David Trinko: Realizing pop music has always been dirty
My kids and I had been listening to modern music lately when my 13 year old daughter ran to her phone to try to move on to the next song.
I asked her what she was doing as she stopped playing “Sans toi” by The Kid LAROI. She said she wanted to skip the song because she knew the song had bad words and she wanted to “protect” me. She didn’t want me to hear the F-bomb in terms of “(swear) all your reasons, I lost my (swears), you know I didn’t mean it”.
I don’t know when she changed 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 these days, right? It’s not even art.
But before I start telling neighborhood kids to stay off my lawn, it helps to think about songs from my own youth. I’ve always loved rock from the 1960s to the 1990s, and there are images that are less than pristine.
We had found a station playing some of what I would have claimed to be good songs when the 1994 song “New Age Girl” by Deadeye Dick started playing. I cringed at hearing the words that I once loved, “She doesn’t eat meat but she does like bone.” i don’t really believe Brittney Spears’ Hit Me Baby One More Time wasn’t about boxing either.
Maybe you like your classic rock a decade ago. Perhaps “Pour Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard seems to be a classic, when the music was good. Yeah, that was dirty too: “I’m hot, soft, and sticky from head to toe.” And if you don’t know what ZZ Top’s “pearl necklace” is by the way, you better not know.
The 1970s were no better. There was a lot about young people losing their virginity or their interest in underage girls, including Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”.
The reality is that much of our art these days is focused on sex or drugs. These are experiences we all seem to want to commemorate for some reason.
I remember my 13 year old son misunderstood the words of “Honey, I’m fine” by Andy Grammer because she did not understand what vice it was. She was convinced it was about having one more beer, not cheating on a loved one at home.
Of course, I wish today’s music wasn’t so loaded with innuendos and swear words. Still, we have to be a little more honest with the music from our past because it wasn’t that virtuous either.
Having said that, I will stick to contemporary Christian music that I have enjoyed lately before willingly choosing modern pop from Tones and I’s “Dance Monkey” or Masked Wolf’s “Astronaut in the Ocean”. It’s a decision that won’t force me, as Masked Wolf asks, to “slow this down.”