Some Good Old Fashioned Outrage

My brain’s been fried today. No idea what I wanted to write about, I’ve been sitting here, attempting to do work, with this ridiculous song playing in my head:

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me off with the words of a love song
The sharp knife of a short life

I’m sorry, what was that?

That SUPER HAPPY song is by The Band Perry … and while pretty enough is incredibly morbid. Especially  when you consider it’s played on the Top 40 stations listened to by pre-teens (and my husband). What in the world could inspire someone to write a song glamorizing and romanticizing a mother “as she buries her baby” … yep, that’s a lyric, too.

All this has gotten me thinking of how utterly brainless people can be when it comes to their lyrics. Liz and I recently had a Twitter discussion on how it is NOT appropriate to use rape and domestic abuse for entertainment. You’d THINK it would be common sense. But no, we keep getting things like this:

Last night I blacked out I think
What did you, what did you put in my drink?

 – Avril Lavigne, “Smile”

This, in the middle of a sugary pop song, where she talks about how this boy and his antics make her so damn happy.

Or how about:

Take me, ta-ta-take me
Wanna be a victim
Ready for abduction

– Katy Perry, “E.T.”

Yes, I understand this one’s a little far-reaching, but the idea of pre-teens (or anyone for that matter) going around singing “I wanna be a victim” just makes me sick to my stomach. Or better yet, posting it on their Facebooks.


During the Twitter convo, a friend said “It’s not ok to sing about something gritty from real life? Crap, we’re gonna have to go back and delete most of music history.” I’ve thought about this for a while, and I think … if it’s used in a realistic way? You’re writing from your experiences? Awesome. Look at “Love the Way You Lie” … both parts. TOTALLY real, and written from the horrific experiences of being on both ends of domestic violence. Education, wrapped up in a hit song? Do it.

But to use it in a flippant way? To make fun of it? To promote to young girls that it’s just a part flirting with the guy you like?

What happened to common sense?


And now for something USEFUL:

Rape, Abuse & Inscest National Network

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

3 Comments to “Some Good Old Fashioned Outrage”

  1. They overplayed If I Die Young on the country stations last year and I agree that it’s incredibly morbid. I actually listened to one of the singers from the band talking about the song, and the way she talked about it was actually nice, because she talked about how sad it is when a young person dies, but how important it is to embrace the idea that they had “just enough time” for closure. So I think it’s actually a nice song, but not appropriate to be constantly overplayed on the radio the way it has been.

    • Indeed. I’m also just a little irritated that I’ve had a song stuck in my head for two days now that makes me want to sob.

      Can we take a second and talk about the gap between the country music playlist cycles and the top 40 playist cycles? A full YEAR in between? So weird.

  2. AGREED. The first time I heard “Love the way you lie” I got really pissed because I didn’t hear all of the lyrics. After I had, I loved it. I still think it’s semi dangerous in the wrong hands.

    Lyrics today make me want to never reproduce. The only way I can make it through is by looking at pop music as a conversation starter.

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