Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lyrical Learning

My voice raises several decibels. "How was school today?" Before they can answer, I slam my hand against the on/off button on the radio. Oldies but goodies?!?!?!?!

I entered a contest offered by another blogging friend. There were four winners, and I was one of them. I'm feeling a little proud of myself, since I rarely win anything. But as my son says, "Mom, you have to enter to win." So I did. And I did.

I won 2 CD of Kidz Bop music (which I'm listening to at the moment). Kidz Bop was something new to this grandma. As with my own kids, I am alarmed when they listen to Z100 where the words are inappropriate for younger kids. Heck, they're inappropriate for me! However, I have two girls who are really into the songs. When something comes over the speaker that makes my skin crawl, I try to turn it down or perhaps out of necessity, we dialogue about choices of music and understanding the words they are repeating along with the artist. When my kids were younger, I had complained to the radio station regarding this issue. Obviously, no one has listened since that call 20+ years ago.

"What's this younger generation coming to?" has been a question asked ever since the jitterbug took to the floor. Some of the lyrics to the old sheet music in my possession are a bit racy. If you watch some of the old movies, nudity was barely covered. So maybe things haven't changed all that much. This information does not make me feel any better.

I guess I was clueless when I was a teen. I listened to Johnny Angel, Soldier Boy, I Wanna Hold Your Hand (not very wild) and thought that Puff the Magic Dragon was really about a sweet dragon named Puff. Naive. Clueless. Innocent, sort of. Well, maybe not. But that's an entirely different subject.

So now I opt for listening to the old time songs. The girls love to sing along with Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog. When Still The One comes on, we pull over to the side of the road and sing at top of our lungs. However, once in awhile an oldie by Bob Dylan or Janis Joplin comes on. After a few minutes of singing along, the words find their way home. Radio off. I guess maybe we weren't so naive.

Maybe our duty as grandparents and parents is to supervise our children through the songs. Music is a teacher. Maybe we are the music teachers.

Halloween will be coming soon. With voices raised in musical uproar, we will sing Michael Jackson through thriller dancing our way across the living room. Music....children coming of age. Adults helping them.

(Imagine Vincent Price adding his evil laugh. Haw, haw, haw, haw, haw.)

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