123, 123 Drink!

After I hit repeat on ‘Sights’ and ‘Strong’ by London Grammar for the second time, my husband asked me, ‘Why do you like these songs so much? What do they do for you? What are they about?’

I knew he didn’t share the love. ‘Well , ‘Sights’ is about your fears, and keeping them within your sight because you have to know what you would do if you were to face them, and ‘Strong’ is about many things. The fact that we see things that are wrong, yet we stare at them and turn a blind eye. And we speak about these things at length and pretend that we are strong enough to make a change but we don’t. And we don’t heed the signs even though they are glaring. But why don’t we? Because if a lion roars, for example, wouldn’t you listen? ‘

‘Woooah!’ he cut me off. ‘These songs are just too heavy and way -too -complicated. Geez, what ever happened to the times when songs used to say ‘When a man loves a woman, can’t keep his mind on nothing else? – Back then you knew exactly what a song meant.’

‘True’, I laughed. ‘But this is a different type of song. These alternative songs challenge you to think outside the box. They are poetic, and the sound is whimsical. They draw you in and make you search yourself for interpretation’ I defended. ‘I like that’.

‘Well,’ Kelci butted in, ‘I like them too. Cause mummy plays them so much, that they’ve gotten stuck in my head. BUT, you’re right dad, pop songs are much simpler to understand. Like ‘I’m so Fancy’, and ‘It’s all about the base, ‘bout that base, no trebble…’

I shook my head. I was outnumbered. But as they changed the genre of music to 2014 Pop, ‘Chandelier’ by Sia came on. They high fived and started to sing. Little did they know, that this, was actually the universe, helping me to prove my point.

You see, the lyrics to Chandelier are far from poetic. The chorus is simple and catchy and something about it really did make me want to fly… to escape; which is exactly what is intended. But not in a positive way.

Stay with me.

I used to sing ‘Chandelier’ all the time, (Well the chorus). But then I read the lyrics and I immediately wanted to ‘unlike’ it. It was an anthem for alcoholics and young drug addicts. How could I enjoy a song about a self-professed drunk who purposely drinks to the point of oblivion!

‘Party girls don’t get hurt
Can’t feel anything, when will I learn
I push it down, push it down

I’m the one “for a good time call”
Phone’s blowin’ up, they’re ringin’ my doorbell,
I feel the love, feel the love
… 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink, I Throw ‘em back, till I lose count
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist … But I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight… cause I’m just holding on for tonight’

This was a song that I liked. I used to hit repeat on it too. This was a song I sang with my daughter. All the time. Was this subliminal brain wash? Was/is she internalizing these lyrics?

How about ‘Fancy’ by Iggy Azalea. We sing that one all the time too – Well, the chorus. The verses were too fast for me. So I read them.

‘ Let’s get drunk on the mini bar…
…I’m still in the Murda Bizness
I could hold you down, like I’m givin’ lessons in physics (right, right)
You should want a bad bitch like this (huh?)
Drop it low and pick it up just like this (yeah)
Cup of Ace, cup of Goose, cup of Cris
High heels, somethin’ worth a half a ticket on my wrist
Takin’ all the liquor straight, never chase that (never)’

So that was the end of that one. My daughter had no idea what ‘Ace’ and ‘Goose’ and ‘Cris’ were. Or what it means to take all that liquor straight and never chase. She is barely 12. And these songs are mainstream. They are not cult rap or taboo, or alternative. They are ‘POP-ULAR’.

I’ve realized though, that it is all marketing. Even open-minded moms like you and me are being scammed, because the deceptive beats and hooks draw us in, and get stuck in our heads.

Like another one of my favorites ‘We are young’ by Fun –

‘Give me a second, I need to get my story straight
My friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State
My lover she’s been waiting for me, just across the bar….. So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home…
Tonight, we are young, so let’s set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun.
…I just thought maybe we could find new ways to fall apart… So let’s raise a toast
‘Cause I found someone to carry me home,
Tonight, we are young, so lets set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun.’

The Chorus, on its own, outside of the context of the song, can be an anthem. And I actually had it on my ‘non gospel inspirational’ playlist – until I read the lyrics. I had to be careful which songs I celebrated, and what I attracted to myself.

I don’t want my daughter thinking that she can set the world on fire, by finding new ways to fall apart. Or that she can throw back brand name drinks till she loses count, because that is a sure way to feel carefree and uninhibited. 

Wouldn’t it be better instead, to create music that can encourage our children to create days so filled with passion and promise that they can’t wait to exist tomorrow? To feel and breathe the fullness and the aliveness and of the world, instead of drinking themselves to an infused state of altered oblivion? Unfortunately songs like Firework, Unwritten, Stronger and Born This Way, are like orange juice in a pub. A few people might like it, but it’s difficult to get appreciated for its substance in the midst of all that alcohol. It is merely, a chaser.

Now, sadly, our children are growing up in a world where many of those who will be in a position of influence, are jumping right out of the pages of these deceptive song lyrics. For most of these young professionals, it is not just a phase anymore. It is a way of life. And it has becomes dangerously unhealthy. Sometimes morbidly so. 

It is scary, to witness the ‘Chandelier’ generation ‘throw em back’ till they lose count, smoke into oblivion or sniff until they pass out, as they desperately try escape from a world that, (more often than not) they created themselves. 

The solution. I am not so sure. But I know we can all pitch in. Show our children more positive ways of finding joy and happiness. Have clean family fun. One act of random kindness at a time can have a ripple effect. Do your best to be a source of encouragement and light to those you meet. It will be a better day  for all of us if you become their Grey Goose.

 I can’t demonize alcohol. It has its place. (Which is not in your liver in over excessive quantities). And while I know that it is extremely difficult to naturally duplicate the ultimate uninhibited feeling of bliss brought about by a drug induced state, I also know that being at peace with who you are, will bring about a natural sense of calm, which will help you radiate joy and love. When you reside in this space of contentment, there is no desire for escape. We can swing from the Chandelier as the phrase was originally intended.


Life is short… 123, 123 drink, drink the love. Feel the love. Spread the love, till you lose count.





  • Share/Bookmark
Comments ( 0 )

Leave Your Response

* Name, Email, Comment are Required

Current ye@r *