Junk Food Music Sucks…Mostly

I’m always listening to music. I have a radio or iPod in just about every room in my house hooked up to an eclectic mix: classical, 70s, hip-hop, instrumental, rock, Latin, top 40, rap, 50s…you get the drift. Basically, whatever suits my mood. I’m sure many of you can relate.

Now that my kids are older (ha, that’s relative, they’re still only 6 & 9), they’re really starting to sing along to the music. (You should hear them belt out the Latin songs. They don’t even know Spanish. But then, yo solo se un poco de ello, tambien! I’m mostly Spanish illiterate, too. LOL)

Anyway, this musical appreciation is great, right?

Yes! Oh, yes! Except when it’s not.

The other day they were getting ready for school, and when I walked into the bathroom the iPod was blaring Jason DeRulo’s “Breathing.” The song has a killer beat, which is why I downloaded the song in the first place. But suddenly my children’s innocent voices clarified the words I’d really never paid attention to:

Without your love, don’t know how I survive.
It’s you, it’s you that’s keeping me alive.
I only miss you when I’m breathing!

Holy monkey butt, I thought. Not cool.

Song lyrics tell a story. This one croons about a man who thinks he’s jack squat without his love interest.

Definitely not a good message to be sending the young and impressionable. After all, most of our cultural mores and behaviors are subconsciously created. The whole osmosis thing, you know.

Needless to say, I changed that song faster than green grass through a goose. When the kiddos gave me flak, I was upfront about it. I told them I’d heard the song numerous times, but I hadn’t really listened to the words before. And the words weren’t self-affirming. The words were in fact telling them that they need someone else in order to make their lives worth living.

And that’s pure rubbish, rhubarbs! (click here if you have a few minutes to be enlightened about rhubarbs)

After that incident, I started paying close attention to the words of songs. And damn, you can’t believe how many of these I’m-a-loser OR I’m so sad, I’m nothing without you kind of songs are OUT THERE!

You may not be able to tell immediately by the beat of the music because many of them actually sound upbeat (like my previous example). But then there’s music that just makes you want to slit your wrists, to say nothing of the words.

Case in point: Adele’s “Someone Like You.” Sorry to offend if you like the song, but this one makes me want to jump off a bridge. Or better yet, rip the speakers from the walls of every single effin’ store that seems to be playing this downer right now.

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited 
But I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I had hoped you’d see my face
and that you’d be reminded
That for me it isn’t over.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don’t forget me, I beg I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

Hey, thanks for crapping on my day, Adele. GAG!!

Of course, sometimes we just want to wallow, but I’m not going to purposely put this junk food music in front of my children. Growing up is hard enough. I mean, right?

Or am I overreacting?

What junk music do you love to hate?



  1. Ha. Those are tame. Come talk to me when your nine-year-old knows every lyric to Katy Perry’s Friday Night or some other awful song on the radio. Sigh. We should never have gotten her a radio alarm clock.

  2. Great post. Which totally reinforces why I listen to jazz, most of it instrumental. I can’t stand the lyrics to most songs. They seem to consist of either I’m not a person without someone else, I’m going to get you back because I can’t move on, or the language is so offensive even I can’t listen and I can swear with the best of them.

    • Hi Judi! I wonder where all that angst comes from anyway. Do you suppose songwriters are more creative when they’re depressed?

      • they absolutely are. if you can’t stand sad music then you don’t love music (with a website named ‘chickswagger’ i wouldnt doubt it). you like it as background noise only. and the same goes with instrumental. just because it doesn’t have lyrics doesn’t mean the song or passage isn’t wrought from a depressive mindset, or doesnt suggest the emotion of sadness.

        • Hi Billy,
          Thank you for your thoughts, we welcome all opinions. If you don’t like our blog, that’s okay. However, you are quite wrong when you say I don’t love music. You don’t even know me. I have always loved music for more than just background noise (As a Zumba instructor I would have a very difficult time teaching dance to others if I didn’t like music.). My post was merely an expression of my strong preference for positive music, mostly because of lyrical influence on my young, impressionable children.

  3. It really is a good post. My “HOT” buttons which really hurts me is music disrespectful to God. And it is everywhere. I raised both my children to be wary of the messages clearly and subtle in music. It’s funny though that hubby and I were just talking about this. Artists use their God-given talent to draw people in and then people pay THEM to get THEIR message fed. Something wrong with that picture.

    • “people pay THEM to get THEIR message fed”

      Huh, very true, Karen. I never really thought about it like that. We pay them to subliminally – or not so subliminally – influence our thought patterns. You’re right…definitely something wrong with that. Can’t really get away from it, though, so we’ve got to arm our kids with awareness. 🙂

  4. So true, Misty. I had to explain S&M (in very brief terms) to my boys thanks to Rihanna (even though I loved the beat for working out and downloaded the song for my jogging playlist). Ack!

    And I love the upbeat little song “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People, but holy crap, he’s talking about a kid who’s going to take a gun to school and start shooting.

    Since my boys are teenagers, I make sure I talk about the lyrics (and TV and movie themes) that bother me and why. They may hear the songs, but hopefully they’ll think critically about what they hear.

    • Hey Gwen! Wow, I’ve never listened to the words of “Pumped Up Kicks” – SAD! Why, why, why would anyone write a song about that?

      I’m glad I’m not the only interested in explaining song lyrics to my kids. Critical thinking is so important in today’s “herd” mentality.

  5. Josie Matthews says:

    Ack!!! Love this post! Modern day music isn’t the only music guilty of this but they sure have pushed the envelope haven’t they? (Remember – Paradise by the Dashboard Light?)
    America the beautiful. (insert music notes here) Money money money money…..MONEY! (insert music notes here) Shock value sells, sex sells, that’s it in a nutshell. We have created a country filled with desensitized human beings thanks to the media (and I perseverating on the media again???) Let’s face it. We are a money making-media driven country. How many kids do you know sit down and read books or do crafts or play outside compared to the amount that spend their time with Youtube, TV, radio, movies? (I won’t even get into video games) How many ‘family’ movies make the highest seller list compared to Hostel, Saw, 8-Mile (M and M’s life story). These movies are filled with sex and violence. Secretariat is much too tame for our young impressionable adolescents. Why do you think all these young musical performers move from singing ‘nice’ songs to the sex filled ones then get blasted? (Spears, Cyrus) They cant sell ‘nice’ music (except to 8 year old’s who dont have a whole lot of money) Teens have money. Teens crave the deviance in the songs. Sad to say…desensitized.
    (insert LOUD thump as I jump off my soapbox!)
    Love, Josie

    • Ah, Josie, you’ve nailed it: DESENSITIZATION. That’s really it, isn’t it? What was shocking a few decades ago is now tame. And so it goes and so it goes. A little more each generation,right? Scary to wonder where we’ll be in a few more decades. Hopefully conversations with our kids will keep them on the right path. I’m the eternal optimist! 🙂

  6. I have to agree that the Adele song is a debbie downer, with stalker elements. Somehow I missed the whole Adele thing. My nine year old also picks up on song lyrics much quicker than I do, but the blessing is that she often makes up her own improved lyrics.

    • Stalker elements –no kidding! LOL. I have a 9 year old too!! Wonderful, wonderful age. And she does the same thing with lyrics. I wish I could keep her like this for several more years…

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