I love music. I don’t know if I could live without it. Well, I could, but I wouldn’t be nearly as happy! Music can soothe, bring happiness, express love, and so much more. It can create memories, get you through hard times and allow you to share joy. Music can be wonderful. It can also be a really harmful thing.
For the longest time I wasn’t a really conscious music listener. If I liked the sound of the music or the singer’s voice, or if there was a catchy chorus, I’d listen to it and often buy albums by that artist. It was about the sound more than anything. I didn’t always listen to the words very closely.
I can’t remember exactly when it happened or what the song was that changed me, and I really wish I could. I just remember that someone came over and I was happily bopping away to what was, at the time, one of my favorite songs. “Do you know what that song is about?” they asked. I was puzzled, and they explained it to me. I was shocked. I don’t remember what the subject matter was, but it wasn’t something I was happy about. I really listened to the lyrics and I realized they were right. After that, I started paying a lot more attention to the lyric of songs.
Over time, and especially in the last year, I’ve removed a lot of music from my playlists. When I began paying attention to the lyrics, I realized a lot of the songs that seemed so catchy were talking about or even promoting drugs, rape, murder, talking about abuse, hate, and some of them were just completely useless nonsense. I decided that I really needed to pay attention to what I was putting into my head. I’m now much more particular about what I listen to. I’m still eclectic, but I take more time to look up the lyrics and decide if that’s a message I really want in my head.
Many people out there are like I used to be. They don’t pay attention to the messages in the music. You really should. Even if you think it can’t affect you, when you keep listening to things over and over, part of it sticks with you. Your musical choices can also affect how people see you (like my friend wondering about my ethics for listening to a song) and you also need to be very mindful of what children and teens are listening to.
It takes some extra time to look into the messages being relayed in the songs you listen to, but it’s worth it. Music should enhance and enrich your life, not bring negative and harmful messages into it. Being mindful of what you listen to and what you buy also sends a message to companies and artists about what we want to hear, and what we find unacceptable.