Pop Songs for the Everyone Gets a Trophy Crowd

I am a champion. You’re a firework. We’re unforgettable. We’re undeniable. We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky. I’m on the edge of glory. I’m beautiful in my way. You know we’re superstars. We get what we want. You are perfect to me. We run things.

 No, that is not the daily affirmation I say to my reflection in the mirror each morning…

 Those are words from hit pop songs over the last few years. I’m sure there are far more examples, but these came from the ubiquitous hits you can’t avoid, even if you try. And believe me, I try to avoid modern pop music like the bubonic plague.

 When I hear these songs, I know what the songwriters were doing. They were pitching into the modern teenager’s wheelhouse – unearned self esteem. I’m not talking about every single teenager, just the majority of them.

 I was completely unaware of this phenomenon in our youth until I became a high school teacher. Specifically, it was the first time I handed back a Chemistry test. Grading them the night before, I expected sobs, wails, and gnashing of teeth, because probably seventy-five percent of the students failed miserably.

 I was shocked at the abundance of laughter and mirth in the air the following day. They didn’t care. They were perfect snowflakes, ready to shoot across the sky like fireworks, without concern for the chemical reactions propelling them through the air.

 They had no consequences.

 When I was in high school, let’s just say it was not like this. And I will refrain from commenting on the utter lack of discipline in schools today. I used to get licks with a board that would leave my ass burning for six hours – for horrible things like talking three times in a week or setting one foot on a basketball court.

 I figured I’d take a look back at the top forty on my thirteenth birthday for comparison. The number one song was “Billie Jean”, accompanied by other hits like “Back on the Chain Gang”, “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “Come On Eileen”, “Der Kommisar”, and “Allentown”, of all things. “Allentown”!!!! I can’t sum up the theme of this post better than that.

 If you want to see the top 40 for your birthday, go here – http://www.oldradioshows.com/at40/regindexck.html


7 thoughts on “Pop Songs for the Everyone Gets a Trophy Crowd

  1. Cool link! I had “Smoke on the Water” on my 13th b-day list. Oddly, it is also my ringtone. 😉

    Modern pop, and I use that term loosely because I question its right to be called music, raises my blood pressure and makes me throw up a little in my mouth, so I avoid it at all costs.

  2. Hello Mat, what a groovy blog you have! I love this post I started with, also not a pop fan. i came to thank you for the follow of my barefoot music and got caught up in your blog, Like it so very much,
    In hindsight I have discovered some tunes that years later resonated with me in some way with me, most lost to me forever because I figuratively turned my nose up to the tune
    I have been a ‘music snob’ my entire life, learning music as my first language before I could speak English. I have also discovered quite happily that when I remain open to all possibilities it adds to my music intelligence ten- fold.
    You creatively express so well through your blog.
    Thank you ~

  3. Not to be sarcastic at all… but when I first starting reading this post, all I could think of was “Instant Karma” by John Lennon. I’m saying this, because that song resonates with me in a different way from Firework, et al… and not just because it is like the Skittles of music — colorful, predictable, mass produced. Anyway, I guess my rhetorical question is when does one cross the line from something that has a worthwhile, genuine message to something that is just an ego-booster designed to uplift one’s finger to the “buy” button on iTunes?

    Perhaps it’s the ubiquity of the theme or maybe it’s the lyrics that go around it. “Better recognize your brother, everyone you meet.” It’s not just about the individual; it’s about everyone.

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