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On The Road To Perfection
Episode 123: Is Some Music Bad

One man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric. So says the Supreme Court of the United States, and, coming from that secular view, I begin with the answer that, “Yes, some music is bad.” But there’s a BIG but – and we’re not talking Bobby Jimmy and the Crickets! Though this topic is right up my alley, DJ Duck doesn’t go too far down that road, but Beth and I use that as a springboard to talk about why some music is bad, while that same music is good. Huh? While some music may not be art in the ear of the beholder, where does music – and lyrics – lead us? -Kristofer

The three attributes of God are Beauty, Truth, and Goodness. We discuss music and how it does or does not promote one or more of these attributes – from the view of the listener.

As we hit ou stride, we talk about the “crux of the biscuit” which Beth laughs about, and we get into the nitty gritty. With over 70 million songs recorded so far, yes, there has to be some music that is bad for us, objectively speaking, just because of the statistical possibility. But the relevance is not just the music, or the lyrics; it is not how it is perceived, but how it is received.

With the Christmas season upcoming, we talk about the message of a popular song that is played this time of year, “Hallelujah”, originally by Leonard Cohen and covered over 300 times by other artists, and how it deceives the listener because they are listening to the music, and think the one word is the entirety of the song. [To be clear, we are talking about this version, which reflects Cohen’s original intent of the popularized version, and it’s important to know which one we are hearing, as the original has biblical references used as irreligious undertones more explicitly clarified in the linked version] We discuss how we, and our children, can be deceived while at the same time we need to be receptive to the different tastes of our children and when music is tempting them to sin or making them unreceptive to Grace.

REFERENCES:

Cohen v. California – US Supreme Court Justice john Harlan, “One man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohen_v._California#Opinion (A different Cohen from Leonard Cohen)
Frank Zappa – The Crux of the Biscuit
Weird Al Yankovic
UTFO
Fat Boys
George Michael – Faith
NWA
Public Enemy
Jon  Anderson – I’ll Find my way home
Yes
Anderson, Wakeman, Buford, and Howe
Vangelis
Erasure
Prince
Billy Joel – Only the Good Die Young

Some items on our site that will help in understanding this topic:

TWMWU: Pentecost Sunday – Receive the Holy Spirit
TWMWU: What Does Ephphatha Mean? Be Opened!
TWMWU: What is Marriage?
TWMWU: Intercessory Prayer
Podcast Episode: Perfection – OTRTP0000
Podcast Episode: Family Prayer: What and How – OTRTP0008
Podcast Episode: Family Prayer: Why – OTRTP0009
Podcast Episode: It’s All In The Little Things – Episode 69
Podcast Episode: Do Only Catholics Go To Heaven? – Episode 76
Podcast Episode: What Are Good Works – Episode 114