Dear Pop Music Creators,
My 14 year old daughter has informed me that she is tired of being embarrassed by your lyrics. She loves the tunes, she loves the beat but she is done with hearing lyrics that paint images that she doesn't want in her mind. She's hopeful that 2015 will have songwriters that understand there's more important, and pleasant, things to write about other than big booties, drinking and sex.
What she would like more of are songs that inspire you to be a better person, help you know that you have support and are not alone or something just plain fun! There are a few of you out there with smart, clever writing skills and your songs are appreciated. Then there are those of you that are just nasty, vile, low-class. (My words not her's. She would call you "just plain gross").
The song "Try" by Colbie Caillat is a current favorite. If you're not familiar with these lyrics Colbie Caillat shares that you don't have to try to be something you're not, by wearing too much make-up, buying expensive clothes, behaving in a way that's not really comfortable to you, to fit in. Great message - although her over use of the word "try" does get on my nerves, but I'll let it slide. It's a great song for my teen daughters to hear and feel.
With the beginning of the next song on the radio by Tove Lo we're blasted into a totally different world with the intro "I eat my dinner in the bath tub then I go to strip clubs watching freaky people getting it on." Later the singer says she throws up in the bath tub so her life is pretty much a mess. And why? Because someone left her. Her chorus "I've gotta stay high all the time to get you off my mind" gets a fun rewrite by my daughter. She prefers "I've gotta wave 'Hi' all the time to people that I meet. Gotta wave 'Hi' all the time to people on the street." I giggle every time because it's a completely different vibe from the original lyrics. Love it.
And don't get us started on Ariana Grande! Get this song writing gem she sings "I only want to die alive never by the hands of a broken heart. Don't wanna hear you lie tonight now that I've become who I really are." Who I really 'are'?!? Seriously?!!? And the song that put my daughter over the edge was "Love Me Harder". It's a duet and you think it's going to be ok then the guy chimes in and it's, well, it's just a shame. There's a LOT to be said for subtlety and romance - just sayin'.
|photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net|
So, dear pop music lyricists, do you think it's possible to use your brain to create something clever? Words that don't embarrass or degrade? I'm sure my teenage daughters aren't the only ones hoping for better quality words to go along with your catchy tunes.