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A Musical Window into Our World

If music provides a window into our world or, even more, itself influences and shapes culture, have you been listening to the radio lately? Or checked out the top iTunes downloads? 
 
You should.
 
Here are the top ten songs. Some titles speak for themselves in terms of their character and/or intent. For the ones that might not, I’ve cited some of the lyrics for explanation.
 
Brace yourself.
 
1.      “F**kin’ Perfect” by Pink.
 
          (A self-esteem anthem…but with feeling.) 
 
2.      “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga.
 
          “No matter gay, straight or bi
          lesbian, transgendered life
          I’m on the right track baby”
 
3.      “F**k You” by Cee Lo Green.
 
          (A heartfelt goodbye to a former girlfriend.)
 
4.      “Tonight” by Enrique Iglesias.
 
          “I know you want me
          I made it obvious that I want you too
          So put it on me…
          I love the way
          you shake that a**”
 
5.      “Grenade” by Bruno Mars.
 
          “Black, black, black and blue, beat me ‘til I’m numb
          Tell the devil I said, hey, when you get back to where you’re from
          Mad women, bad women, that’s just what you are, yeah
          You’ll smile in my face then rip the brakes from my car
 
          …[But] I’d catch a grenade for ya
          Throw my hand on a blade for ya
          I’d jump in front of a train for ya
          You know I’d do anything for ya”
 
6.      “Hey Baby” by Pitbull.
 
          “If your girl wanna play, let her go
          Hey baby girl, what you doin' tonight?
          I wanna see what you got in store
          Hey baby, givin' it your all when you're dancin' on me
          I wanna see if you can give me some more
          Hey baby, you can be my girl, I can be your man
          And we can pump this jam however you want
          Hey baby, pump it from the side, bend it upside down
          Or we can pump it from the back to the front
          …Now let me see where the lord split ya”
 
7.      “S & M” by Rihanna.
 
          “Cause I may be bad, but I'm perfectly good at it
          Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it
          Sticks and stones may break my bones
          But chains and whips excite me”
 
8.      “More” by Usher.
 
          “Watch me as I dance under the spotlight-
          Listen to the people screaming out more and more,
          'Coz I create the feeling that keep 'em coming back,
          Yeah, I create the feeling that keep 'em coming back,
          So captivating when I get it on the floor.

          Know y'all been patiently waiting, I know you need me, I can feel it,
          I'm a beast, I'm an animal, I'm that monster in the mirror,
          The headliner, finisher, I'm the closer, winner.        
          Best when under pressure with seconds left I show up.”
 
9.      “Blow” by Ke$ha.
 
          ‘Now what (What)
          We're taking control
          We get what we want
          We do what you don't
          Dirt and glitter cover the floor
          We're pretty and sick
          We're young and we're bored (Ha)”
 
10.    “Coming Home” by Diddy-Dirty Money.
 
          “what if the twins ask why I ain’t marry their mom (why, damn!)
          how do I respond?
          what if my son stares with a face like my own
          and says he wants to be like me when he’s grown
          sh*t!  But I ain’t finished growing”
 
So let’s add this up. 
 
Among the top ten songs in the United States, two have the word ”F**k” in the title; four others promote – and I do mean promote – rampant promiscuity, including homosexuality and sadomasochism; the remaining four glorify narcissism, hedonism, dysfunctional relationships and irresponsible parenting. 
 
Ten songs. 
 
But not just ten songs.
 
Hopefully, ten wake-up calls.
 
James Emery White
 
 
Sources     
 
“Music charts: Who rules radio this week?”, USA Today.  Read online.

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