I was looking at Oprah’s interview with Tina Turner the other day and began reminiscing about some of Tina’s songs that were the “it” songs back in the day. “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” “Private Dancer.” She sang what? LOL!
No shade on Tina whatsoever. My favorite Tina song is “Simply The Best,” which she is. Followed closely by “Proud Mary.” 😆 I admire her and hope I look even one-quarter as good as she does in her early seventies when I get to her age. Note I didn’t say if, but when. 😉
And I’m certainly not singling her out because Lord knows folk are out there today singing waaaay crazier stuff. I won’t name names. There’s a Hall of Shame out there, except some of these folks have no shame.
But… some of those lyrics weren’t exactly sending positive messages worth emulating. If we took the view that love is nothing more than “a sweet old-fashioned notion” and “who needs a heart when a heart can be broken,” we’d certainly be a very callous tribe here on earth.
Back when I was in high school, my cousin and I were set to sing a duet at a concert. We had practiced and were all excited to participate. For some reason (insert mother’s sixth sense here), my mom and grandmother asked us to sing part of the song for them to hear, because they’re weren’t going to be at the concert. They nearly fell out when they heard the words! It was Odyssey’s “Weekend Lover.”
To be honest, my cuz and I had not given the lyrics too much thought. We just liked the song and knew we weren’t anybody’s weekend lover, so it didn’t matter what the words said.
Naive, I know. And of course my mom shut down our little singing gig. So much for our plans to shine onstage! But to be honest, in retrospect, I’m glad she did.
Many people approach songs much as my cousin and I did, and the way I did when Tina’s hits held sway back in the 1980s. We loved the voice, the music, and the beat. The lyrics were further down the list of “likes.”
Because my job forces me to listen closely to what is said, I’ve really begun to pay attention to what I listen to, whether it’s someone’s words or the lyrics of a song. I love a fairly wide cross-section of musical genres, but if people are singing tripe, I turn into Sweet Brown: ain’t nobody got time for that!
I do believe that by listening, we are changed. We may act like I did, back in the day, and focus on the music, but the lyrics and the music both seep into our soul. For better or for worse.
What’s in your earspace? Do you think what you listen to makes a difference in your perspectives and values? What , if anything, are you not willing to listen to lyrically?