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.


For the Children

For the past two weekends I’ve been somewhat of a Mary Popins. I truly enjoy their company. I’m not going to build no Never Land theme park…I love them, I’m not crazy about them, hehe. So I was inspired to write this:

For the children

Pick me up, spin me around

Inspire me to love the world innocently

Let me be the light of the moon

I want to shine like the smile of the sun

Shelter me in a cocoon of love

Give me vision that only shows me good

Make it fair for me, let me experience what my creator intended

Teach me songs of the soul, nurture my spirit

Tell me stories, listen to my tales

Chase me around and try to scare me

Make me run, make me laugh

Give me hope, encourage me

I deserve your faith, I will give me mine

Mould me to be a human being, I am capable

I want to learn right from wrong, please be patient

Please don’t hurt me, I’d never do that to you

Let me be a child

That’s all I ask

I will love you forever

You will be at your best

Now, let’s go play.