Jackson, Divine, Frank, Estansialo 1

Kaitlyn Divine, Christa Jackson, Daniel Frank, Ramon Estanislao
Ms. Larson
English 3, Period 2
5 February 2015

Music Lyrics Are Bad For Child Development

“If I were you I’d put that away. See, you’re just wasted and thinking ‘bout the past
again. Darling, you’ll be okay”. These lyrics from “Hold On Till May” by Pierce the Veil are so
inspiring to teenagers and young adults. These lyrics give out a great message by saying that
when people are sad they should just push down the feeling of sadness because in the end it will
be okay. There is an argument that music is bad for children development because people are not
looking -at the bigger picture or meaning. This paper will address music’s great messages, good
vibes, and how it can take people’s minds off the bad and depressing things. This paper will
address that not all music is bad. There are songs like “Lean On Me” and “Unbreakable” that are
very inspirational and can make a person’s day a lot better. Lyrics of popular music are not
harmful to children’s development although some people might argue that music is harmful.
Some people argue that music goes too far just to get more people to listen to explicit music.
There have been numerous arguments that in some cases there are songs that should not be heard
by young children. Music now and days is bad for children’s development its offensive,
misogynistic, and vulgar.
One reason on how music is bad for kids today is that its offensive. In the article
“Lil Wayne: Is Anything sacred to him?” by Rahiel Tesfamariam states that Lil Wayne goes too
far in his musical lyrics. In one of his lyrics “beat that [expletive] up like Emmett Till”.

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Numerous arguments broke out one of Till’s cousins Airickca Gordon Taylor comments ‘“We
found it dishonorable to his name and what his death has meant to us as a people and as a
culture. It was offensive not only to us, but to our ancestors”. The reader can see that Wayne’s
lyrics have led him to discriminating not only Emmett Till and his family, but a whole culture.
His lyrics not only made him look bad, but if children heard of this than most children won’t
really respect others and what their ancestors have sacrificed for them. Another way music goes
too far is on the radio, a woman takes her child to her school every day and listens to the radio
every morning. The women had to turn off the radio because of vulgar sayings. She later said, “if
i could i would tell them [the singers/rappers] to stop using negative vulgar words, because you
know kids look up to them and their songs”. This came from an adult that says the music is too
vulgar. That is the difference between an adult and a child the adult can admit that its vulgar but
the child won't and they will keep listening to the song and it affects them.
Another piece on how music lyrics are bad is that they are vulgar. One way they are
vulgar would be in Mark Guarino’s article “ Was Chicago Rapper Inspiration for ‘Bored’ Killing
in Oklahoma?” This article describes how Oklahoma teenager, James Edwards is accused for the
random killing of an Australian baseball player, Christopher Lane. Edwards was arrested for
“bored” killing, police have investigated more about Edwards and saw that “violent lyrics were
found on Edward’s Twitter feed”. Police also found that Edwards is a huge fan of Chicago rapper
Chief Keef and this led to assume that his lyrics led to the killing. Keef is also linked to being
part of the Black Disciples a notorious gang in Chicago, and police assumed that Keef’s lyrics
led James Edwards to kill. Guarino also comments, “So now you have kids growing up listening
to the music and feeling that the music is expressing who they are as young African-American
males. This is bigger than participating in a gang”. The reader can see that music is vulgar

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because it can lead to someone killing someone or in this case it leads young children to join
gangs. Another point would be talking about the popular band falling in reverse and their song
“pick up the phone”. It talks about the singer beating up his girlfriend because she simply won’t
pick up her phone. to an adolescent this would be confusing and that person would think that that
was okay since his favored singer did it. The lyric of the song “Pick Up the Phone” that was
referred to is, “Pick yourself up, up off the floor. Wipe the tears from off your face because
the cops are knocking on the door. They're gonna wanna know what's up! Better tell them
that you fell. 'Cause when they see the bruises on my face they're probably taking both of
us to jail”. this states that he beats his girlfriend so he tells her to cover it up and fake it.
This would set a demonstration for younger kids to be violent towards their girlfriends.

The last piece of evidence is that music nowadays is misogynistic to women. Mark
Joseph’s article “The Men Behind the ‘Wrecking Ball’” discusses how women’s music videos
are portrayed for sexuality and what women want in their videos. One musician states that "she
didn't want to do the video cause it was explicit but her manager said it was too late". Most
womens’ videos nowadays are basically men who "persuaded female singers to express their
desires". Most videos today criticize women on what only a man sees but never the perspective
of what the woman sees. It is mostly an industry where men have control over women and the
[women] can not really express what they want. The reader can see that this is bad for the
development of children because if they saw this they would have a different perspective over
women. Michael Rich, director of the center on media and child health at Harvard University
says, “...songs with lyrics that objectify women, or praise men for their voracious sexual appetite
are more likely to become sexually active in their youth”. Children that are constantly listening
to this music become sexually active quicker. So this music has an affect on children.
u8ki9l

Jackson, Divine, Frank, Estansialo 4

“If I were you I’d put that away. See, you’re just wasted and thinking ‘bout the past
again. Darling, you’ll be okay”. These lyrics from “Hold On Till May” by Pierce the Veil are so
inspiring to teenagers and young adults. These lyrics give out a great message by saying that
when people are sad they should just push down the feeling of sadness because in the end it will
be okay. There is an argument that music is bad for children development because people are not
looking -at the bigger picture or meaning. This paper will address music’s great messages, good
vibes, and how it can take people’s minds off the bad and depressing things. This paper will
address that not all music is bad. There are songs like “Lean On Me” and “Unbreakable” that are
very inspirational and can make a person’s day a lot better. Lyrics of popular music are not
harmful to children’s development although some people might argue that music is harmful.
benefits and have a positive effect on children's development. It has been proven that it is healthy
to listen to positive music.
The last reason that shows music isn’t harmful to children's development is a lot of music
has a positive message. In the article “Positive lyrics can hit home with grumpy teenagers study
says” by The Guardian it says “After years of studies purporting to show the harmful effects of
young people listening to songs with the violent or misogynistic themes, a psychologist has
concluded that music containing a positive message has a beneficial i mpact on listeners”(11).
Many songs made have a good message in them and listening to these types of songs are proven
to have a good impact on the listener. That article also states that, “Loud music fills the room for
hours at a time...This routine might actually make your child more caring and socially
responsible”(11). There have been studies that show listening to music can have benefits and
have a positive effect on children's development. It has been proven that it is healthy to listen to
positive music. A lot of “acceptable” music for children have the same meaning; just using

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different words. Thembi Ford explains that “society tends to have an easier time wagging the bad
behavior finger… because hip hop artists are usually proud of their misogyny while filmmakers
and other musicians tend to smirk and claim to simply be reflecting reality with their work”. No
one really sees that just because other artists have a different way of wording the songs, that
maybe they have a great message behind it.
Another great thing about music for children development is that music does send great
vibes to the brain. An article called, “Kids Addicted to Metal? Don’t Fret” by Michael Gougis
displayed how many young teenagers see music in a very positive way. Gougis explains how a
teacher, “Weinstein teaches a course called the Sociology of Rock Music”. Gougis explains that
Weinstein has studied, the “loud, fast, often - crude” music called heavy metal for more than a
decade. Gougis mentions that Weinstein believes that “most critics are unfamiliar with the art
form and take it too literally”. This demonstrates that even a person who teaches a course on
matters of the human mind thinks that there is no problem with “crude” music and children. This
proves that people nowadays are taking the music too literally and not looking past the crudeness
of the music. Gougis writes of Weinstein for the majority of the article on how Weinstein has
analyzed that the music means a lot to the children. Weinstein said that “‘the fans couldn’t
defend themselves. No one listened to them. [She] saw [herself] as someone who both
understood the music, the fans, the bands, and someone who was articulate’”. Weinstein said, “‘It
wasn’t a defense as much as an analysis’”. This quote explains that Weinstein is not so much
defending the music as realizing how important it is to the listeners. Another example of this
would be in the article, “I Listened to Katy Perry and I Liked it” by The National Post when it
says “Their songs are fun. They make me want to sing along...They make me feel what i felt
when the spice girls dominated the world when i was in fifth grade. That feeling was

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girlpower”(a14). Music can bring back memories of good times that happened in peoples’ lives
and can make people less stressed about events that are happening. In addition, an example
proving that music takes people’s minds off of the bad is in the same article it stated that “these
two artists devote their lyrics to the youthful indiscretion that is often absent from the music I
normally listen to. It’s not about musical composition, lyrics that make me want to cry, or a
groundbreaking technique. It’s about laughing, cupcakes, and pillow fights” (a14). Music is often
used as a way to relax and have fun. The effects that music have on people can bring them joy.
Furthermore, not all music is bad. There is actually a lot of music that can take your mind
off of the negative things and make people have a positive outlook on life while they listen. In
the article, “Evangelists Thrive On Youth Appeal, And A Catchy Beat” by Michael Paulson,
Paulson explains that since the music at the church takes everyone away from their everyday life
and into the music it has become so popular. According to the article the music at the church has
a “vast reach”. Approximately 100,000 people are in the pews at that church just for the music.
People who are against music do not realize that the “bad” music is not the only music around.
This church has “[ten] million followers on social media” due to their fantastic music. It’s
“[sixteen] million [albums] sold with it’s songs popping up in churches from Uzbekistan to
Papua New Guinea”. This shows the music that people actually adore is getting so popular that it
is reaching all across the world. Another point to be made is that if all music is so bad, then we
would not see people dancing to it and having a great time with it all the time. Paulson ends the
article saying that, “[it’s] songs, with a folk rock sound and simple, accessible lyrics, pervade the
Christian charts and have transformed the Christian songbook”. This quote illustrates thats what
music used to be known and judged as “hard rock” is now being used in churches to bring out
the message of God.

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it was discussed that music lyrics have a bad influence on children. This is significant to
the world because it lets the world see know that music gives out negative messages on children
and more of it really is not good for a child's development. In this essay, it was discussed that
music does not have a negative effect on child development. This is significant to the world
because it lets the world know that not all music is bad and to not slander the music when the
world has no idea what it is about and does not look at the deeper meaning of it. The argument of
whether music is bad for children’s development is significant because everybody should have
the freedom to use music to express themselves because music has been proven to have a lot of
benefits that don’t harm childrens development.

Works Cited
“Lil Wayne: Is Anything Sacred to Him?” sirs. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. SIRS Issues
Researcher. Web. 28 Jan. 2015.
“The Men Behind The ‘Wrecking Ball.’” sirs. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. SIRS Issues
Researcher. Web. 28 Jan. 2015.
“Was Chicago Rapper Inspiration For ‘Bored’ Killing In Oklahoma.” SIRS Issues
Researcher. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.
Annoldenburg. “When Stars Speak Do We Listen.” SIRS. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. SIRS
Issues Researcher. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

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Lai, Jodi. “I Listened To Katy Perry And I Liked It.” SIRS. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. SIRS
Issues Researcher. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.
Walker, Peter. “Positive Lyrics Can Hit Home With Grumpy Teenagers Study Says.”
SIRS. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

Paulson, Amanda. "Misogyny--Set to Music--May Alter Teen Behavior." Christian
Science Monitor 8 Aug. 2008: n. pag. Print.
Boyd, Alesha Wialliams. "Families Look To Toon Out Explicit Lyrics In Music."
Asbury Park Press [New Jersey] 1 Apr. 2013: n. pag. Print.
AZlyrics.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2015. <http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/
fallinginreverse/pickupthephone.html>.

Ford, Thembi. “Hip - Hop Objectifies Women, but So Does Society.” Indian Express: n.
pag. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.
Gougis, Michael. “Kids Addicted to Metal? Don’t Fret.” Gazette: n. pag. SIRS Issues
Researcher. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.
Paulson, Michael. “Evangelists Thrive on Youth Appeal, and a Catchy Beat.” International New
York Times: n. pag. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.
“Pierce the Veil Lyrics: Hold On Till May.” MetroLyrics. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
<http://www.metrolyrics.com/hold-on-till-may-lyrics-pierce-the-veil.html>.