It seems like more and more often the songs my students love are about sex, drugs, and/or alcohol.
Well, so I thought. I began doing a little research and even looked back at popular music when I was a kid. I've come to this conclusion: everything is about sex, drugs, and alcohol.
Today's 5th graders enjoy songs such as: Dark Horse, All of Me, Talk Dirty to Me, Wiggle, Thrift Shop, Soulja Boy, Loyal, Story of My Life, Starships, Fancy, Roar, Na Na, Bottoms Up, Happy... The list goes on and on.
Now let's look at songs my friends and I liked as kids: Step By Step, Red, Red Wine, I Wanna Sex You Up, Push It, Ice, Ice Baby, Free Fallin', The Humpty Dance, U Can't Touch This, Make You Sweat, Do Me, Let's Talk About Sex, Touch Me (All Night Long)...
It looks like things haven't changed so much after all. There are dirty songs, pop songs, rap songs, dance songs, earworms, and even silly songs. There is, however, one clear difference: language. Today's songs are so full of expletives that the radio/clean version isn't even the same song. Need an example? Look up Thrift Shop. Do they even understand what all of the words mean? I'm sure they do, but I really don't want to think about it.
The kids are going to like what they're going to like; I can't stop that. I just wish they weren't listening to such mature stuff. I'm sure my teachers (and parents) said the same thing though. I remember a friend telling me that her dad had bought her a NIN album. It had the explicit lyrics warning label on it (I don't know what other songs were on the album but it contained Closer... that song alone deserves the label). Her dad asked her if she was going to go kill people or do anything bad because of the music. She said no and he bought it. It was that simple then. Today, there is so much influencing our kids who knows what they'll decide to do and not do. It's cool to drink. It's cool to do drugs. It's cool to have sex - lots and lots of sex. They get these messages not only from music but movies, tv, video games, the internet, and sadly - family members including parents and older siblings... Time will tell.