these young guys, but are singing about it too. And when that void isn’t filled (because it never is) they will search for meaning in another boy. Very likely one who is all boozed up and wanting to take advantage of them, because they want to ‘Live While They’re Young’. This can lead to rape, sexual promiscuity, STD’s, AIDS and domestic violence; yet I don’t see the lads singing about this!
I posted a status on my Facebook about this and had some interesting responses. Some diehard fans of 1D agreed with my interpretation of the lyrics and were saddened by them. Others said the lyrics were just fun and catchy, showing us a glimpse of the new record. I see both sides of this argument, which is why I titled this ‘Lyrical Dilemma or Lyrical Drama’.
Am I making too much of a small issue? It is just pop music, and honestly I found myself singing the song today. I’ll even buy the album granted it’s not filled with other songs about sex. Yet I can’t get past the lyrics of this song. The same goes for Johnny Ruffo’s ‘On Top’ (2012) which literally states,
“I’ll be on top of the world, when I’m on top of you girl”
Or what about Flo Rida’s ‘Whistle’? Have you realised that the song is entirely about a blow job? Even Guy Sebastian’s lyrics became questionable when he sang,
“All the fellas walk past Checking out your assets Look all you want she’s comin’ on home with me” (Gold, 2012)
I’m possibly the biggest Guy Sebastian fan in the entire planet and have admittedly ignored these lyrics because…well I love Guy.
But does the fact the he’s married excuse these lyrics? And is this demeaning to women?
I don’t know whether the music industry is having a lyrical dilemma or if this is just my own lyrical drama. Perhaps like with all things published these days we need to assess everything ourselves and figure out if we are comfortable with them on a moral and spiritual level.
I will listen to One Direction’s new single again. Heck, I’ll probably even sing it. But I’ll try to ignore the lyrics about sex, or at least change them so they are acceptable on my mental radio countdown. Perhaps that makes me a hypocrite, but maybe that’s just the world we live in today. Meanwhile, let’s hope that girls worldwide realise that while we need to live our lives to fullest while we are young, we don’t need casual sex to do this.