My Whac-A-Mole Life: Ten Things I Learned From Pop Music in 2012   

Ten Things I Learned From Pop Music in 2012

My family spends lots of time on the road driving to/from schools, therapies, crazyland (see Tales From the Minivan). We listen to hand-picked CDs, yes, but the kids also really like current, pop music. We treat ourselves to commercial-free, satellite radio, and we definitely get our money's worth.

The thing is, however, while my daughter and I pretty much just dig the tunes and belt out (with varying degrees of accuracy and success) whatever words we think we hear, my analytic son - so I've learned - listens and thinks about the ACTUAL LYRICS. And, naturally, he has follow-up questions. Many of them.

As a result, I've taken "Last Friday Night" out of the mix for good. As another result (and courtesy of an awesome writing prompt from Stasha and company) you get this list. Happy Monday!


1. Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) is a super-fun song...but much less fun once you have to explain the lyrics to an 11-year-old: "menage a trois? Hmm, I think she's saying a bunch to draw or I munched crudite ... OH LOOK, Gangnam Style is on. Let's turn it up now."
2. Songs are much better when no one can understand a word. All hail Gangnam Style.
3. We're sad to hear about Kelly Clarkson's divorce. You know, because "the bed feels warmer, sleeping here alone." Her husband is no longer sleeping at home. Obviously. Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You).
4. Flippant songs can be exhausting. Who knew that We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together would require hours of follow-up discussion?
    • Why someone would write such a mean song
    • Breakups in general and why they might not be friendly
    • Well, if they weren't married, why would she not understand if he was seeing other people. Isn't that the definition of dating?
    • Why would you date exclusively but not get married?
    • Well, then why would he want to get back together?
    • You're right, "no" does mean "no," but...
    • And so on...
5. Girls can be so silly. Just pick up the phone and call him already. Or text him. Or move on. Sheesh! (See Call Me Maybe and Brokenhearted).
6. Adam Levine doesn't sound very reliable. Glad he didn't say "stick a needle in my eye too"...because if he's already said it a million times, he's broken lots of promises and lost credibility. Just saying. (See One More Night.)
7. Still, Maroon 5 does serve an educational purpose. They taught my children two "new" words: Payphone and Jagger.
8. Nicki Minaj sings a very cool song about aliens: Starships. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  (Please please please don't Google the lyrics!)
9. Against all odds, I've gained an appreciation for the grating tracks of Kidz Bop despite (and exactly because of) lyrics like "I love to dance next to you baby" which curiously replace lyrics like "I love to make love to you baby." (See Dance Again).
10. Finally, sure We Are Young, but we're definitely OVER 21... because, you know, all that drinking and falling down and stuff.

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