Monthly Archives: March 2017

Great Songs with Terrible Messages

It is difficult when you are raised and generally still believe that songs with bad messages are bad songs. What happens then, when said songs are so catchy that to hear them is to love them immediately and against your will?!?!

Here are five of my guiltiest pleasures.

#1: Katy Perry, Teenage Dream

“LET’S GO ALL! THE WAY TONIGHT!” I shout-sing in my car, with the windows down and the wind whipping my hair. Then I cringe — can my parents hear me? Can God? Surely this is not the message teenage girls should —  “NO REGRETS! JUST LOVE!”

 

#2: One Direction, Perfect

I was sure I’d outgrown my “Backstreet Babe” phase, but then one day I got curious and listened to a song, which turned into an entire album, which turned into a deep dive into all five singers’ auditions for Simon Cowell when they were 12 years old, which turned into more terrible shout-singing in the car.

I might never be your knight in shining armor
I might never be the one you take home to mother
And I might never be the one who brings you flowers
But I can be the one, be the one tonight

Is it any wonder we females have to unlearn the habit of loving terrible men? I mean, it’s not even subliminal, or attempting any subtlety — this message is OVERTLY TERRIBLE and my daughters can never know how much I loved it.

 

#3: Usher, I Don’t Mind

Plot summary: Usher’s girl is a stripper. And yet he has generously, magnanimously decided that since “her body rock and her booty poppin,'” he will give her permission to continue in this profession. He’s not one of those old-fashioned types — no, he’s open-minded, progressive in supporting her dream of twerking in the splits!

I despise this message, and yet ten seconds in find myself doing involuntary body rolls.

 

#4: Lady Gaga, Do What U Want

I know this album was a flop, but THIS SONG IS AWESOME. It has the best beat and is almost sort of somehow feminist — I think?

You can’t have my heart and
You won’t use my mind but
Do what you want with my body
You can’t stop my voice, cause
You don’t own my life but
Do what you want with my body

 

#5: Next, Too Close

What a delightful, beautiful classic that in the seventh grade I thought said, “Baby when you’re cryin’ I get so excited,” and was thoroughly confused. The maturation clinic said nothing about this “grinding.”

 

What are your favorite songs with terrible messages? Let’s feel guilty about liking them together.