In 1998 a pretty wholesome-looking, double-denim-wearing Irish girl-band released a song called ‘C’est La Vie’. The accompanying music video showed the four band members dancing around a field with a puppy while they tease a teenage boy. It all seemed pretty innocent, if somewhat nonsensical, and became a hit, particularly with tweens and young teens.
Fast-forward 15 years, and this song has been confirmed as being all about sex.
When it first came out, there were some vague suspicions. Today though, I look at the lyrics with fresh parental eyes, and imagining a 10-year-old bopping along to them makes me cringe.
Here are a few examples:
‘I’ll show you mine, if you’ll show me yours’
‘Do you ever get lonely playing with your toys?’
‘I’ll blow you away’
Songs about sex are nothing new, and not necessarily bad. But what has riled me about this song is the use of childhood words and imagery to market a song that is so adult in nature. ‘Toys’ is used in a sexual sense. The boy sits in a treehouse at the beginning of the video. ‘I’ll blow you away’ follows ‘I’ll huff, I’ll puff’ – lines from the classic fairytale, ‘The Three Little Pigs’.
Should we let our kids sing along to such songs in blissful ignorance of what they’re actually saying? Or impinge on their innocence by saying they’re inappropriate (and face the barrage of questions which will no doubt follow)?
BabyBoy and BabyGirl are barely talking, yet I shudder at the thought that one day they may innocently belt out similar vocals.