For the most part, my younger daughter listens to music that could almost be considered wholesome. She favors One Direction, Five Seconds of Summer, and Little Mix. Little Mix in particular writes girl-power songs that even I find inspiring. She likes a lot of other popular songs, and particularly favors Ed Sheerhan. I like his songs too, very catchy, but I don’t always like the subject matter.
Lately, my daughter has been trying to improve my musical literacy by playing songs while we are in the car and quizzing me on the singer or band. I’m not very good at it, easily mixing up bands, new and old. She’s always amazed when songs from my own teenager-hood come on and I not only know the artist, but all the words as well. It’s a very narrow band of time over which I have this talent and it seems there are far more bands now than then.
The other day a song was on the radio with a refrain that went something like, “let’s get high” sung over and over. We looked at each other and rolled our eyes. It is my job to point out the inappropriateness of some lyrics, but these were just too obvious. She advised me that I often blew her mind, complete with hand gestures around her head to show said mind blowing open to the obvious, with my succinct descriptions of songs. Remember, Mom, when you told me that A Team was about drugs and prostitution? Yes, I do, and also the girl freezing to death. Tough message.
We recounted how I didn’t care for Stay With Me by Sam Smith because it’s about one night stands and I get annoyed with myself for singing along to Rude by MAGIC! (what is with all the punctuation in band names, anyway?) because it objectifies women (I know, it’s “old-fashioned”). I listen to the music and enjoy it. I even sing along. There are many talented artists singing about tough subjects, but some are just self-indulgent. Regardless, as long as I get the opportunity to teach a few life lessons along the way, I’m copacetic.
So, I told her, well, then there’s that song about the guy giving a girl a scar. What song she asked? The one where he says if she feels like falling down, he’ll carry her home. Well, she informed me, there’s nothing about a scar in that song, which by the way is We Are Young by FUN. Oh, yeah, I knew that. She started to sing and when she got to “asking about a scar” she looked at me wide-eyed. Then she got to “I know I gave it to you months ago”…and, well, mind blown.
I am a creature of habit…I listen to the same radio station all the time, but when my daughter is in the car, we listen to a variety of stations. When that’s not enough variety, my daughter plays songs from her iPhone over the car sound system through a bluetooth connection. She’s expanding my musical tastes and I’m making sure that she actually listens to the lyrics. It’s a true partnership. The best part is that when I drop her off somewhere, she’s sure to switch the music back to my station before getting out of the car.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and those rare moments when mom and daughter can simultaneously belt out the latest hit along with the radio!