The Power of Language in Popular Music

The Power of Language in Popular Music

On May 15, 2014, Posted by , In Uncategorized, With No Comments

Chances are, you’ve probably heard Robin Thicke’s inexplicably famous song “Blurred Lines”. There’s probably a slimmer chance that you’ve listened attentively to the lyrics. Sometimes popular songs can hide malicious, detrimental, or flat-out inexcusable lyrics between catchy melodies and voice stylings. I am a firm believer in bringing awareness to the power of language, even in vapid, shallow pop songs (especially in vapid, shallow pop songs!). Some people may think that this signifies being overly serious or too critical of the media, but I think that we should all be critical consumers of media.

A perfect example of this critical awareness involves examining the lyrics of songs you may be half-paying attention to as you are walking, exercising, working, driving, etc. Even the most empty, meaningless-sounding songs can have powerful messages if you are listening intently. And awareness is the first step toward solving problems and changing situations, even broad sociocultural situations such as sexism, patriarchy, and the rape culture.

Take a look at this eye-opening link breaking down Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” lyrics through messages rape survivors have heard their rapists say to them (warning: potential trigger to survivors of rape or sexual assault):

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

– Kristen Martinez, M.Ed., Ed.S., LMHCA, NCC Therapist in Seattle

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