My kids and I were listening to some modern music lately when my 13-year-old sprinted to her phone to try to skip to the next song.
I asked her what she was doing as she stopped playing “Without You” by The Kid LAROI. She said she wanted to skip the song because she knew the song had swear words in it, and she wanted to “protect” me from it. She didn’t want me to hear the F-bomb in terms of “(expletive) all of your reasons, I lost my (expletive), you know I didn’t mean it.”
I’m not sure when she swapped me jobs, when I once protected her from objectionable content.
It’s easy as an older generation to complain about modern music. It’s all about sex, drugs and rock and roll nowadays, right? It’s not even art.
But before I start telling kids in the neighborhood to stay off my lawn, it’s helpful to think about the songs of my own youth. I’ve always enjoyed the rock dating back to the 1960s through the 1990s, and there are some less-than-pristineimages.
We’d found a station playing some of what I would’ve claimed were good songs when the 1994 song “New Age Girl” by Deadeye Dick started playing. I cringed as I heard the lyrics I once fawned over, “She don’t eat meat but she sure likes the bone.” I don’t really believe Brittney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time” was about boxing, either.
Perhaps you like your classic rock a decade earlier. Perhaps Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” seems like a classic, back from when music was good. Yeah, it was filthy too: “I’m hot, sticky sweet, from my head to my feet.” And if you don’t know what ZZ Top’s “Pearl Necklace” is about, you’re better off not knowing.
The 1970s weren’t any better. There was a lot of stuff out there about youngsters losing their virginity or interest in underage girls, including Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.”
The reality is so much of our art nowadays is focused on sex or drugs. They’re experiences we all seem to want to commemorate for some reason.
I remember my 13-year-old once misunderstood the lyrics of Andy Grammer's “Honey I’m Good,” as she misunderstood which vice it featured. She was convinced it was about having one more beer, not about cheating on a loved one at home.
Sure, I wish the music of today wasn’t so loaded with innuendo and swearing. Still, we need to be a little more honest with the music of our past that it wasn’t so virtuous either.
That having been said, I’ll stick with the Christian contemporary music I’ve enjoyed lately before I willingly choose the modern pop of Tones and I’s “Dance Monkey” or “Astronaut in the Ocean” by Masked Wolf. That’s a decision that won’t require me to, as Masked Wolf asks, “put that (expletive) in slow motion.”