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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
emily rain Debate: It's Just a Song (55* d) Debate: "It's Just a Song" 07 May 04

i think this topic deserves it's own thread. see "let's update sensitive new age guys" for some recent background.

i'm reminded of a concert i was at recently:
the performer sang a song with a side-story in it where, as a child, he accidentally drowns his dog by throwing him in the river (expecting him to swim back to shore), then abandons the body. this fellow is known for using a lot of autobiographical material, so all of us were sitting there slack jawed and wondering "did this really happen?!? god, has he gotten some good therapy since then?" luckily, he let us know afterwards that it wasn't a true story, but "just a metaphor". the way he said this was somewhat... er, exasperated? patronizing? dismissive? that's the way i heard it, anyway, and i wondered if he had any notion of how shocking that image had been for his unsuspecting audience members.

(apologies if you recognize this song and know who i'm talking about (especially if you are he!); i'm not intending to make him look bad, just continuing discussion)

what are some other examples of songs that some folks find truly offensive, and others find funny or at least acceptable? what songs have you defended by saying "for pete's sake, it's just a song"?

is "it's just a song/joke/metaphor/manner of speaking" an adequate defense?

have you offended people without meaning to with a song you wrote or sang? have you been offended by such a song? were there confrontations or discussions of it afterwards? did you generate more light than heat, or vice versa?

as musicians, do we have a responsibility to be gentle with our audience members? how far should that responsibility go?

as audience members, do we have a responsibility to listen with an open heart? how far should that responsibility go?

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