Before I start, I should confess that I’m a feminist. Now, not one of those bra-burning man hating ones, just one of those normal ones who believes that men and women should be treated as equals, and who wants to strangle those who come out with “Back in the kitchen” jokes.
E is now three and a half months old. He’s become a cool little dude who smiles, seems to know who we are, and gives attitude if he can’t get his own way. I’ve written before about how he seems to connect with music that I play him, which I found pretty cool. It’s become a pretty regular thing with me and him. Most days, he’ll be down on the playmat or in his bouncer, I’ll stick on Spotify and he’ll smile up at me or grunt dependant on the song playing. Occasionally we’ll even add a bit of a boogie in there. I’m fairly sure our neighbours across the road think I’ve lost it, between my daytime dancing and the made-up songs to the tunes of nursery rhymes that regularly get belted out. Anything to stop him from crying.
He seems to have honed quite the musical taste. U2 is out, Lana del Ray is in. Bit of a penchant for Dolly Parton. And then. There’s Robin Thicke, and that ear worm of a song, Blurred Lines. Known for its misogyny, and its uproar of last year, probably not the most appropriate of songs for a 14 week old. But he loves it. It came on as part of a random playlist one day when he was in a particularly cranky mood and my child changed into this happy smiling chap. Clearly a “lad” already. It seems that there is something in the melody (because I seriously doubt he understands the underlying sexism in the lyrics) that entices him.
Now, I realise that there are indeed blurred lines as to what way I could approach this. I’m not utterly opposed to the song, despite my feminist confession above I actually did find it quite catchy and while yes agreeing that it did make the singer out to be a total creep, it did make it onto some of my playlists last Summer. That said, the lyrics aren’t exactly words I want imprinted onto my tiny boys brain. But it makes him laugh and smile, and according to Google and other friends of mine with access to tiny babies, he is NOT the only one.
So I went looking for sanitised versions of lyrics with the same melody. I’ve even written my own, though “You know you wanna sleep” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Each time it comes on I feel like its this decades version of that scene in Friends where Ross and Rachel sing “Baby Got Back” to Emma. The only versions I’ve found online change the melody and it doesn’t have the same effect, so the poor child has to deal with me trying to think of lyrics to replace the worst of them.
Anybody else had the predicament of inappropriate content adding to their childs happiness, and any suggestions how to fix it? Answers on a post card, please.