DeJamz 9/19 – Controversial songs


DeJamz – controversial songs 

By Lilly Keller, Arts and Life editor 

We’ve all been there, sitting in silence beside your parent, listening to the song you hand-picked to play. Unfortunately, you never truly realized how questionable your masterpiece’s lyrics are until this moment as you recognize precisely how loud silence can be.

It is no secret that musicians use their art to amplify political messages and criticize religion. Still, it begs the question of whether or not a song can go too far with its intended meaning and become inappropriate to play. Love or hate them, controversial pieces have the power to make or break an artist and spark a debate that will probably outlive us all. 


Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell Williams 

Starting with none other than the one-hit wonder Robin Thicke with “Blurred Lines.” Are the lyrics atrocious? Absolutely. Will I skip this song when it comes on shuffle? Not a chance. I feel like women can enjoy this song unproblematically since there are probably more songs out there that share similar dubious and overall objectifying themes than not. With that being said, if a man ever says he likes this song, turn in the opposite direction and never look back.

Dear God – XTC

This was one of my favorite songs in the epitome of my youth. While I am not religious, this piece makes it onto my controversial song list solely because if my Grandma heard it, she would convulse on the spot. Anyways, no matter your beliefs, you can’t deny that the lyrics “Did you make disease and the diamond blue? Did you make mankind after we made you?” go incredibly hard. 

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People 

I don’t think I need to explain this one. Spanning from this song’s 2010 release to 2019, over 400 school shootings have taken place across the country. While Foster the People announced that they are considering retiring the song, I don’t believe this anthem will ever fade from music, especially when it unites a generation of students who turned from an “if” to a “when.”

Beds are Burning – Midnight Oil 

Few things are better than this political ballad that demands white people relinquish their stolen land. “Beds are Burning” is an unapologetic appeal for Indigenous justice in the face of Western colonization that took the lives of over 200,000 aboriginal people from their homeland. Today, as few as 30,000 Australians possess legitimate claims to Indigenous descent throughout the continent. 

Ur So Gay – Katy Perry 

If I’m being honest, I’m pretty sure I found out what being gay was through this song. Honestly, I have to give it to Perry; this song is another that I could listen to on repeat. From the cultural snapshot of the early 2000s to the final lyric stating, “no you don’t even like penis,” this song makes me crack up every time I hear it. It’s iconic, a masterpiece and I hope this song continues to foreshadow the lives of other curious youth.