The Song Test
Plato said in his Republic, “give me the songs of a nation and I care not who writes its laws“.
I have to say I agree. In my small experience I have seen that it is not so much what is legislated but what is celebrated that reveals the values by which a persons lives. As I contemplated this I realized that I could get a window into the soul of a nation by looking at what was the number one selling single. The results surprised me.
The number one song back in 2008 was Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl“. The song is a narrative of how a girl has too much to drink and experiments in a homosexual action – she kisses another girl. In the chorus Perry tells us that just because she kissed another girl doesn’t mean that she is in love. In her response she says… “No, I don’t even know your name, It doesn’t matter, You’re my experimental game“. I encourage you to look up the rest of the lyrics of the song. What conclusion are we lead to draw about the underlining values of this nation?
I am not a grump, I just want to know what’s really going on. Where are we really at? The first part of a godly relationship is listening and I want to relate to this generation, so I have to listen to what they have to say; and it’s not all bad!
Take for instance Sam Sparro’s 2008 “Black and Gold”. Firstly, I need to tell you that in Australia Black and Gold is a budget store brand. I don’t have a complete picture of Sam’s spiritual health, that’s not the point; what does he have to say?
“cause if you’re not really here, then the stars don’t even matter, now I’m filled to the top with fear, but it’s all just a bunch of matter“. Why is it that I find myself drawn into this struggle for meaning? Later in the song his spells out the contradiction in the reality he finds himself in… “If vision is the only validation, then most of my life isn’t real“. When I hear these lyrics and try to decipher the message I have something to say to him. I can answer an honest question when asked. I can’t answer insatiable hedonism, only the Lord can break through to reveal real need.
So let’s listen, it’s all this generation wants.