I am so disturbed by a “catchy” tune that is constantly playing on the radio. The song is “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People.
The chorus’s overwhelmingly disturbing lyrics, “All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you’d better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet, ” are set to an almost sweet-sounding pop melody that makes the singers sound as if they are in a trance, and is definitely targeted towards the teenage crowd.
I have noticed friends singing this song under their breaths, and because the music is catchy and sounds happy (how strange!), people don’t mind that the words have a truly psychotic meaning…if they even stop to think about what the words are.
As a teenager who was two months away from graduation when the Columbine High School massacre occurred, I am repulsed by the abhorrent message of this song. The pang of fear that I felt when I heard about Columbine occurs every time this song comes on the radio. And as a current teacher, I am terrified at the catastrophic message that our students are chanting without even realizing it. (See the articles below for the negative and dangerous effect that these lyrics have already had.)
As teachers, it is our responsibility to open our students’ eyes to the barrage of information that our media is inculcating them with. Now I need to figure out how to do so! Back to the drawing board.
“All the other kids with the pumped up kicks…”
- Did Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” Make a 14-Year-Old Threaten To Shoot Up His School? (923now.radio.com)
- Cops: Teen held over YouTube ‘killing spree’ remarks (msnbc.msn.com)