Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teens on Tunes

Funny how things can turn out so different from what we imagined... take this blog post for example. I posed what I thought was a simple question to a variety of teens, figuring I’d get some precious insight into their teen psyches in return.* The question: what’s your favorite song and why do the lyrics speak to you?

As usual, the teens surprised me. I didn’t get back a slew of girls who were fawning over the Jonas brothers. And I didn’t find a bunch of angry young men looking to take out vengeance through lyrics.

What the answers reminded me is that we CANNOT stereotype teens or the teen characters we write. Teens are deep and multi-layered. Teens are paying attention to the world around them and care about more than just a date to prom. What's more, the girls aren't swooning over mushy lyrics as much as they just want to dance. And the boys, well, they like heavy beats too apparently, but the world seems to weigh pretty heavy on their shoulders.

* I naively also thought this question would not require much time and/or effort on their parts, but that didn't seem to make them any more eager to answer me. >_< Turns out, teens on summer break also seem to be lacking in the motivation department.

The Ladies...
Brandi, 18
"Maybe" by Sick Puppies.  It talks about how it's never too late to change your dreams; and you're never too young to change your lifestyle.
Riley, 17
One of my favorite songs is "Funny the Way It Is" by the Dave Matthews Band. The lyrics are beautiful, but bittersweet. They paint a realistic image of the world and the dichotomies that exist, and about how we take so many things for granted and tend to overlook what we don’t want to see. 
Nyia, 13
My favorite song is "California Gurls." [Katy Perry] I only like the first verse lyrics because they fun and the beat goes well with them.
Abby, 12
I just like the beat of songs.

Bethany, 18
"I'm Not Who I Was" by Brandon Heath.  I like the song 'cause it's about how you go through hard times, and you always change, you're never who you used to me.

The Gentlemen...
Brock, 19
"History in the Making" by Darius Rucker.  This song explains how even though you're going through rough times, things will turn out positive.

Josh, 17
"9 am in Dallas" by Drake.  This song talks about taking on a task and the fear of failure.  It talks to me about being the leader of a team and responsibility.

Scared for the first time everything has clicked
What if I don't really do the numbers they predict
Considerin' the fact that I'm the one that they just picked
To write a chapter in history this sh-t has got me sick

Jake, 13
"Talkin' 2 Myself" by Eminem.  This song talks about how most kids my age feel lost sometimes, like no one out there understands.
Is anybody out there? It feels like I'm talkin to myself
No one seems to know my struggle, and everything I come from
Can anybody hear me? Yeah, I geuss I keep talkin' to myself
It feels like I'm goin' insane, am I the one who's crazy? 

Are these the type of answers you would have expected? What sort of insights can you glean from these answers?

1 comment:

Breaths that matter...

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