Aug 5, 2010

Posted by in My Life's Quirks | 4 Comments

My Life’s Quirks – Tweens Singing About Love Irk Me

“I need to know should I fight for love
Or disarm
It’s getting harder to shield
This pain is my heart” – Justin Bieber

How old was I when I started thinking about and understanding the meaning of love?  I ask myself this question on a couple of occasions.  I ask it when I wonder how old my daughter will be when I have to worry about hearing all about boys and how the end of the world is near if a certain someone doesn’t call.  I also ask it when I’m listening to the radio and some 13 year old starts singing about how the end of the world is near if a certain someone doesn’t call, or worst doesn’t say ‘I love you’ — or when I’m in the car and hear Miley Cyrus exclaim “I got my sights set on you and I’m ready to aim – I have a heart that will never be tamed.”

Say What?!  You’re 12!

Now, often times, the songs are quite catchy and I can’t help but sing along to them.  The artist is usually quite talented too – heck, they can sing a hell of a lot better than I can.  My beef is not with the child or tween singing the song.  My issue is with the song itself and the music company’s reasoning skills.  With lyrics about severe heartbreak and longing and making out and *gulp* sex, who on earth thinks it’s a good idea to have a youngster sing them?!  Then, kids as young as 7 hear these songs and think they are the bible and live most of their child years measuring their ‘love-lives’ to the impossible scale these songwriters and artists have set.    

This is not a new phenomenon.  Slightly ‘improper’ lyrics sung by minors have been around since the beginning of popular music.  The Jackson Five said “I’m gonna teach you, teach you, teach you – All about love girl, all about love” in their song ABC. Tiffany said “Look at the way – We gotta hide what we’re doin’ – Cuz what would they say – If they ever knew” in I Think We’re Alone Now.  Even the Partridge Family said “Goodbye, hello – I’ve got to go – I hope you understand – a one night man is all I am” in their song One Night Stand!

Pre-teens and teens have always claimed and always will claim to know the meaning of true love.  Teenagers can definitely have feelings for someone else.  Look at how many couples met back in high school and are still together today.  Okay, there aren’t that many, but they do exist.  My mother met my father when she was 15 (and 47 years later, they are still together).  At 15, you can feel for the other person – but real LOVE comes with age and maturity.  With trust and experience.  With life.

I know that if I were saying all this to my 13 year old self who was totally in LOVE with Joey and The New Kids on the Block, she would think I was old and not cool enough to know what the hell I was talking about.  Maybe I am old.  Maybe this is bugging me so much since I am the mother of a young girl.  I don’t know.  All I know is that 12 year olds are too young to really understand what they are singing about when they are speaking of deep, soul-ripping love.  And 10 year olds are too young to hear the words and know to take them with a grain of salt.

Readers of romance books will understand this even more.  It’s wonderful to see the beautiful images of romance and everlasting love on the page, but it’s another to actually expect it in real life.  You’ll only experience disappointment if you compare a real, modern relationship to what’s described in the book.  It’s wonderful to hear the poetic declarations of love and affection through song.  But it’s not so wonderful when these declarations are made by a 14 year old boy who still isn’t even shaving!    The youngsters who are hearing these beautiful words still aren’t adept to separating the song from reality.  Besides, a 14 year old boy should be out playing hockey with his friends then hanging out at the local Denny’s eating pancakes afterward.  If he must sing, why not sing about that?!

Love is about companionship and trust, being there for the other person wholly and completely and should only be sung by people who are mature enough to grasp that.  It’s too bad the songs sung by little guys are so damn catchy…

Jason brought this video to my attention and I thought it was very appropriate for my rant.  It made me laugh SO hard because it just hits home!  Watch it and tell me what you think.

Tweens singing bout love irk me.  Just another one of my life’s quirks.

  1. Julie…this is a good one and sooo true!

    and the video was cute!

  2. Sharon – I almost cry when, in the video, he presents the macaroni necklace! lol

  3. Macaroni necklace. Clearly my husband doesn’t love me. I have no mac-necklace. hmph.

  4. FV – LMAO! You’re too funny!

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