Thursday, September 12, 2013

How many of These 90s Hits Would You Let Your Children Listen To?

Allow me to take you on a little trip down memory lane, to a time when Brandy  still wore braids and "lol" still stood for "lots of love", long before Mel B was in The Spice Girls.

How many of you listened to "Freak Like Me" by Adina Howard? The name itself should have been a huge indicator that the song was probably not appropriate for young ears, but did that stop my cousins from playing it over and over again till I knew all the lyrics? Oh no! "Cause I will be a freak until the day, until the dawn, And we can pump pump all through the night, 'Til the early morn..." I remember trying hard to figure out what a “Gangsta lean"was. 

What about, "If you want it tonight, Just come through my door, Take off my clothes, And turn on the red light" that was" "Red Light Special" by TLC asin serzly though, no wonder people don't fall in love the way they used to in my parent's days. Then there was  "I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd The whole song is censorship worthy. And of course there was "Bump N' Grind" by R. Kelly, this was one of the his catchiest songs. I don't even need to post specific lyrics here, the whole song screams sexually explicit. Remember "Pony" by Ginuwine? I must admit the instrumental was off the hook. I had no idea what he was on about until I listened to the chorus properly: "If you're horny, let's do it, Ride it, My pony, My saddle's waiting, Come and jump on it." SMH vigorously.

If you listened to any of these I can assure you that none of the songs above, or their videos, are anywhere close to as raunchy and indecent as some music and performances of today. When people like Miley Cyrus are "default" role models, it makes our job as parents so much more difficult.

Why all this? I am drawing your attention to this because I came across a mother who told me her child likes music, so she leaves him in front of MTV to keep him "busy" while she does other things. My mother couldn't fathom why artists couldn't sing songs that were more about love and less about sex, like in her  days. However, my older cousins would always play all sorts and so would my numerous babysitters etc.

Be careful what you allow your children watch and listen to. I notice that parents who wouldn't allow their kids watch a film rated 18, wouldn't really be that bothered if they were listening to something of that sort. I always stress the importance of protecting a child's innocence. Whatever a person allows to occupy his mind will sooner or later determine his speech and his actions.

Some Christians declare their preferred style of music to be the only “biblical” ones and declare all other forms of other music to be unwholesome, ungodly, or even satanic. I disagree.

While a lot of of secular music does not meet the high standards of holiness, rather promoting immorality while belittling purity and integrity. There are many secular songs that have catchy melodies with thoughtful insights, and positive messages. In determining whether or not to listen to secular music, the factor that tops the list for me is the content of the lyrics.

As Christians, we must take extra care when it comes to what our children listen to. On the road to spiritual maturity we might have learnt how to blacklist a song even if it has a fab rhythm but our children are still growing and maturity is still a long way away for them.

By Ijeoma Olujekun

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