Saturday 16 December 2017

Songs that they really shouldn't sing along to

Wednesday: I had an awkward conversation with the young lad today about what it means to 'get lucky'.

Like most children his age he enjoys singing along to the songs that he hears coming from the car radio as it helps to ease the monotony of a lengthy journey.

However, recently I find that the lyrics accompanying the tunes that have made the 'hit parade' (excuse the Neolithic expression) are becoming increasingly inappropriate for the ears of younger children.

Explaining such phrases as Daft Punk's 'staying up all night to get lucky' to a five-year-old is an unwanted task for any dad, especially when it leads to me telling a white lie about a man wishing he could win a pot of gold when he is eventually summoned to appear on Winning Streak, which airs late at night. It was the best I could come up with on the spot.

You may argue that I could censor the material that floats above his little lobes and towards his delicate drums, but that is hardly ideal for the nurturing of his creative juices. Besides, there is only so many times a chap can listen to Puff the Magic Dragon and the Grand Old Duke of York before he wants to take a hammer to the nearest speaker.

There are other offenders too. Bruno Mars, with his lyric in 'Locked Out of Heaven' which alludes to a woman's impressive love-making skills has created an eyebrow-raiser for all the family, as well as arguably the song of the summer for 2013 – Blurred Lines – in which the artist refers in a derogatory fashion to a particular person being the most attractive lady in the room (insert the words hot and something that rhymes with witch and ditch for enlightenment). And there's worse – but I don't have the space here to elaborate.

Times, indeed, have changed. Twenty years ago this summer the Elvis classic 'Can't Help Falling in Love With You' was reworked by UB40 and it topped the charts for a few weeks, followed by Gabrielle's luvvy-duvvy ballad 'Dreams', and it feels like it was a far more innocent time.

For the moment, then, I'll continue to let him listen to what plays on the radio with the odd dip and surge in volume, should I be prepared for what's coming next on the lyric-front.

Worringly, I can now be classified as a prude, or certainly more prudish than I used to be when I strutted about the place as a teenager encouraging my female friends to 'wiggle it, just a little bit' and thought it was the most hilarious thing I had ever heard. Though at the time I had no idea what they were supposed to be wiggling. A ponytail, perhaps.

Friday: A work colleague and I used to talk mainly about two things during our stroll into the office – football and horse racing. Nowadays, and with a pair of little nippers each, our topics of conversation have changed significantly. Today, for example, we were not discussing the action from the Confederations Cup, but the age old conundrum that is potty training, and the record number of times we have taken an offspring for a toilet break during any one day.

The poor younger lad is going through the learning the process at the moment, and he deserves a medal for the patience that he has been showing.

Every fifteen minutes, I, or the good woman, have been interrupting him doing whatever it is he has been doing to see if he wants an escort to the little boys' room, until eventually he threw his head in his hands and declared that he is 'all weed out'.

His grandfather, noticing the commotion, suggested that we need to stop treating him like a watering can, and he'll pick it up soon enough.

Coming from a man that has been there and done that, I told the good woman that we should probably take his advice; I added that he certainly appeared to have got it right when it came to training her.

It was then that she looked at me, inhaled deeply and for once, simply had no reply.

Wexford People

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