May 4, 2008

Songs about Bears and Birds

Filed under: Musical Musing,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:47 pm

So the other day I was looking at the MP3’s on and was on the page for the Barenaked Ladies. Among their usual songs and all I spotted a song called “The Other Day I Met a Bear”. I listened to the 30 second sample and it seemed to be a song about a bear, sung by that same voice that sings about breaking into apartments and liking sushi because it’s never touched a frying pan. Then I looked to the side and saw the name of the album it’s from: For the Kids.

A few months back, was listening to DC101 and Roche was doing this thing he does every day at 5:30pm where he plays a song that you rarely if ever hear on the radio anymore but used to be played a lot. That day, the song was “Birdhouse in Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants. Awesome song, btw. After it’s done, he mentions that TMBG was doing children’s songs now, adding the rather snide remark “yeah, because Birdhouse in Your Soul is totally adult as it is”.

Of course. If it’s not about the same old sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll theme, then there’s something wrong with the song, something immature about it. I mean, look at the classic “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by the Beatles. If obvious drug themes weren’t obvious, that’d be dismissed as just some children’s song, just as “Puff the Magic Dragon” is, even though for both songs, the respective artists swear up and down they aren’t about drugs.

It’s funny when you see the extent to which adults feel they just have to distance themselves from children. Songs about bears or birds or dragons? Well, there must be some underlying theme about sex or drugs, right? No? Then screw that, that’s kids’ stuff!

They Might Be Giants are quite awesome, and may not get their songs on the radio much if ever these days, but they’re still making new stuff. But why no radio play? Well, they keep singing songs about Belgian painters and worm doctors and President James Polk and purple toupees and how Constantinople is now Istanbul (even if a cover). Basically, nothing your typical mainstream respectable adult would want to listen to. They won’t allow themselves to, for it is not mature enough, not depressing enough. Plenty of adults do like TMBG, but they’re just passed off as being geeks. To the “normal” adult, if it’s not depressing or sexual or drug-related or anything in between, it’s for children and therefore inferior.

Because most adults would be mortified if their friends knew them to be listening to songs with less-than-adult themes, for they’d be seen as nerdy and immature and the target of mockery over it. Why? Because adults are by and large very insecure about themselves. It is for this reason, too, that they look down on youth and support anti-youth sentiment; it makes them feel better than someone. I mean, if an adult felt secure about himself, he wouldn’t be so offended by the idea of a 16-year-old being allowed to vote and calling him by his first name, and if he likes TMBG, he wouldn’t be afraid to admit it. But, instead, these miserable insecure adults must remain in their safe zone by listening to songs about pain and drugs and sex and youthful hijinks that they can look down their nose at.

And, of course, every single one of these adult behaviors are things they are quick to peg as being typical of adolescents.


  1. So we’ve moved from Trix to songs about bears. To hell with the age of consent!

    Comment by Agnapostate — May 5, 2008 @ 6:50 pm

  2. STFU, Julian

    Comment by Anduwaithe — May 5, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

  3. Yes, we know. Age of consent should be lowered. Age of consent is unjust. Age of consent is a youth rights issue. Age of consent. Age of consent. Age of consent.

    Broken record.


    Comment by Adamantaimai — May 5, 2008 @ 10:00 pm

  4. I would take it to Spell NYRA if she hadn’t banned me. :p

    Comment by Agnapostate — May 6, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

  5. WTF?! That doesn’t work?! Let’s try 😛

    Comment by Agnapostate — May 6, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

  6. She banned you from Spell NYRA? 😆

    Comment by Adamantaimai — May 6, 2008 @ 8:08 pm

  7. She didn’t seem to like my infantophilia thread. 🙁

    Comment by Agnapostate — May 7, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

  8. Katrina banned you, 😆

    Good post btw, Kat. I like the perspective of adults being insecure in their adulthood. :b:

    Comment by KPalicz — May 9, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

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