Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Dissertation on Melody...

Last weekend with the SooperKids, we were jamming out to tunes in the car. Suddenly, "Class A Team" by Ed Sheeran came on. I knew the song was about the dangers of drug use, but it's poignant and just all around a great song. Then I looked over to my oldest daughter to see her singing the words......especially the line "Go mad for a couple grams/And she don't wanna go outside tonight/And in a pipe she flies to the Motherland/Sells love to another man". As much as this disturbed me as a parent, I discussed the song with her, told her what the lyrics meant, and explained drug use and what it does. Then we watched the video together, which reinforced my little speech.

Then I started thinking: Music has such a powerful influence on us. On our moods, our lives, our memories. Do I censor radio or internet play when an inappropriate song comes on around my children? Yes, of a point. I don't think my three year old singing Enrique Iglesias' "Tonight, I'm Fucking You" would be appropriate. Or the fact that she wants to brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack.

Don't get me wrong. I am a hypocrite. When I was 12 years old, I bought my first CD. It was the standard issue CD for every middle class white kid from the suburbs.

suck it, Ke$ha.
While my parents weren't necessarily approving, they allowed me the freedom to explore my own path enough for me to make my own decisions. However, I was not 3. I was 12.

So, as I was thinking about the music and lyrics appropriate for my children, I began to dissect the music world. I began listing songs and how they fit into specific categories.

1. Social Issues/Political Issues

While many citizens want their entertainers to entertain and stay the hell out of politics and messages, there are SO many songs that are great, but also raise awareness of some of the darker aspects of our society, culture, and political system. Here are a few:

  • The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - "Face Down"
Domestic abuse, anyone? There have been multiple songs tackling this issue, but I prefer this one, specifically for the chorus.
Do you feel like a man, when you push her around?Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground?Well, I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to endAs your lies crumble down, a new life she has found

  • Apocalyptica ft. Corey Taylor - "I'm Not Jesus"
OK, I'll see your domestic abuse and raise you child abuse by priests. No, really. If you haven't listened to the words of this song, it's an angry response to a horrible experience that no child should have to go through. The fact that you can feel Taylor's anger and resolve through his voice makes the song even better. 
I thought you were a good man,I thought you talked to God.You hippocratic, messianic, child abusing, turned satanic.
Do you remember me?Do you remember me?The kid I used to be?Do you remember?Do you remember?

2. Drugs

  • Eric Clapton - "Cocaine"
Perhaps the only way to talk about cocaine in the 70's was to just say fuck it, name your song, and then repeat the word throughout the song. Also, my uncle taught me these lyrics when I was about 4 and then sent me to sing to my mom. She was not amused.

  • Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel - "White Lines (Don't Do It)"
If you grew up in the 80's and didn't dream of pulling out the cardboard and breakdancing to this song, I'll call you a liar. Another about cocaine, but a warning instead of a ballad.
Ticket to ride, white line highway Tell all your friends, they can go my way Pay your toll, sell your soul Pound for pound costs more than goldThe longer you stay, the more you pay My white lines go a long way Either up your nose or through your vein With nothin to gain except killin’ your brain

3. Storytelling

Rather than just blither about something for 3 and a half minutes, many artists weave a story that resonates with people, and most of the time, the stories are amazingly creative and poignant.
  • Five for Fighting - "100 Years"
Great song about trying to make every moment count.

  • The Rolling Stones - "Sympathy For the Devil"
One of the greatest songs ever. Personifies the devil as the bringer of evils in the world, but also a refined gentleman.....kinda.

4. Inspirational

Songs that invoke a response, a call to action, or just a "feel good" attitude are sparse, but there are some.

  • Katy Perry - "Firework"
While taking a break from her Friday night menage a trois, she managed to pull this out...

  • Christina Aguilera - "Beautiful"
I was debating on what to call this artist, because she's shed her skin and changed so many times it makes my head spin....but this is a great song.

  • Sarah McLachlin - "Angel"
If you haven't seen this meme, see it now. If you say it's false, I will call you a liar and then kick you in your puppy hating shins.

There are only two things you can do when you hear this song start this commercial. You can change the channel quickly like the cold, heartless bastard you are, or, you could try not to let your kids see you tear up at a FUCKING COMMERCIAL.

There you go. A small sampling of Soop's musical thought process......I know there's more, so what's your favorite songs in these categories?


  1. Music makes my world go round. I get through each day one song at a time. xoxoxoxox
    A.D.D. Music Mamma of Awesomenessssssss