Because when I was a kid, I was singing songs that were not appropriate for a child of my age to sing. To this day, it’s boggles me how I even got away with singing songs about… well… sex. I didn’t know what they actually meant, of course. “Making love” probably meant “holding hands” to me at the time. But still, if I were a parent, I’d probably have a coronary if I heard my child singing along to the songs I sang to as a kid:
I Wanna Sex You Up by Color Me Badd – I still remember how I got to know Color Me Badd. I just transferred to my new school, and one of my new classmates was going on and on about how she was going to see this foreign band’s concert. We were in 2nd grade, so it was a BIG deal. I don’t remember if the song was just playing a lot on the radio, or if the said classmate, Martha, played it to us in class (unlikely, since that probably would’ve given the nuns in school a heart attack), but I Wanna Sex You Up became the song I associated with Color Me Badd. I even have a vague memory of singing along with my classmates to it. And while the song overall is pretty PG13 (the title is the most risqué of the lyrics already), it’s still too mature for eight year olds because… we were eight year olds. So I’m sorry Sister Gorretti. But it’s all Martha’s fault.
I’ll Make Love To You by Boyz II Men – Again, this is still pretty harmless stuff. It’s Boyz II Men, for chrissakes. But there’s still something very wrong when nine and seven year old girls sing the lines “Throw your clothes on the floor, I’m gonna take my clothes off, too” with gusto.
2 Become 1 by the Spice Girls – I’ve already had my classes about the human reproductive system by the time this song was even released, but I still didn’t get what this song was about (the sisters in my old school will probably take pride in that). Yes, I knew that it could be about sex. But I was giving the Spice Girls the benefit of the doubt. So it didn’t occur that lyrics so sweetly sang by Baby Spice, of all people, “Put it on, put it on”, she coos, was about a condom. It was probably a good thing that that just went over my and my other classmate’s heads, since we were still in grade school then and were too busy fighting about who got to be Posh Spice. In other words, too young to know what a condom is.
Too Close by Next – How I didn’t get what this one was about is again a testament to the strength (or weakness?) of my all-girls school education. I think this song was released even after I went through sex-ed in high school, and the real meaning of “You’re making it hard for me” still didn’t sink in. I’m not kidding when I say it took a few years before the real meaning of that line and “I feel a little poke coming through from you” became clear to me.
As shocked as I am that I didn’t get my mouth washed with soap (did you get threatened with that when you were a kid, too?) for singing the songs above, the songs these days are even worse. And I’m not even talking about songs from rappers. I’m talking about songs from, like, Katy Perry. I know there are far worse artists out there with infinitely more explicit lyrics, but the thing about Katy Perry is that her songs seem like innocent little pop ditties, when they’re really all about going “all the way tonight” with a guy because he said you were “pretty without any makeup on” and, worse, about blacking out and possibly sexually assaulted at a party. And don’t even get me started about Peacock (how in the world did that song even get recorded?).
So yeah, my kids will never listen to the radio until they’re, like, 18. Twenty-one if I can push it.