This song-PG. Shocking! Quelle horreur!

This is the 21st century, and we prioritize keeping our children safe.

“You know, this is a first world country, and one would think we could really do better. In the First World, we can raise bright, young individuals who have the freedom to express themselves and will eventually grow up to run our country, and yet look at what they’re subjected to on the radio. All those songs with a cuss-word that Little Sasha is exposed to when she goes to summer camps. I mean- it’s just not a good influence on her!”

Says mommy as ‘Little Sasha’ hums happily along to Bruno’s “Young and Wild and Free” playing in the background.

so while we get druuunk, so while we smoke weeed, we’re just havin fuuuun, we don’t care who seeees….

Considering everyone’s genuine concern for raising kids in a clean & healthy environment, why is that song the single most prominent song in my Canadian childhood memories? It pops into my head innocently, insidiously at the thought of my elementary/junior high school years.

Have times changed in terms of appropriate music?

“It wasn’t like this in the 80’s!”            “It’s waaayyy better it used to be….”

My workplace, the climbing wall, forbids any songs with profanity–although I innerly begrudge the loss of some great beats, this is a responsible move towards a friendly, unthreatening environment for kids, and parents.

One song you can still hear there is DNCE’s (starring Disney’s beloved star Joe Jonas) “Cake by the Ocean,” featuring all sorts of charming misogyny and an admittedly skillful euphemism that managed to carry multiple connotations–glorification of sex and alcohol! Yay! The young girls all sing along.

What is being sold as life.


See, that’s the true problem. The whole glorified projection of the best, most exciting parts of life being these reckless moments of indulgence. I’ll go as far as saying that there is nothing wrong with spontaneity, indulgence, sex, and alcohol. But raising our kids to associate excitement solely with these moments is toxic.

Has this image changed?

See the The Drifter’s “Under the Boardwalk” from the 60s, revamped in the 80s by the Tom Tom Club. Everyone loves a bit of sex on the beach– it sells.

So what’ll it be–cake by the ocean, or down by the sea?

strawberry-roll-1263099__180Maybe the kids won’t understand the euphemisms, and, sure, you can play the clean version that has no swears. But it’s this warped lifestyle that we continue to sell.

We know there can be some pretty rough consequences to recklessness. And not all life is going to be a party.

Alright, what to do?

I don’t know. I’m a fan of not limiting everything that may be volatile in your environment. Plus, there probably wouldn’t remain too many songs after such a purge.

Perhaps the best thing we can do is to give true Parental Guidance. Stay alert for those messages that pervade in the background, even though you may have found your peace with them, and mention it to your kids/younger siblings. Let them know there is another perspective on life out there.

–A perspective 

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