What do the children listen to?


This morning I had a conversation with @dream_machine about music and what it means to us. We got to the point where we started discussing the kind of music our parents liked when we were younger. And we started questioning what children listen to and what’s appropriate for them.

In 2008/9 was doing my rounds at Cavendish. A little girl, who couldn’t have been much older that seven, was belting Katty Perry’s “I kissed a girl and I like it”. At first I thought she it was so cute, I mean she’s a little girl and she’s singing in the middle of a busy mall. Then I thought about the contents of the lyrics. Is it really appropriate?

When I was younger I listened to songs with suggestive lyrics too, but I didn’t know better. I’m not trying to make this a generational thing, but maybe it is. Case in point, Pony by Ginuwine, sometime in the mid 90s yours truly used to get down to this song. Looking back I don’t know if I even had an opinion on the lyrics. All I remember is singing along very excited. I think I was nine when Pony came out. No one discouraged me not to sing along to Pony.

So again, what do the children listen to? I know don’t want my kids singing along to any Rihanna’s S&M “Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me”. See maybe it is a generational thing. There are so many more songs with suggestive lyrics and so many more scantily clad artists. For those of us born in the 80s, the biggest threat to our innocence, visually and lyrically was Madonna and maybe (huge maybe) Janet and Cher. And back then you didn’t get this insidious feeling that record companies were targeting children.

Now these kids born in the 90s have so many options and the record companies are definitely targeting them. “The kid’s choice awards”, where all these artists are praised.  Getting them hooked now, to secure future profits.

But then again, I still don’t know what is appropriate for children to listen to.. How does a caring parent even monitor this? So I’m nowhere really. My fear is in that children are getting robbed of their childhoods. There’s so much music out there making them grow up way faster than they have to. Over sexualisation, over stimulation… a stolen innocence. . Britney Spears, Rihanna, Beyonce, Katty Perry, Lady Gaga, the constantly topless R&B boys and so many others.

 

P.S. My kids are going to listen to listen to K-pop (Korean R&B and Hip-Hop). They can get down not knowing better.

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About obialone
I'm random and unwise. I'm always seeking wisdom in its simplest form. I'm scared of not being scared, so I find ways to terrify myself. I care about everything, and I'm interested in all things. I reserve the right to change my mind, anytime. So in most cases I find it best to humble my opinion

4 Responses to What do the children listen to?

  1. aybeeoh says:

    I was wondering where you’d vanished off to.

    Yes, I think K-Pop is a safer bet. However, the dancing in those videos can get on the raunchy side, particularly the girl bands.

    That aside, as an eighties baby, I totally get where you’re coming from. I had an older brother though who strongly discouraged me from singing “Pony” with no real explanation. And as a well brought-up eighties baby, I obliged. In hindsight, I am glad he did because – let’s face it – those are no lyrics to come out of an 11 year-old’s mouth. Moving into the 21st century, for me it started going downhill when Ciara did that song with Justin Timberlake. Mind you I liked it…until I saw the video. Waaaay too raunchy and I wondered every second what poor Jessica Biel would have had to say about it. As I get older (and I guess my maternal instincts have started to kick in) it’s all getting a bit much. And the older generation is conforming too. You need only watch the Kylie Minogue of “The Loco-Motion” and then that of “All The Lovers” to see them being sucked in.

    Or maybe I’m a prude. Anyhow, that’s my two-cents. Thanks for the fodder ^^;

    • obialone says:

      I’m totally with you Abo! But how do we protect kids from such things? You were lucky enough to have had your brother reprimand you from singing pony. But I sang that song hey, and I turned out fine. But the raunchiness of that Ciara video and the legion of other music videos might just trump Pony…

      How do we protect them? By the time we have kids, these music videos might be faaaar worse hey!!! As for the K-pop music videos…they’re going to have to hustle hard for them. We dont have such in SA. I’mma block all these music channels and just buy them K-pop CDs. lol

      • aybeeoh says:

        Sensorship in our own homes I guess, my friend. I used to think those white parents who had hectic viewing restrictions for their kids were bonckers, but maybe they had a point. Granted a lot of white kids have gone off the rails regardless of such measures – or perhaps as a result of these measures. Nonetheless, there is a need for strong parental guidance in our (future) children’s viewing. Not a total blackout a la Secrecy Bill, because – truth be told – where there’s a will there’s a way and our (future) kids will find a way to get their hands on restricted material. If all else fails, feed them K-Pop and the idea that it’s so much cooler to listen to music that you don’t actually understand ^^;

      • obialone says:

        Here here Abo!!! I’m with you all the way!!!

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