About once a week I pack up my “office” and work at the neighborhood coffee shop. A change of scenery, a little social interaction and a great latte are sometimes just what I need to knock down my to do list. After a few minutes of chat, I usually lock in some music and let my headphones act as a “do not disturb” sign. Last week, instead of picking something from my playlist or the new YLO box, I opened up Spotify and let their “Top Tracks” playlist roll.
An eye (ear) opening experience
If you don’t already, I’d suggest you do this once in a while. It’s a good way to get a 30,000 foot view of what your students are hearing every day — not just the one or two hits-of-the-moment that you can’t avoid. But be warned, many of these songs earned their “explicit” label. This is not a playlist your church secretary is going to be thrilled to hear. You’ll want to have your headphones on, or be in your office with the door closed.
Here are a few songs I heard. I’ve put links to the lyrics on all of these and given you an excerpt for some. And in a few places I’ve offered some commentary … ’cause I just can’t help myself.
Some Nights by Fun.
I really like the sound of Fun. But the lyrics run along the soul-searching-what-am-I-here-for theme of so many other songs. Good news is, we have an answer for the question.
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know anymore…
Rack City by Tyga
If you make it through the first verse of this one, you can skip the rest … just know the song is that x10.
What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction
Yes, I know, it’s boy-band pop. But what a great way to start a discussion about self-esteem with a group of middle school girls.
Young, Wild & Free by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa feat. Bruno Mars
Heads up. It’s another sing-along-party-song. Do all your kids spend their weekends this way? Probably not (but some may). Do all your kids know the words to this song? Probably so (and they’re singing with gusto).
So what we get drunk?
So what we smoke weed?
We’re just having fun
We don’t care who sees
So what we go out?
That’s how its supposed to be
Living young and wild and free
If you want to check out these specific songs, I created a playlist on Spotify. Or do what I did and just check out their “Top Lists” playlist.
Do I even need to say this?
Just to go on the record, I’m not condoning the lyrics of these songs. And I don’t make the choice to listen to songs like “Rack City” lightly. But I know I can’t say “I get it” unless I really understand what “it” is.
There are a few more songs I listened to that I’ll talk about in another post. If you’re like me, you can only handle so much of this at one time.