On behalf of fools everywhere, I owe an apology, especially to the parents at my daughter’s school. Just when I thought I could work with kids—teaching Sunday school was starting to sound really fun—I go and prove that I should not be responsible for any children but my own and those whose parents are already aware of my idiocy.
For the end-of-year party for 4th grade, I was partly in charge of a karaoke-type Singing Bee station where the kids would sing along with music and song lyrics for a bit. Then we’d turn off the music, take away the lyrics, and see if they could get the next line. Sounds simple enough, right?
I spent a lot of time on the playlist, probably about three hours. I had to be particular with song choices so that we’d exemplify solid moral values and not offend parents. Kidz Bop and was not an option because apparently that’s the least-cool thing ever, so I started with a group of about 25 Top Forty songs, most of which are even played in P.E. at school, and I narrowed it down from there. If it had questionable themes: CUT. If I heard the word sexy: CUT. If most kids wouldn’t recognize the chorus: CUT. I thought about including Weird Al Yankovic songs, but Fat would surely send all the 4th grade girls over the edge into the pit of eating disorders, and White and Nerdy is inappropriate because nerds come in all colors. I was left with 13 songs for kids to choose from. One song on my iTunes list denoted that I had the “clean” version, so I made a special note to check those lyrics once I printed them out. Done! Song choices and lyrics printed, “clean” song checked for dirty lyrics, offending lyrics marked out. Ready to go!
Day of the party: Kids love this! They’re rockin’ out to pop music and singing in groups. I’m dancing and singing along with them on the choruses because I know these songs, too. Heard ‘em all a million times! It’s so much fun hanging with 4th graders! Yes, I should definitely work with children more often. Imagine all the wonderful things they could learn from me…the creative methods I’ll use to teach them about everything super-important in life. Kids are awesome, and they totally love me and the other moms running this station! We’re affecting the lives of these little sponges, and I may have just changed a girl’s life by complementing her hair. She had low self-esteem until that very moment. Think of how influential I could be as a teacher!
And then a kid picked Party Rock Anthem. You’ve probably heard this song before. It’s catchy. Party rock is in the house tonight, Everybody just have a good time! It’s also important to know that I held the pages of lyrics directly in front of the kids during this entire process. We were outside in 30 mile-per-hour wind, so I did not let anyone else control my clipboard of loose paper. I put the pages right in front of their faces, as in “Read this.” Yeah, well here’s the first verse, which a group of boys read/sung at the top of their lungs, just like the clipboard commanded:
In the club party rock, lookin’ for your girl,
She on my jock (huh) non stop when we in the spot
Booty move weight like she owns the block
Where I drank I gots to know
Tight jeans, tattoos cause I’m rock and roll
Half black half white, domino
Gain the money Oprah Doe!
I’m running through these hoes like Drano
I got that devilish flow rock and roll no halo
We party rock yea! that’s the crew that I’m repping
On a rise to the top no Led in our Zeppelin
Hmm. I never noticed the hoes or anybody on a jock before. In addition to the hoes, I was worried that some kid would ask parents what a domino is, and everyone would collectively wonder if that’s an offensive term or not. Anyway, from then on we stopped the song before it ever got to the verse, which meant the kids could only hear and guess words in the first 20 seconds of the catchy intro. I don’t think the kids understood most of the inappropriate lyrics before we stopped playing that part, so crisis mostly averted. *If they ask, the verse is about the rousing domino game of chickenfoot and gardening implements.
Play on! Until we got to Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes and Adam Levine, which you have also probably heard. I thought that song was totally clean. I’ve heard it a million times. Well, let me be the first to inform you that there’s a big ol’ f-bomb right in the middle of the first verse. I finally noticed the word when my very own daughter was singing the song and I read over her shoulder. However, several other kids had already sung that song before her. I guess they were smart enough to skip over or mumble through the word so that I never heard it. Can you imagine what it would be like to have a parent holding that in front of you at an elementary school party like you were supposed to read it? Most of the kids would get their mouths washed out with soap if they said it at home. None of the 4th graders pointed it out, and I have no idea how many of them I exposed to a parent-sanctioned f-bomb. Hey, kids, this frat party was brought to you by the Parent Teacher Organization! The PTO is edgier than ever!
I’m sorry, kids; I’m sorry, parents. And, God, you have shown me through your mysterious ways that I am probably not cut out for teaching Sunday school. I currently serve in the church choir, where someone else is smart enough to check the hymn lyrics for f-bombs before we sing.
Amen. And if your kid was exposed to this verbal sexual reference and you are forced to have the talk, I advise you to read my article The Birds and the Bees: How NOT to Talk to Your Kid About Sex. You know, if you still want to listen to me and such. Think of all that I can teach you!The 4th funniest blog on the web!