So last year when I was back home visiting, I was driving my sister and her kids someplace and a Miley Cyrus song came on the radio. You would have thought that all holy hell was breaking loose in the scramble to change the station. When things finally settled down, I was able to ask her, ”So why no Miley?”
“I just don’t want them to grow up thinking she’s okay. I don’t want them to be influenced by her and her choices.”
“They’re like 4 and 7, do they even know enough to make a judgement call about musical taste?” I tentatively asked.
“Matt, they’re 6 and 9 now, number one. And two, you’re not a parent, you really wouldn’t get it.”
Well, she’s right. I don’t get it. I’m 35; from what I can remember there really wasn’t a genre of music specifically for kids when I was little. Then again I was raised by a single father who thought that Dallas and Miami Vice were okay for a six year old to watch. Back to my story.
Somehow or other my sister managed to find a 90s music station on the satellite radio that was in my rental. At the next light I realize the kids are sitting in the back seat singing along to the radio. What happens to be playing? Hole. Specifically “Violet” from their tour de force album “Live Through This”. This is the point where I turn to my sister with eyebrow raised and ask, ”So how do they know the words to this song?”
“It just is.”
“So the queen of bad choices is okay, but somehow Miley isn’t?”
“I won’t let them listen to Britney either. She’s a bad influence.”
“I love you, but you know those are fighting words. I would put you out of this car, but the last thing I need is your daughter telling someone I kidnapped her.”
“That’s only happened twice and you gotta admit it was funny.”
“It was funny, Uncle Matty!”
“No it really wasn’t, hon, y’all go back to singing Pearl Jam or doing whatever y’all are doing. Do these two even know what ‘Jeremy’ is about? Why do they know this music?”
“Because I am raising them right.”
My question for all you parents is: At what point do you let your children listen to the music of your youth? When is Courtney Love okay? For that matter, when is “Slow Ride” by Foghat okay for a sing a long?