I have a love-hate relationship with top 40 music. I love random car dance parties with my boys and am already ready to roll down the windows and belt out a ballad. I do find myself arguing with the songs at times. This is nothing new. There have been nonsensical lyrics for ages but as I get older and the pop stars get younger, my annoyance grows. As a reader, I value the use of a metaphor. I live fro descriptive, flowery language. However, I don’t like comparisons that don’t make any sense. Below is a list of songs that tick me off.
Pharrell, what the heck does being happy have to do with a room without a roof? I can understand how a car without a roof (aka convertible) can be associated with happiness or a home with sky lights. BUT, how the heck can a roofless home be equated with happiness. I think what you are referring to when you say a room without a roof, is homelessness…not happy. And how exactly does one FEEL like a room without a roof? Do I feel incomplete? Does this make me happy?
John Mayer, I enjoy your blues-based music and think you are a great guitar player. However, I don’t like your narcism and am uncomfortable with you viewing my body as a wonderland. It is not a roller coaster or tilt-a-whirl. There are no carnies lurking in my parts.
Nick Jonas, I appreciate that you find me “too sexy, beautiful” and am flattered that you are proud to be with me. HOWEVER, you do not own me and it is not your “right to be hellish” and “get jealous.” Your assertion that you own me makes me concerned that you don’t view me as a partner but as a possession. Nick, you are hot, but I just don’t think this is going to work.
JT, oh sweet, Justin Timberlake. My heart beats for you. I am concerned that you don’t recognize how special you are. Why would you sing to someone who would not see your value? “So don’t act like it’s a bad thing to fall in love with me, me…It’s not a bad thing to fall in love with me, me.” Indeed, it is a good thing to fall in love with you.
While I don’t listen to contemporary country on purpose, I can’t have a list of this sort without mentioning Blake Shelton’s crap fest in which he sings “Chew Tobaccy Chew Tobaccy, Chew Tobaccy Spit.” Really?
I recognize that my annoyance with dumb lyrics is nothing new. Stupid song lyrics have existed as long as songs have. It just seems like there is more lately…or perhaps I’m just progressing further into my cynical midlife stage?
I used to relish in ridiculous lyrics. My years at summer camp have imprinted hundreds of nonsensical songs upon my soul. One of the favorites at our camp was “An Ostrich Went Yodeling.” We LOVED this long song with silly noises and hand movements. Each summer, the ostrich song was sung at least 3 or 4 times a day. It was printed in our Camp Counselor Manuals and was among the first song campers learned each session. One summer a group of us visited another camp and sat around the camp fire sharing traditions and exchanging songs. One of our group said “Well, surely you must sing the ostrich song!?” The campers from the other camp looked at each other and shook their head. When we began belting out the first line, “Ohhhhh, an ostrich went yodeling on a mountain so high…” they began to laugh hysterically. A version of this song was sung at their camp only they had one minor difference. “Ohhhhh, an Austrian went yodeling on a mountain so high…” Oh. It does make more sense for an Austrian to go yodeling on a mountain top, doesn’t it. We were dishearten, embarrassed, and somewhat stumped at how a simple word goof could have been passed down our camp’s history. We returned to our beloved campers with our new knowledge and led them in singing “Ohhhh, an OSTRICH went yodeling on a mountain so high…”
Perhaps the ridiculous gives us reason to smile, reason to argue, and reason to engage. For the record…my boys LOVE singing the ostrich song.