Listen To The Lyrics

I’m just going to put this here and let you react how you feel before I continue:

Step on the glass, staple your tongue (ahh)
Bury a friend, try to wake up (ah ahh)
Cannibal class, killing the son (ahh)
Bury a friend, I wanna end me

Now, if you are listening to popular music on the radio stations, you will know that this is from the song Bury A Friend by Billie Eilish. Don’t even get me started on Tease Me by Bruno Mars and Nicki Minaj.

I am in the classroom with 6-year-olds who know the words to these songs. This blog post is an appeal to parents: CENSOR THE MUSIC YOUR KIDS LISTEN TO!!!

According to an article from the American Academy of Paediatrics, “Adolescents use music in their process of identity formation, and their music preference provides them a means to achieve group identity and integration into the youth culture.” What this means is that the music your child is listening to will ABSOLUTELY have an affect on how they see themselves and their social sphere. The link to this article is below for you to read further, but these are some important statements:

  • the prevalence of music-listening in adolescents may be even higher than that of television viewing.
  • A content analysis of the top 10 CDs performed by the National Institute on Media in 1999 revealed that each of these CDs included at least 1 song with sexual content. Forty-two percent of the songs on these CDs contained very explicit sexual content.
  • Approximately 17% of male adolescents and 25% of female adolescents expressed that they liked their favorite songs specifically because the lyrics were a reflection of their feelings.
  • Knobloch-Westerwick et al have stated that although young listeners might not understand all the details in lyrics, they recognize enough to obtain a general idea of the message they bring.
  • Heavy metal and some rock music have been associated in some studies with an increased risk of suicide.
  • A study performed to explore the possible effect of heavy metal music containing either sexually violent or nonviolent lyrics on males’ attitudes toward women revealed that those exposed to heavy metal music, with either sexually violent or nonviolent lyrics, showed significantly more negative stereotyped attitudes toward women than those in a group instead exposed to classical music.

Considering everything that has been happening in South Africa and the world recently, it is becoming more and more important to guide our kids into conscious listening. I have, on occasion, told the kids that their favourite song is about sex and they responded with total shock and horror! Please listen to what your kids listen to and try to guide them into listening to empowering and positive music that aligns with your beliefs and values, so that their self-image and social decisions are made correctly.


AAP News and Journals Gateway. “Impact of Music, Music Lyrics, and Music Videos on Children and Youth.” Pediatrics November 2009, 124 (5) 1488-1494; DOI:; URL: :// Date Accessed: 10/01/2020

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