05 July, 2009

How Innappropriate

Songs on the radio today, at the risk of sounding like I have moved into the retirement home early, are obscene. This is not a hard fact to prove, as some of the top songs "Right Round" by Flo' Rida, which features the oh-so-classy lyrics "You spin my head right round, right round, when you go down, when you go down down." and a song that I have only heard once (and that was perfectly good for the rest of my life), "Birthday Sex", by a man named Jeremih. (Who names their kid this? Do you pronounce it like when you shrug your shoulders- Jerem-ehh... or are you supposed to huff the h- Jerem-my-ha, which produces something that ALMOST, but is not, like the proper name, Jeremiah. Doesn't Freaknomics cover stuff like this? I digress.)

I sound like my dad, ever the diplomat, who can often be heard using the phrase "Shut off that rap crap" when voicing his displeasure for radio choices. But for serious, has music always been this... dare I say it, bad? 'Cause it's pretty bad (and this coming from a girl who owns every Britney album and the best dvds.) Anything with a strong beat and a catchy hook is now a top 40 song. If you add some element of raunchy sexuality it suddenly has a staying power that means it will be sung by middle-school children everywhere, children who should not be extolling the perks of sexual relations on the day of one's birth. That's just gross.

But this got me thinking of all the horribly innappropriate songs I used to sing when I was years away from understanding any iota of sex. My best friend, Shea, and I used to be indecently addicted to the Jordan Knight (NKOTB!) song that debuted when I was in 7th grade, "Give It To You." Yes, you know what it is. Here's some highlights.

"It's creeping around in my head
Me holding you down in my bed
I can't wait to give you some
I'm convinced you need it"


Whoa, Jordan. Whoa. That's clearly sex he's alluding to, and do I detect more than one element of aggression? Jordan, holding someone down in a bed because you feel they want it won't hold up in any court of law. I do not "need" anything, except for maybe a restraining order.

But see what I mean? I was barely on my thirteenth year, and listened to this song (with not even an inkling of what the lyrics meant) if not every day, at least five times a week. I made up a dance to it. I thought I might be a background dancer with my snappy choreography if he went on a reunion tour by the time I turned legal. So, I was terribly embarrassed when I actually listened to the lyrics in college. (Did my parents not discourage this type of behavior at all? I am retroactively mad.) But with songs like 'Birthday Sex', are we all just hoping that kids won't comprehend the song content until they are older? Doubtful, not many were as naïve as me. Or as good of a backup dancer. But I guess we can hope.