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Popular song lyrics contain sex, alcohol and no regrets

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  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    April 5, 2012 5:19 p.m.

    "103 of the 297 songs referenced sexual activity. Out of those, degrading references occurred 65 percent of the time"

    So, that means only about one third (34.7%) of songs even mentioned sexual activity, and only about 2 in 10 songs had "degrading" sexual references.

    That seems a lot better than when I was young.

    Does "kissing" count as "sexual activity"?

    I find it interesting that the youth who listen to these songs do not seem to analyze the lyrics (or even really listen to them) the way the adults do. I know the lyrics to popular songs better than my children do!

  • Supporting LDS Church Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2012 6:42 p.m.

    Among my favorites and most frequent to listen to are Bach, Vivaldi, Holst, Vaughan Williams, and a few others most people today wouldn't know very much about. Mack Wilberg ranks pretty high up there too. People have sometimes taken my attitude to be somewhat self righteous, but the truth is that I just enjoy listening and always will. I never have to worry about the influence it has on my life. I just enjoy it and enjoy it some more. There is other appropriate music out there, for sure. There is even some of that super old music that I wouldn't call appropriate. But in my world its easy to know whats right and wrong and every day I can add only good to it. It's hard to say that of today's "artists" who don't really write their own music anyway (or even sing it themselves for that matter).

    I may not have any other friends who listen to as much classical as I do, but at least I enjoy it and have a nearly endless supply of clean, emotionally impacting, and intellectually stimulating music.

  • Jeanie b. Orem, UT
    April 5, 2012 7:48 p.m.

    Before our kids became teenagers we introduced them to Christian Rock (KLOVE 107.5 and AIR1 89.7) - being LDS and Christian we wanted a better repertoire for our kids than just what was popularly offered.

    Much of Christian Rock has the sound, beat and rap that teens like, but without the trashy messages. My 17 year old son is standing by me agreeing - (in fact he has just launched in to an impassioned speech about how pop culture music appeals to the lowest common denominator of humanity. He recommends the Christian Rock band "Red" for some great hard and soft rock.)

    What we listen to really does make a difference in our behavior.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 5, 2012 8:00 p.m.

    This complaint has been ongoing since the first time words were put to music.

    There is nothing new in this story.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 5, 2012 8:32 p.m.

    Makes Pink Floyd's lyrics look great! Welcome to...The Machine!

  • Blue Bolshevik Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2012 9:06 p.m.

    Betcha Elvis sold more records that that choir.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    April 5, 2012 9:25 p.m.

    "in fact he has just launched in to an impassioned speech about how pop culture music appeals to the lowest common denominator of humanity"

    And your proud of this? That's very condemning to call someone the lowest common denominator of humanity ... wow!

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    April 6, 2012 5:47 a.m.

    People who want to call others judgemental cannot do so without making a judgement.

  • Jeanie b. Orem, UT
    April 6, 2012 7:38 a.m.

    LValfre - Judging is not all bad. We all judge things - to be what we like, to be good, what we don't like or to be bad.

    However, having said that - I can see the wording choice was not the best because you could assume that "humanity" meant "specific people". He meant it in the sense of human nature (something that we should judge and do all the time), not specific people.

    My son has many friends who like pop music. He does not judge them, he does judge the music (the kind referenced in this article). Much of pop music (the kind referenced in this article) appeals to the lowest common denominator of human impulses. Why would we want to thrust that influence on teens who do not have the maturity to manage their impulses like an adult (should)?

    And, yes, I am very glad that my son gets that.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    April 6, 2012 8:21 a.m.

    This article is proof positive of just how far our society has degenerated in the past 50 years. Anyone who produces or purchases this so-called music should be condemned.

    This music is absolute trash. It glorifies vulgarity, violence, and profanity. Worse yet, it portrays sex as a purely recreational activity with no consequences whatsoever.

    These so-called artists themselves live their lives with all the morals of a pack of randy Russian princesses. They preach the doctrine that sex should occur with any person at anytime the urge hits.

    Millions of impressionable youth are imitating what they see and hear. As a direct result, the rates of crime, substace abuse, and disease are skyrocketing. It is time to say enough is enough. If you care about America, you will boycott this music.

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    April 6, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    So my parents were right back in the 60's when they complained about the trashy music kids were listening to?

    This seems like a problem for each generation to discover anew.

    And I'm curious, what is the definition of 'degrading' sexual content, versus non-degrading?

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    If you don't stand for Something then you are going to fall for anything! John Cougar

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    April 6, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    This isn't new. Heck, Shakespeare had all sorts of vulgarity in some of his plays yet most 'refined' people so to speak consider his work to be art. Yet today's music, which expresses those same occasional vulgarities, is to be condemned. It's all the same ... art and written words.

    You guys act like casual sex just started happening in the last 50 years and it's ruining society. It's been happening forever! Do you think the first humans waited till marriage to procreate? They probably never even heard of it.

    Get off the high horse.

  • Puddles Grand Forks, ND
    April 6, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    In todays world as long as the song has a good beat, thats all the matters. Who cares about the content.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    April 6, 2012 12:04 p.m.

    Let's break down Spring's post:
    "This article is proof positive of just how far our society has degenerated in the past 50 years. Anyone who produces or purchases this so-called music should be condemned."

    Communism?

    "This music is absolute trash. It glorifies vulgarity, violence, and profanity. Worse yet, it portrays sex as a purely recreational activity with no consequences whatsoever."

    Just how much do you listen to "this music"? And I thought parents were supposed to be teaching their kids sex education.

    "These so-called artists themselves live their lives with all the morals of a pack of randy Russian princesses. They preach the doctrine that sex should occur with any person at anytime the urge hits."

    Not sure what a randy Russian princess is, so I'll leave that one alone.

    "Millions of impressionable youth are imitating what they see and hear. As a direct result, the rates of crime, substace abuse, and disease are skyrocketing. It is time to say enough is enough. If you care about America, you will boycott this music."

    Is there a direct result? And good idea: Boycotting is better than condeming. However, again, parents should be teaching their kids, right?

  • Jeanie b. Orem, UT
    April 6, 2012 12:12 p.m.

    I don't think Shakespeare's vulgarity is the "work of art" part.

    Yup, casual sex has happened ever since recorded history. In an enlightened society you would think that we would recognise the fall-out and change our behavior......... unlike the poor cavemen who dragged women around by the hair......

    Apparently we humans learn very slowly.

    ....kinda comfortable on my horse.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    April 6, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    @Jeanie B,

    "....kinda comfortable on my horse."

    Ignorance is bliss. Just be happy that's all that matters.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2012 1:44 p.m.

    Jeanie B:
    [I don't think Shakespeare's vulgarity is the "work of art" part.]

    Well, it is. Shakespeare wrote comedies and dramas. Shakespeare's comedies have dirty jokes. Shakespeare's dramas have obscene language. Hamlet spends the whole play calling his mother and uncle any number of foul names. Insults are an integral part of any of Shakespeare's plays.

    You can't just dissect an artist's work and choose which parts are "art" and which parts aren't because you find them vulgar.

    [Yup, casual sex has happened ever since recorded history. In an enlightened society you would think that we would recognise the fall-out and change our behavior......... unlike the poor cavemen who dragged women around by the hair......]

    Casual sex has happened since sex developed. Animals only engage in casual sex. In an enlightened society we've developed contraception. And your description of "caveman" behavior is juvenile.

    [....kinda comfortable on my horse]
    Maybe one day you'll grow up and join modern society.

  • U Student Y Fan Woods Cross, UT
    April 6, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    @Johnny Charity Spring

    Your assertion that crime rates and substance abuse are up is not backed by fact (in reality, crime rates are down). More importantly, how can you claim that either of these is a "direct" result of the music one chooses to listen to?

  • Jeanie b. Orem, UT
    April 6, 2012 2:35 p.m.

    It is interesting to me how I can be ignorant when I see the effects of "casual sex" in the lives of kids I teach. "Responsible" casual sex (using contraception) does not erase some of the painful consequences.

    My comment about cavemen was sarcastic. I guess you missed that.

    "Shakespeare had all sorts of vulgarity" - another poster's choice of words. And yes, I can decide what parts of things I find vulgar and what parts I don't, just like you are free to love the whole piece of art or the whole play.

    We all ride horses we're comfortable with - even those who live in modern society.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    Jeanie B:
    [My comment about cavemen was sarcastic. I guess you missed that.]

    It was your sarcasm that was being described as juvenile. I guess you missed that.

    [And yes, I can decide what parts of things I find vulgar and what parts I don't, just like you are free to love the whole piece of art or the whole play.]

    That wasn't at all what you said though. You said, "I don't think Shakespeare's vulgarity is the "work of art" part." You can't clean up Shakespeare's language and still call it Shakespeares language. It ceases to be his work, it is now some derivitive perversion of Shakespeare, but not Shakespeare.

    It would be like putting pants on Michelangelo's David. Michelangelo sculpted David in a specific way and on purpose, just because it makes some uncomfortable doesn't mean those "aspects" aren't the "work of art" part.

    Someone trying to break apart an artist's work doesn't mean some of it can be art and some of it cant; it just means that those people dislike the art and think they know how to make it better (which is supremely arogant).

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    April 6, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    @Jeannie B,

    "And yes, I can decide what parts of things I find vulgar and what parts I don't, just like you are free to love the whole piece of art or the whole play."

    Whatever it takes to come at peace with your religion. Do what you have to do.

    Just remember when you bear your testimony you're claiming it's ALL true, not just the parts you like while you ignore what you don't.

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    April 6, 2012 6:07 p.m.

    Having grown up in the 80's and listening to hair bands, and Heavy Metal, I was told I would become a Satan worshiper, or get into hard drugs and ruin my life. Tipper Gore thought all rock music was straight out of the devils mouth. Bands were sued because they supposedly made kids commit suicide or do drugs. I am married, have kids, believe in God, and have miraculously stayed out of prison. I wonder if I'm the only one who listened to the devils music and managed to stay "normal".

  • Herbal Tea Partier Taylorsville, UT
    April 6, 2012 8:58 p.m.

    Country music, old and new has a lot of family oriented lyrics. Though there are some country songs with explicit lyrics, they generally include heartbroken consequences and honesty.

    Something that might help is for parents to expose their children as they grow up to a variety of good music. It will help the teens make good music choices as they have already developed a love a good music. Help them recognize good music with uplifting lyrics, quality singing and instrumental skills.

  • zabivka Orem, UT
    April 6, 2012 11:53 p.m.

    I don't think anyone is trying to "push kids toward sex" like the girl in the article says. I think they are trying to turn a profit, and sexually themed songs seem to sell with that demographic.

    Hopefully, when my little baby girl is older I will have infused in her an interest in more poignant and thoughtful music. There is a time and place for many different types of music, and certainly some songs that contain negative sexual or violent themes are, indeed, condemning those acts (but still are counted as sexual). However, isn't the whole "sleep with me tonight--there might not be tomorrow" theme a bit hackneyed at this point? Let's explore more interesting themes in music!

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    April 7, 2012 11:45 a.m.

    The only difference I see in the music today is that it's not really "coded" like it used to be. The references to drugs, sex, alcohol, etc are just stated plainly in today's music.

    Before there was a lot of innuendo and quite frankly, I had no clue what a lot of it meant until later in life.

    LValfre: what's your purpose on these threads? Why do you come here? Let's be real. You denigrate all things LDS every chance you get and now you denigrate others who don't believe like you.

    Pop culture music does go after the lowest common denominator in humans and tries to tell everyone that premarital sex is ok when clearly it isn't. If everyone was chaste before marriage and with their spouse after marriage, how much money could be up for grabs to work on cancer research instead of spending it on HIV and STD's?

    So, again, what's your purpose on these threads?

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    April 16, 2012 4:58 p.m.

    'Don't like the music? Turn off the radio. Problem solved.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    April 17, 2012 6:04 a.m.

    Certainly, Much of the music of the 60's and beyond was suggestive, though they tended to try to be sneaky about it. It was considered the "Counter Culture". Nowadays, the counter culture is what's left to those who don't embrace sex, drugs and body mutilation--and the mainstream pop culture is all about that stuff.

    Christian Rock is a nice upbeat alternative, and there are the classics. Though Christian Rock is sometimes a bit on the repetative side, and there are songs that make me a bit squeamish about banging my head for Jesus. Its overly religious messages are okay sometimes, but other times you just want a nice song that has nothing to do with Sunday School, but doesn't make you want to sacrifice your soul to your own fleshy appetites.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 17, 2012 6:31 a.m.

    The Bible contains sex (illicit sex too), and alcohol (Jesus made wine).

    After he made the wine, they asked him why he put out the best wind last and not first. They said, usually the best wine is put out first, and then when people are well DRUNK, the lesser wine is put out.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    April 17, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    From the Bible: Song of Solomon, enough already.

  • JediToby Tooele, UT
    April 17, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    For a study titled "Degrading and non-degrading sex..." one would expect more emphasis to be put on what the criteria for those distinctions is. Reading the study, I see that only three criteria make that distinction, and an example provided illustrates the subjective nature of such an analysis, as one of the "degrading" examples fails to significantly meet two of the criteria, at least to my mind.

    I'm not justifying the lyrics; just pointing out that the study is subjective at best, as most sociological studies are. If you disagree with it, don't feel like you're doomed to hell or anything.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    April 17, 2012 6:49 p.m.

    The criticism is somewhat hypocritical and depends on genre.

    KBER back in the late 80's/early 90's was evil incarnate yet is tame compared to U92 or 97ZHT today.

    Country, pop, & even rap (other O'Reilly's crusade a few yrs ago) IMO get a relative free pass as opposed to the hissy fit Tipper Gore's silly little club had w/ Dee Snider, etc... back in the day.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 17, 2012 11:10 p.m.

    Just turn it off, and go and hide. I can decide for myself what I want to listen to, and if you aren't going to grow up about it get out of the picture.

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    April 18, 2012 3:19 p.m.

    "Popular song lyrics contain sex, alcohol and no regrets" - I guess that's what makes them popular. Unpopular song lyrics tend to cover less interesting subjects.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2012 6:07 a.m.

    President Mitt will shut them all down. Time for censorship is coming soon.

  • Joe Moe Logan, UT
    April 19, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    What does sex have to do with family? *wink*

  • ParkCityAggie Park City, Ut
    April 19, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    Uhhm yea, Rock and Roll has pretty much been about those things since the late 50's early 60's on. Sure it started out subtle in most cases. But here is an idea: Don't like the song, don't listen, change the dial. Don't complain about it! Besides pointing it out and then "demonizing" it only brings more attention to those types of songs, and then the artist will have even more fun blatantly mocking you along with signing about drugs, sex, partying, etc. If all you want to listen to is church hymns, find a station that plays that or download them to your itunes and call it good. If you want "good clean" rock, there is a whole genre of Christian music I'm sure that would be appealing. But complaining about is never the answer, as we've seen since the 50's. You make it taboo and it only adds a rebellion aspect to it. Don't want your kids listening to it? Pay more attention to what they are doing and listening too. But again I caution, take it all away and they'll make sure to listen to it!

  • Snowbirder Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    Good article. Hollywood is leading our Children down a moral sewer.

  • Jon W. Murray, UT
    April 20, 2012 9:45 a.m.

    Like it or not, whatever you are repeatedly listening to gets stored in you brain. I'd rather have vulgarity, sexual references, etc. stored in my brain along with the knowledge of what it means and an "inappropriate" flag, than to have the same stuff stored in my brain without even realizing it's there. Analylis of the lyrics is the way to accomplish that.

    Be ye therefore as wise as serpents, yet as harmless as doves.

    Yes, Shakespeare had plenty of everything in his work. He was Elizabethan, not Victorian.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    April 20, 2012 10:56 a.m.

    Cole Porter needs to be on somebody's banned artist list too.

    For example "Lets Misbehave" Circa 1920s

    If you want a future, darlin',
    Why don't you get a past?
    'Cause that fateful moment's comin' at last...

    We're all alone, no chaperone
    Can get our number
    The world's in slumber--let's misbehave!!!

    There's something wild about you child
    That's so contagious
    Let's be outrageous--let's misbehave!!!

    When Adam won Eve's hand
    He wouldn't stand for teasin'.
    He didn't care about those apples out of season.

    They say that Spring means just one little thing to little lovebirds
    We're not above birds--let's misbehave!!!

    It's getting late and while I wait
    My poor heart aches on
    Why keep the breaks on? Let's misbehave!!!

    I feel quite sure affaire d'amour
    Would be attractive
    While we're still active, let's misbehave!

    You know my heart is true
    And you say you for me care...
    Somebody's sure to tell,
    But what the heck do we care?

    They say that bears have love affairs
    And even camels
    We're men and mammals--let's misbehave!!!

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    April 20, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    Cole Porter,1930. From the Musical the "New Yorkers". While it was banned at its original release from radio play. It was a best seller for its time. See Wikipedia

    LOVE FOR SALE

    When the only sound on the empty street
    is the heavy tread of the heavy feet
    that belong to a lonesome cop
    I open shop

    The moon so long has been gazing down
    on the warward ways of this wayward town
    my smile becomes a smirk, I go to work

    Love for sale
    appetizing young love for sale
    love thats fresh and still unspoiled
    love thats only slightly soiled
    love for sale

    who will buy
    who would like to sample my supply
    who's prepared to pay the price
    for a trip to paradise
    love for sale

    let the poets pipe of love
    in their childish ways
    I know every type of love
    better far than they
    if you want the thrill of love
    I have been through the mill of love
    old love
    new love
    every love but true love

    love for sale
    appetizing young love for sale
    if you want to buy my wares follow me and clime the stairs
    love for sale

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 5:46 p.m.

    1st off. Welcome back JCS. Was the sojourn in Pleasantville not all it was cracked up to be?

    @ Howard Beal

    I was thinking along the same line. Your average pop or country song today is much worse than Ratt, Cinderella, Warrant, etc... were back in the day. Where is Tipper Gore's silly little group now to save us from ourselves?

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 5:48 p.m.

    per @Charles

    I was listening to AC/DC on the way home from work & to quote Loverboy was "loving evey minute of it"

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    Sept. 28, 2012 11:58 p.m.

    "I love the little wiggle in your walk" (Probably not talking about "ears" wiggling...)
    "The way you snuggle on my shoulder.." (Without parental consent, I'm judgmentally assuming...)
    "But you're too young to know the score.. (score--as in "to score")
    "So come back when you're older...." (as in---age of consent. Hmmm--indicating snuggling with a wiggling minor?)

    Sweet and Innocent---The Osmonds.
    (And it's been downhill ever since......)

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 29, 2012 1:56 a.m.

    Looks like Johnny Lewis is the 'one that got away' for Katy Perry. By their fruits ye shall know them. Look at the men she has chosen. Johnny Lewis just murdered an 81 year old woman before falling off the roof and dying himself.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 29, 2012 2:03 a.m.

    Judgments are needed all the time, condemnation from one human being to another is not needed. For example, I might choose to avoid being with a certain person or environment, but not judge that person or environment as all bad.

    Also, our judgments are sometimes wrong. We are human and error. Let us not condemn anyone. That said, it's sure a challenge for me not to take verbal shots in Katy Perry's direction. Maybe if she tried to look for inspiration on who to date rather than sing about peacocks, she wouldn't have dated a guy who turns out to be murderer of a female senior citizen. That news was so disturbing the other day, and I am slow to be disturbed.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Sept. 29, 2012 3:15 p.m.

    I don't have time to read this whole article, I have to get back to playing my Led Zeppelin records...backwards.

  • awsomeron Waianae, HI
    Sept. 29, 2012 4:37 p.m.

    You have a right in America to Control what you listen to. What you listen to does Not make you better or worse then anyone else. Because you listen to somthing does not mean you are going to carry out the actions in the lyrics. Weather those action are considered good or bad and by whom.

    What you can't control is what other people choose to listen to, and you do not really want to live in a society that does that. The Telaban did that and the film coming out of liberated areas show pictures of young people turning on and up their radios and boom boxes.

    People said the same things about Rock n Roll, in the late 50's and 60's. The world diden't fall apart and society did not go to whare ever society was supposed to go. My part went to a Cold War in Europe then a Hot War in Vietnam. Where in both places we defended out Country and listened to good music from Mozart to Country and lots of Rock and Roll with a little Gospel and MTC thrown in.

    We became Parent and Raised Familys.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 29, 2012 4:44 p.m.

    @Howard Beal

    Be careful of 'stairway to heaven' brother. Anyway, you still got a laugh out of me.

  • Anon 808 Waianae, HI
    Sept. 29, 2012 4:52 p.m.

    If the song is about Social Unrest or Violence your okay with it. If its about Sex and Normal Unrepressed Human Relationships and the feeling of now because there may not be any tommorow. Which there might not be as we know it. Then you have trouble with the Sex, Sexual Action or evan Sexual Suggestion.

    My only problem with the guy who wants everything tonight is what is he going to give back in the process. I do have issues with the lack of Committment, but thats the Action not the listening. Some people can hear a Song a hundard times and not remember a lyric or get it wrong. Because its not required, as the music is background and they are moving towards the next thing.

    To say that a song has to be the W word to be listened to is judgemental and that type of music does not sell well and when it does it sits on the shelf as part of visual dog and pony show in the homes of the self proclamed Rightious. While the kids are listening to Rock on the I- Pod in the back room. Whats on you kids playlist?

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Sept. 29, 2012 5:55 p.m.

    A group of high school students, for a class project, did a survey of popular songs of the 20th Century and found that they all, pretty much, are about sex. (Cole Porter was second or third generation dirty lyric writer by the 1920s; though Porter was perhaps the most suggestive of his generation, Ira Gershwin wrote some pretty naughty stuff.)

    A few problems exist in today's popular music that are absent from the songs of the past. A major problem is euphemistically described as "misogynistic," but might be much more detailed if the language were appropriate for a family newspaper. Do all the posters really want to pretend they aren't aware of lyrics in popular songs that talk about physical abuse of women and violence coupled with sex?

    Another major problem (I believe) is what George S. Kaufman laughingly referred to as "single entendre." With the double entendre of Cole Porter, children usually did not get it (which is why adults were the ones that were usually shocked). There is no "double" any more. The lyrics and their intentions are so easy to be understood that the merest child can get them.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Sept. 29, 2012 6:34 p.m.

    I also think some of the comments about Shakespeare deserve a note.

    Shakespeare often has his characters say filthy things. His plays were not for children when they were performed, and he was roundly criticized by the leaders of the city of London for both the content and the performance of his plays (which is why the Globe was out of the city limits).

    We are able to teach Shakespeare to children today because they don't understand most of what he wrote. Therefore it is disingenuous to suggest that, because Shakespeare was filthy, we should ignore filth in popular entertainment.

    We are able to perform Shakespeare for children today because we are free to cut whatever we find objectionable from his plays. There is nothing wrong with this. He's dead, and he doesn't care. (Everyone cuts his plays; the only argument ever is over what is objectionable in a particular context.)

    Our modern perspective (and our children's inability to decode Elizabethan English) makes it completely possible for us to appreciate Shakespeare's genius without being offended by his licentiousness.

    Much of today's art cannot be appreciated (and probably should not) precisely because we understand it.

  • Rynn Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 30, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    I think it depends. I grew up in the 1980's and there were some songs I listened to that didn't have the greatest lyrics (although not as bad as some of today's lyrics).

    But I usually liked songs more for the rhythm of the music than the lyrics.
    Song lyrics never influenced me in a negative way. I had no desire to go out and do something inappropriate just because I heard it in a song.

    So I think it depends on the individual.

  • korn75 Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 30, 2012 9:44 a.m.

    I'm 37 years old and have always enjoyed all types of music from several decades at a very young age. I still to this day enjoy many songs that are current and released. I can tell you right now that when I was a teenager in the 80's and early 90's, most songs lyrics were the same. They were full of drugs, alcohol, sex, and violence, yet for some reason I never saw news articles like this back then. Maybe because people didn't make a huge deal out of it because it wasn't a huge deal? Lyrics are a form of expressive art and are definitely protected as free speech. If you don't like the song, don't listen to it. It's as simple as that. And to the person who said they have been called "self-righteous", you seem self-righteous, so that might be why. The extreme visual graphic war violence in video games SHOULD be a concern, especially when kids as young as 6 or 7 are playing games that are rated for 17+. There are much more serious things to worry about in the world than song lyrics.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    Okay on the one side you have song lyrics promoting promoscuity and sex without commitment. On the other extreme you have religion(s) telling people (and their victims listening) that it is a higher calling to go without sex altogether, or you have religions telling people if they can't find a marriage partner, they are to go without, if need be for the rest of their life. This is like a prison of the mind while the other is acting irresponsibly. Both are bad and both, not just the one deserve to be discussed.

  • WON84 PLANO, TX
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    "My son has many friends who like pop music."

    Comments such as this make me thankful to live in Texas.

  • WON84 PLANO, TX
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    John Charity Spring - are you Islamic?

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 1:19 p.m.

    Oh, for heck's sake!
    The lyrics to Tony Bennett's "Dancing in the Dark" are as much about sex, as Bruce Springsteen's!

    Ya know, folks....when a song is about romance, it's about sex.

  • sigmund5 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 3:50 p.m.

    @supporting LDS Church. Hitler and Stalin were also big fans of the classical composers you cite.

  • jeru0455 SALEM, OR
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    That sounds like my kind of music! Keep the good stuff coming!

  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    The MTV VMA's cater to these lyricists. I call it LEWD-POP. It's very common these days. And it's the opposite of wholesome. One time at costco, I was standing in line while a mom and her ~6 year old daughter stood behind me. The daughter was singing KP's Fireworks at the top of her lungs. I wanted to turn to the mother and ask her what in the NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY was she doing letting her 6 year old listen to KP!?

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Aug. 27, 2013 6:24 p.m.

    Lyrics from popular songs can be very, very dangerous indeed.

    Like the article says, they only speak of the 'fun' and not the pain of foolish, destructive choices.

    And make no mistake, there will be eventual sorrow for foolish, destructive choices.

    From the Book of Mormon, Alma 12: 16-17.....(caps added to emphasize the point)

    "And now behold, I say unto you THEN cometh a death, even a second death, which is a spiritual death; THEN is a time that whosoever dieth in his sins, as to a temporal death, shall also die a spiritual death; yea, he shall die as to things pertaining unto righteousness. THEN is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and THEN is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will."

    I am tempted like any other person, and I think of these 2 scriptures to help me remember that you can choose your choices but you can NOT choose your consequences and that consequences, soon, or late, do come.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Aug. 27, 2013 6:37 p.m.

    Like it or not, we become the sum total of all we ingest....physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally.

    Constantly take in trash and filth, become trashy.

    Constantly take in light and goodness, become holy.

    Liberals don't like this, but I didn't ask if anyone "liked" my comment, I only said what is true.

    Good luck to us all in choosing wisely. (And, thanks, Mom, for teaching me to value good music.)

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 9:23 p.m.

    How is it these old stories get recycled? Isn't there enough new paranoia inspiring stuff to write about?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 28, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    Constantly take in trash and filth, become trashy.

    Constantly take in light and goodness, become holy.

    Liberals don't like this, but I didn't ask if anyone "liked" my comment, I only said what is true.

    Now that is the height of arrogance. To out of hand equate liberal principles with trash and filth is about as misinformed, bigoted, and arrogant, as one can get. My bet (based on personal experience) is that most if not all of the "liberals" on this post have very successful and happy lives, which include, strong families, good marriages, and personally healthy habits.

    Because we may believe the common welfare clause in the constitution should be interpreted broadly, and that civil rights should be applied to all humans doesn't make our attitudes trash.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    There are religions cajole some of the people to go their entire life without sex. It makes more sense to criticize this than to criticize someone who through song and dance celebrate the happiness that sex can bring.

  • ParkCityAggie Park City, Ut
    Aug. 28, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    Everyone is free to turn the radio station, turn the tv station.

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    ‘Popular song lyrics contain sex, alcohol and no regrets’

    I think i just figured out why they are "Popular" songs.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    Songs are getting a lot more explicit about their illicit content. Sure songwriters have always pushed the envelop, but the open language is quite new. Also there's much more profanity in more mainstream songs, with popular artists often being forced to make two recordings of the song, one that's censored. Finally there's the media that accompanies these songs, which continue to push the envelop visually. Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber even just leaked a new song named after the obscene form of dancing (rhymes with jerk) she got condemned for in the media lately. They just leaked the song today.

    Personally I've always felt that Making songs encouraging teens to abandon reason, rebel against their parents and follow their hormonal urges is really one of the least creative things an artist can do. Probably why I'm not a millionaire pop star... ;)

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    There are some country songs out there that make Poison & Warrant look like repressed puritans.

  • The Authority Richfield, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    Thanks Des News! Now just e-mail this article to about 1920 and it'll actually be news, because it's been about that long since songs have had booze and sex in them.

  • postaledith Freeland, WA
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:18 p.m.

    I believe it's personal preference. I'm a kid of the 70's and I've listened to Rock n' Roll since I used to watch American Bandstand broadcast from Philadelphia. I love Rock, but it never influenced me to worship the devil, commit murder, shoot heroin, or have sex. Music has always made me happy and feel more alive.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Aug. 31, 2013 12:02 a.m.

    This reminds me of the time I heard Janet Jackson's "If" and Jay Z's "Big Pimpin" at BYU's Marriott Center before a basketball game. No one listens to the lyrics apparently. For those of you not listening carefully, those songs are not about basketball.

  • Mike777 Springfield, OR
    Aug. 31, 2013 6:02 p.m.

    You know, my preference is for metal music, particularly symphonic metal like Theatre of Tragedy or Lacuna Coil. These groups use deep symbolism and rarely deal with sex. Yet many Mormons think metal is bad and pop is good. Go figure.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Sept. 3, 2013 12:55 a.m.

    Hey Capsaicin -- you're criticizing one of the GOOD songs with inspiring, uplifting lyrics and a particularly great video. Now granted both of these are unusual for Katy Perry. But this song and this video not only appropriate for a 6 year-old, but actually a a desirable message coming through a popular entertainer.

  • mnelsonj West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    I went to a Nine Inch Nails concert fresh off my mission and received so much flack from many people. My retort which I believe still stands. If you choose to only listen to, watch, or read content which you or the church agrees with you will not learn or grow as a person. Historically religion has done far worse damage to humankind than singing about kissing girls and liking it ever will.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 4, 2013 4:22 p.m.

    It appears the above article is trying to have us refuse to listen to all suggestive music. Let me nominate Wolfgang A. Mozart as Chief Hobgoblin on this Putative Musical Purity Crusade. Shall we all meet up at Liberty Park this weekend and publicly burn "Don Giovanni"?

    Late eighteenth-century French and Italian culture reflected an obsession with love and relationships through literature, music, and other art forms. Seduction scenes are one type of commentary on relationships that dot the landscape of opera of the time. The operatic seduction scene involves not only the two characters on stage but also a third agent; the music.
    After situating operatic seduction in the broader context of late eighteenth-century French and Italian culture, the specific musical vocabulary of seduction that was put to use by composers, enacted on stage, and understood by audiences. This vocabulary was applied to several musical works of Mozart, who is now viewed as the dominant opera composer of the time, and his contemporaries.

    While we are at it, shall we excise the number "Past the point of No Return" from the Musical "Phantom of the Opera"? Surely to be consistent, we should.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:34 p.m.

    Taylor Swift's newest album, "Songs about bad relationships I've caused" seems to be nothing but regret. That being the case, I take the advice of many posting here, and punch the button when one of her songs comes on. Same goes for stuff off her first album, "Songs about high school".

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    Stopped listening to "popular music" or any kind, on the radio, realizing I miss some worth listening to, I also miss all the garbage, which I no longer have a desire to sort through or ignore.