T Nation

A different kind of post about music

I’m not asking for workout music, posing musice, etc. This is a different question. I have an opportunity to work with teens who are overcoming family violence, abuse, addiction, and other things. I want to do a discussion group with them that will be interesting, and I thought it might be neat to listen to popular songs with strong messages and have the teens respond. That could be messages that are either horribly sick and upsetting (and make them confront why they are popular, despite the destructive message), or songs that are positive and insightful. Either way, what are some songs with messages that you think young people should try harder to understand? (Any genre).

Anything by Staind or Linkin Park. Read the lyric sheets. Very intense teenage issues on the new Staind CD.

Linkin park? Yeah, right. Look up “Anal cunt”. Songs: “Van full of retards”, “Your kid is deformed”, “Pepe the gay waiter”, “I got a job for sole purpose of sexually harassing women”… Album: “48 more reasons to hate us”. As good as it gets. :wink:

ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING by Bad Religion. The lead singer, Greg Graffin, is about to receive his PhD in Human Evolution from Cornell University. To put it lightly, he is incredibly intelligent and in tune with society, particularly with respect to younger people (especially with teens).

Check out POD’s album. Messages in their songs are directly related to teen and life issues. Linkin Park would also be a good option to bring some issues up.

pearl jam is another alternative

I thought about Linkin Park…the nihilistic expectation that nothing will work out. I also considered contrasting that Saliva, “Click/boom.”

Could try Sprung Monkey’s cd ‘Swirl’ Their other cd’s have messages too, but ‘Swirl’ seemed more geared towards life in general. One of the only bands I like that aren’t downtrodden.

wow, good cause. i admire your pursuit of a better future for todays youth. concerning the songs- damn near anything by korn- especially their old stuff. Jonathan Davis has some serious issues. sonds like ‘dead bodies’ are good starting points. abuse, self loating, anger and hatred are a common topic of many of korns songs. adema has some good ones, as well. ‘life is a struggle,’ ‘freaking out,’ and ‘skin’ could be good ones. definitely POD. ‘youth of a nation’ is a must on the list. good luck with the group, and keep us up to date on how things are going w/ it.

Two words: Bob Dylan. But, might not go over
so well with the young 'uns. His song ‘Hurricane’ might be interesting.

Rage Against the Machine is a more contemporary
group that has a lot of songs dealing with
political and social issues.

Failing that, there’s always ‘Taking Retards to
the Zoo’ and ‘Bitchin’ Camaro’ by the Dead

thought of something else. 2pac. that dead rapper. his older stuff is filled w/ hate, racism, stories of never knowing his father, i recall a line from one song going something like “picture me playing catch by myself, what a sorry sight.” even his newer stuff is filled w/ rebelious thought, and stories of suffering and triumph. just some more food for thought.

Henry Rollins has a song “Shine.” Its kinda old, mid-late 90"s I think. The basic message is to get off your ass and take chances to live your life. "No such thing as spare time…free time…down time, all you have is life time.

Anything under “Contemporary Christian Music” genre. You won’t need to dig and search through the pile of these other groups in the thread. Third Day, Newsboys, Petra, Delerious, Rebecca St. James would be more rock oriented. On the pop side, anything by Amy Grant, Micheal W. Smith, Zoegirl. These would be under the genre of CCM–Contemporary Christian Music. The fastest growing genre, since every is tiring of the “junkfood” music.

POD gives a good contrast to the messages of similar styles from other bands. The trouble I have with Korn is that Davis has become every bit as abusive, vicious, and predatory as the people who’s behavior he complains about, with no variance in the lyrical messages (ENOUGH already, man!). Tupak…I’ll look into that. I don’t know the sequence of his music, but a sample of lyrics I browsed today was very poor, unimpressive…the usual gangsta stereotypes about bud, bitches, etc. (what is it with that??) Another unusual contrast can be made between Eminem and Tori Amos, both of whom have released versions of “97 Bonnie and Clyde,” and some selections by U2 (but did you all know that many teens today don’t even know U2? I played two of their hits, “Still Haven’t Found” and “One,” and they were clueless. “U2? Aren’t they an old band?”) I suppose if it’s not Linkin Bizkit Slipkorn, it’s getting missed.

Here is a song with a strong message from a band most people probably haven’t heard of…“Question Everything” by Eight Stops Seven. Awesome song. Also, “Duck and Run”, “Loser”, “Be Like That”, and “Life of my Own” by 3 Doors Down. Solid songs. Check them out.

“Shine” by Henry Rollins is far and away the best pick. From the “weight” album. The CD looks like a 45lb olympic plate.
“I got no time for drug addiction, no time for smoke and booze, too strong for a shortened life span, I got no time to loose”

“Keep ya head up” “Brenda’s got a baby” “Changes” “Dear Mama” “Wonder Why they Call you Bitch” “Still I Rise” “Baby don’t Cry” and “Nothin to Lose” hell just about any song of his can be analyzed for its content. Except for things like “California Love” and “How do you Want it?” great songs, but more for fun. :slight_smile:

Also, “So Many Tears” as well as “Me against the World” are also great songs by Tupac. Aside from that, the study of his lyrics and poetry is actually a course at UC Berkely. How many other performers have their work analyzed in a college course? He was a lyrical genius.

yeah, a lot of his stuff is typical gangsta crap. i make money, i do honeys, i smoke bud… all the usual stuff. but he does have some very interesting songs. let me think… “R U still down” from the album titled the same, disc 1. about friendship and honor, being true to yourself no matter what. disc 2 of the same album, track 3, “hold on, stay strong,” self explanatory. track 8 on the Makevelli album, ‘7 day theory.’ i believe it is called ‘crazy.’ speaks of learning things the hard way, remembering the good things taught by his mother, honoring her. album “all eyes on me,” disc 1, track 8 ‘last ones left.’ pain and suffering. maybe a stretch. track 10 ‘only God can judge me,’ a little heavy during the verses w/ the gangsta stuff, but the refrain is beautiful. track 13, ‘i aint mad at ya,’ about living life, remembering the good and bad, and trying to learn from both. disc 2, track 4, ‘wonder why they call you bitch,’ more towards the females if you have any in the group. about being true to yourself and not sacrificing yourself and your honor and pride for anything. ‘smile,’ obviously. on a scarface album, however, i only have the single. “who do you believe in,” dont know the album, good song. believe in God, and you can succeed, thru pain, trials and tribulations. believe and stay strong. album “still I rise,” song titled the same, self explanatory. track 4 on that album, “baby dont cry,” perhaps geared more toward women, but still good message. album “2pacalypse now,” track 13, ‘part time mother.’ hear me out on the next 2, cuz they may seem a little crazy… Insane clown posse, album “Great Melinko,” final track. some goofy lyrics, typical ICP. but kind of a strange meassage… try reading the lyrics and finding the meaning. i may be the only crazy mofo on the planet that can find meaning in an ICP song, but i do in this one. “we all gonna die, but im not gonna fry. Even though most never try, im not gonna let this pass me by” another ICP, album “Fabulous jekkel brothers.” final track, forget the name. about futility and hopelessness… everything has been done, what is there left for me? again, maybe a stretch. but it has meaning for me. also, a few Disturbed songs. the song ‘Fear’ is a good one. but almost any of them are pretty damn rage inspired. just a little more food for thought.

Let’s see. “Sex Type thing” by Stone Temple Pilots is a good song about date rape. It’s so good it almost makes you want to date rape. Rush has quite a few good albums on the topic. I am thinking “Presto” and “Signals” in particular. I do have to agree though…Anal Cunt is definately the best and most direct music on the planet… the best part is thier longest song is 20 seconds. My personal favorite is “I wrote a thank-you letter to the guy who Raped you”…The sentiment just brings a tear to my eye. It’s so touching!