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Gross lyrics are music for teens' ears

A growing number of Indian teens are tuning in to raunchy English songs where men are portrayed as "sex-driven studs" and women as "sex objects".

india Updated: Oct 12, 2006 11:16 IST

A growing number of Indian teens are tuning in to raunchy English songs where men are portrayed as "sex-driven studs" and women as "sex objects".

While parents in the West do not allow their children to listen to lyrics with sexual overtones or violent wordings that glamorise crime, Indian parents, who usually do not follow the lyrics, seem blissfully unaware of the effect it can have on their kids.

A recent study published in the August issue of Pedriatics, a prestigious medical journal, suggests x-rated lyrics may push kids into early sex. And several other studies have proved beyond doubt that violent lyrics promote crime.

In India, most boys swear by rappers with Eminem topping their list of favourites. Here's a sampler from an Eminem song, who has been criticised for his lyrics: "People say that I'm a bad influence/I say the world's already f**, I'm just addin to it/They say I'm suicidal/Teenagers' newest idol/C'mon do as I do/Go ahead get mad and do it".

Another hit with boys - Snoop Dogg - sings: "Nothing left to do, but buy some shells for my glock/Why? so I can rob every known dope spot/I got 19 dollars and 50 cents up in my pocket with what?/With this automatic rocket/Gotta have it to pop it, unlock it, and take me up a hostage... "

A current favourite with girls - Shakira croons in "Hips don't lie" - "And I'm on tonight/You know my hips don't lie/And I am starting to feel you boy/Come on let's go, real slow..."

Udit Nangia, a Class 11 student of Air Force School, loves rap. "I am a very musical person. Music is my life." Like all teens his age his favourites are Eminem, 50 Cents and Limbizkit.

Asked if he knows the lyrics are vulgar, Udit is blunt, "I know the lyrics are vulgar, but it doesn't make a difference to me. It doesn't make a difference to my parents either."

Tarini Manchanda, a student of Class 9, Modern School, hates the "lovey-dovey" songs girls usually listen to. "I am among the few girls who love rap. Eminem and Pussy Cat Dolls are my favourites."

On the words of the songs, she says: "Mostly, the lyrics are 'sexual'. But it is fun listening to these songs." Tarini is not sure if her parents would approve of the lyrics, so she usually plays her favourite albums when they are not within earshot.

Sameera Rao, a Class 7 student of DPS, Noida, likes Rihanna. Her songs are mushy with sexual overtones and a hit with even primary school girls.

Her brother Ali Waris' current favourite is a band called Fort Minor. The lyrics are just as lethal: "I'm runnin out to get the next rapper's CD/Just s*** up the guns, drugs, and misogyny.."

Arushi Mittal, a Class 10 student of DPS, Ghaziabad, is part of a small section of teens who listen to old country music. What makes her different? "Because the lyrics are clean," she snaps back.

Senior psychiatrist Sanjay Chugh tells IANS: "We choose to hear a particular song usually because of the lyrics. We relate to the lyrics and the underlying meaning. It is the ability of the lyrics that makes the song popular or probably a hit!

"Eminem seems to have taken the lead. Obviously there has to be more to this than mere words/language used that connects teenagers with him. The answer probably lies in the message that Eminem tries to convey and the youngsters being able to identify/relate to it."

"If teens get attracted to such lyrics it is for the parents to take it as a cue in understanding what's going on inside their minds rather than reprimanding the teenagers and being dismissive about their internal chaos," he adds.