Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Good and the Really Bad

Will I believe you when you say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day
Well I will walk by faith Even when I cannot see because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me Help me to RID my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years With the one breath You make me new
Your grace covers all I do yeah, yeah , yeah, yeah, ya
well I will walk by faith even when Ii cannot see
because this broken road prepares your will for me
Well I'm broken- but I still see Your face Well You've spoken- pouring Your words of grace Well I will walk by faith Even when I cannot see Well because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me (Repeat)
Well I will walk by faith Even when I cannot see
Well because this broken road Prepares Your will for me
Hallelujah, hallelu I will walk by faith, I will walk by faith,I will walk by faith I will walk by faith, I will walk by faith,I will walk by faith I will walk by faith, I will walk by faith,I will walk by faith I will walk by faith I will walk,I will walk FaithI will walk, I will walk by faith
--Walk by Faith

My brother, Arron, has just introduced me to a great christian artist.
Jeremy Camp Check out his website. It has some pretty cool interactive bits.
The above lyrics are from the song, "Walk By Faith". Have a listen to this young guy; he has a powerful voice and has something valid and real to say.
"Holy fire burn away my desire for anything that is not of you and is of me. I want more of you and less of me" This is a guy struggling to be holy.

I am trying to find really good artists to get my kids to listen to--they don't have to be Christian artists, but they need to have something positive to say that contributes to human kind. Much of the music that is out there is very "me" and "self" focused; children are already "me" and "self" focused and do not need anything that is going to encourage them to stay there! I want music that will challenge my children and the society around them.
Well, I let Esme pick out a cd a couple of weeks ago, Love, Angel, Music, Baby by Gwen Stefani. I have heard some of her music and was quite pleased that No Doubt did a cover of a Talk Talk song that I love. While driving around Victoria we put in the LAMB cd for Esme to listen to....a couple songs in and I was extremely uncomfortable with what I was hearing and we skipped to the next song and then the next song and then the next.....all the songs were about having sex (some really not-so-subtle euphemisms and imagery "Hurry doctor come, need to get me some"), getting rich, living the high life....not so much about anything that is anything, ya know what I mean?
Now let me just preface the next bit by stating that I am not opposed the swearing in lyrics (in fact I think Bruce Cockburn, U2 and Spirit of the West and even Johny Cash if I am not mistaken, have used incredibly appropriate expletives to convey very strong feelings about the ISSUE they are singing about....think: "If I had a rocket launcher some son of a bitch would die" ), but repetative swearing that is used as a chorus?
Oooh, this my shit, this my shit
Oooh, this my shit, this my shit
Oooh, this my shit, this my shit
Oooh, this my shit, this my shit
So that's right dude, meet me at the bleachers No principals, no student-teachers Both of us wanna be the winner, but there can only be one So I'm gonna fight, gonna give it my all Gonna make you fall, gonna sock it to you That's right, I'm the last one standing, another one bites the dust
--Hollaback Girl
Not only mindless swearing, but illicit sexual interaction packaged up as some sort of aggressive physical contest. I sooo don't want this to be something that my kids think is appropriate or normal or to be aspired to....
Then let's fill their heads with metaphors that equate "love" with street racing and drugs:
Driving fast in your car. I’ve got you tracked on my radar. It’s just such a trip how you’re still my speed racer. You got me so addicted just like a free baser. I want you all over me like L.A.M.B. So get here A.S.A.P. it’s gonna be a party. Don’t forget to make a U-turn. (don’t forget to get here) I see you left your blinker on. (you see I want to get it on) I got it rolled and ready here to burn. Meet me back at home. (you know you need me so come back) Drive back baby to me fast in your car. I’m here waiting, CRASH into me real hard.
Now I am sorry to be so hard on Gwen Stefani, but the woman is quite intelligent and this dumbed down-sexed up routine doesn't really help to uplift women or give girls permission to expect not to be treated as sexual playthings and to be loved and cherished or teach boys that they are called to a higher set of standards and should be protectors of woman and that they do have to wrestle with sexual desire and overcome it, not give in--this is what makes a boy a man, not a shag behind the bleachers.
So there's my rant for the day. Your thoughts?


The Pleasant Peasant said...

I was reading a Christian newspaper - one where Peter Chattaway has articles published - and they interviewed a 21 year old girl singer who puts on concerts specifically for tweens and writes about wholesome stuff. Now if I could only remember her name . . .

MommaKim said...

BC Christian Info New....I will investigate! Thanks for the tip.

Mathews Family said...

Here are some links - of course you have to monitor the "christian" lyrics also but it is much better... Here are some ORTHODOX SOURCES:

Of Course (www.JustinMathews.com)

http://www.philbaquie.com/ (Pretty good!)

http://www.isidorerecords.com/js/ (JoyFul Sorrow - I'm not ure about the rest on this label but I know the label owners and the wife writes for Handmaiden - which btw might be something to look into for esme)

http://stromanosrecords.com/ (anything here is Orthodox and some of it is good. Fr. PJG's site)


http://ccmmagazine.com/ Chr mag. with articles, links, music - geared to youth as well, there is a print version.

interesting catholic girls e-zine for kids esme's age and up with music page with style comparisons: http://philomenagirl.com/music.html

friend of mine - really stellar song crafter in TN

another really cool catholic girls mag: http://www.truegirlonline.com/index.htm

Hope this helps... we really need to work harder to develop resources for our Orthodox kids don't we... sorry I do not know of more. I will keep my bookmarks going for you...


Hornblower said...

Hi you! Isn't the internet wonderful - only took me a minute to find your blog :-)
Lots of modern music sucks just because it's so darned blatant. A lot of the older songs are about the same things, but at least they used some creative imagery to get the point across....

kimberley said...

John Buller's CD: "That's What I'd Like" is good. Just google him.

He's a bit of a surfie, born in East Africa I think, but now lives out in Winnipeg with his wife and little one. Some guys I know helped with some of the vocal back up...there's some good djembe in parts. I think he maybe even won a Juno?

MommaKim said...

Thanks for the great links Fr Dn Justin...and of course my kids listen to your music. Esme especially sings along....I need to order some more copies of your CDs to give out as birthday present! Everyone please note my link "Justin Matthews" to his awesome site--you can listen to three of his songs there.

Hornblower...welcome. :)
"Lots of modern music sucks just because it's so darned blatant" Excellent point! I think that is what is really bothering my about Gwen Steffani's cd; that girl wouldn't know subtle if it smacked her in the head! What happened to figuring out references and working out imagery in the songs that you were listening to?
I remember a grade eight teacher that I had, Mr Langford, took great pains to get me to think about what music was about. I was really into Duran Duran in grade 8 and he had a number of conversations with me about the substance of music. He made me a tape (remember tapes?) and it blew me away. Some of the songs on the tape: "Bad" U2, "Stand up for your Rights" Bob Marley, "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" Velvet Underground, "Straight to Hell" The Clash "Missie How You Let Me Down" Richard Thompson...
I am trying to remember what else was on there...I wish I still had it. I am sure there was probably a Bruce Springsteen song on it. It really did change the way I thought about music and what music I listen to from that point on I discoverd XTC, Shriekback, The Clash, The Cure, U2, HuskerDu, and many more that are not coming into the forefront of my exhausted brain at the moment...although I must admit to a closet love of Duran Duran to this day! Music should be felt in the gut, I think

The Pleasant Peasant said...

Who's the brilliant music director who'll be joining Holy Cross?
I'm going to Victoria on Tuesday, so I might hop over to Van then and stay for Thursday's earrrrrly liturgy. But if that doesn't work out, I'm aiming for Sunday.
See you soon!

Stephen said...

I've found the Phantom Tollbooth (tollbooth.org) to be a really good reviewer of excellent music of all sorts of genres. Most of the music, though, is none-mainstream, so it is kind of hard to find. And if your kids ever get into metal, check out the Whipping Post (thewhippingpost.tripod.com). They only review Christian metal, which gets a little annoying at times, but then again a lot (though not all) of "secular" metal is pretty sick and brutal, and so going the Christian route in metal is probably safer, at least for kids who probably don't really know what they are getting into. Cheers.

MommaKim said...

Thanks for the tip, Stephen. I will check out those sites.

Owen's Mama said...

I agree! Fully! Excellent post Kim.