It started in late spring, or maybe early summer. All of a sudden my kids love pop music. Taio Cruz, Katy Perry, Black Eyed Peas, even Britney Spears. (I can't get them to like my beloved, beloved Vampire Weekend—and believe me, I have tried.) Driving to school and tae kwon do and gymnastics is way more fun with tunes, right?
|This angelic-seeming almost-nine-year-old loves "Moves Like Jagger" without knowing who Mick Jagger is. |
I'm not sure what part of that situation concerns me most.
For me one of the best things about getting older is that I can admit to enjoying top-40 music. Sure, sure, we all want to stay hip, but sometimes it's nice to enjoy a good catchy pop song without irony. And I love that just as I'm opening myself to the joys of Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga and Britney, my kids are loving their music too.
Now, I don't want to overprotect. But I have to admit I cringe (or talk over the words) every time Bruno Mars' "Lazy Song" comes on, with the line about "really nice sex." It was a great summer song, super catchy and perfect for car radio, and his voice has that great sort of sob to it. But I'm not ready for the sex talk on the school dropoff run. And unlike "Last Friday Night" or "Born This Way," there's no double entendre or hard-to-hear words here.
Still, I'm not ready to censor everything either. Katy Perry, especially, is made for little kids. She has a Candyland-themed video, after all, and "Firework" sure has taken off with the elementary-school set: a worthy message of empowerment and encouragement, right? I'm hoping a risque lyric here and there won't ruin my kids' innocence. They can't quite decipher the words to "Last Friday Night." And when they do—I never thought I'd say this—it could be time for Kidz Bop.