One evening last week, I was working to meet a self-imposed deadline and decided to give myself a boost with some tunes. I began with Mamalode’s Glee Volume 1. I discovered Glee a little later than most, but became a HUGE fan instantly. Brought my kids into the fold and it became a weekly date with my iPad. When we roped in my husband the first time, he was rather astonished and felt the material was far too adult for our then 8-year old and 11-year old. I, however, felt the writers tackled teen social issues with aplomb. In fact, it generated some great conversation. Dad was overruled. And Glee music, oh, the music…I could never give that up.
After a couple rounds of Glee, I transitioned to the F Bomb playlist. This list was replete with all of the songs my kids and their friends are listening too—Thrift Shop, Starships, Fuckin Problem, Fuckin’ Perfect. Turns out the word FUCK is a sure fire way into the American Top 40.
Now, I consider myself a pretty liberal parent, but I do discourage my kids from using cuss words—even if I drop them every now and again in times of need. But I am also not going to make the futile attempt to limit their exposure to these songs. Frankly, I am not even sure that’s possible. And when they beg me to buy songs for their individual music players, I usually succumb (unless, of course, the swearing is exacerbated by lousy talent).
But at the end of Mamalode’s F Bomb playlist, there was an unexpected gem—English singer Lilly Allen’s f***you. In fact, it was so oddly delightful and sing-a-long friendly I listened to it several times and downloaded it to my iPod for the family road trip. True story.
The first time I queued it up, the kids listened quietly, buckled up in the back seat, clearly uncertain about their mother’s fondness for a song featuring the F word. The second time, they ventured to recite some of the lyrics, especially of course, the F word parts, eliciting giggles and smiles. We played that song numerous times over the weekend. We laughed, let our hair down, sang along and cussed. Even dad. And for the first time, they had permission to swear.