Katy Perry Does It Again

Last week Katy Perry made a guest appearance on American Idol, elevating yet another one of her songs to the top of the charts, Waking Up in Vegas. Not a bad marketing move for Perry. Most people that appear on Idol are on the charts days to follow. No exception here, as of today the song is #5 most downloaded song on iTunes and the #10 most downloaded video. (Monday morning update- now #2 downloaded song on iTunes)

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that Idol‘s content this year has been a little less “family friendly.” Not the contestants… but the guest stars. Just a few weeks ago Jamie Foxx sang the song, Blame It (you decide what you think of the lyrics). This week, Katy did her thing. Sure… these songs meet the standards of what is “acceptable” for T.V… but parents should probably make the decision of what is really acceptable for their kids’ ears.

Katy’s song started with these lyrics

You gotta help me out
It’s all a blur last night
We need a taxi ’cause you’re
Hung over and I’m broke

I lost my fake ID
But you lost the motel key
Spare me your freaking
Dirty looks now don’t blame me

You wanna cash out
And get the hell outta town
Don’t be a baby
Remember what you told me

Shut up and put your money where your mouth is
That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas…

Nice. Huh?

Katy’s background is interesting, a flop as a Christian singer who adjusted her content to go mainstream. I blogged about her before when her I Kissed a Girl song first came out (and received heated responses from internet readers), she’s definitely one to keep your eyes on. Her journey as a young artist is reminding me of Madonna’s legacy– creative, controversial, and sexual… just what young people want to hear.

It would be nice to think that our kids are not hearing this music outside of our houses… but, think again. My son came home from school yesterday and announced, “Guess what song they (the school) were playing at lunch today. If You Seek Amy.” (If you’re not familiar with that song… you’ll want to read this article)  The song wasn’t edited. The school plays songs as long as they aren’t “explicit.” (and that song only ‘spells’ the F word… it doesn’t say it. Nice!) This isn’t my first experience with this kind of music slipping under the radar at my kids’ schools.

So how should we respond?

Unfortunately, a letter to your congressman will probably do very little. But David offers parents and youth workers some advice at the bottom of our past Youth Culture Window article on the subject– check it out for more about the lyrics our kids hear, how the lyrics affect them, and how we should respond.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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