16 answers

Lyrics of a Song Glorifying School Shootings?

This is a song that I've liked until I paid attention to the lyrics. I get that the artist was trying to be edgy or something, but in my opinion it's glorifying school shootings. This is played on the radio all the time, so I'm sure teenagers hear it.

Here are the lyrics... What do you Mamas think?

"Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People

Robert's got a quick hand
He'll look around the room
He won't tell you his plan
He's got a rolled cigarette hanging out his mouth
He's a cowboy kid
Yeah, he found a six-shooter gun
In his dad's closet hidden in a box of fun things
And I don't even know what
But he's coming for you, yeah, he's coming for you

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
x1

Daddy works a long day
He be coming home late, yeah, he's coming home late
And he's bringing me a surprise
Because dinner's in the kitchen and it's packed in ice
I've waited for a long time
Yeah, the slight of my hand is now a quick pull trigger
I reason with my cigarette
And say your hair's on fire
You must have lost your wits, yeah

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
x1

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
x3

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks Mamas... I was interested to see what your opinions were. Of course I don't expect all music to be about sunshine and rainbows. I just think school shootings are very serious. Most of all I just wanted to open it up to hear your opinions and I enjoyed all of them. :-)

Featured Answers

Actually the writer of this song would be happy to see this discussion taking place, but his intention was not to disgust or to glorify school shootings. "Foster said, "I was trying to get inside the head of an isolated, psychotic kid."[1] He stated in an interview with KROQ-FM that the lyrics were written to 'bring awareness' to the issue of gun violence amongst youth, which he feels is an epidemic perpetuated by 'lack of family, lack of love, and isolation'" The lyrics were put intentionally to a pop beat, as a juxtoposition and as a way to get people to listen up and pay attention to it.

5 moms found this helpful

Eh, no worse than anything I grew up listening to. Strong families make strong kids who will not be affected by 'art'. Kids with a positive reality are not likely to follow a negative fantasy.

Beatles Maxwell's Silver Hammer.....same thing, two gens later.

:)

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Eh, no worse than anything I grew up listening to. Strong families make strong kids who will not be affected by 'art'. Kids with a positive reality are not likely to follow a negative fantasy.

Beatles Maxwell's Silver Hammer.....same thing, two gens later.

:)

5 moms found this helpful

The song is absolutely about school shootings. More than one school shooting has been perpetrated by boys named "Robert". Young artists are going to use current events in their art. They always have, I'm sure we can all think of examples from our teen years...

I don't censure what music my daughter listens to, I use songs like this to start conversations about all kinds of subjects. She's in 4th grade, and we've already talked about school shootings. She knows that school is the safest place she goes and how very rare shooting at school is, and she also knows what a gunshot sounds like, how to run if someone is shooting (zigzag because it's very hard to hit a moving target) and what are some places to hide, if necessary.

5 moms found this helpful

Actually the writer of this song would be happy to see this discussion taking place, but his intention was not to disgust or to glorify school shootings. "Foster said, "I was trying to get inside the head of an isolated, psychotic kid."[1] He stated in an interview with KROQ-FM that the lyrics were written to 'bring awareness' to the issue of gun violence amongst youth, which he feels is an epidemic perpetuated by 'lack of family, lack of love, and isolation'" The lyrics were put intentionally to a pop beat, as a juxtoposition and as a way to get people to listen up and pay attention to it.

5 moms found this helpful

This reminds me of a song i grew up listening to. Ill refrain from posting the lyrics but feel free to look them up. It was called "Jeremy", by pearl jam. It was a about a boy who was mistreated and killed lots of people at his school.

Im of the opinion that if someone is homicidal their music is neither going to plant the seed, nor drive the intention to fruition. Every era has bad lyrics and bad people but the choice is ultimately in the head of the offender. Also putting up a stink about these kind of lyrics are what give the lyrics power in the first place.

4 moms found this helpful

I'm hard pressed to think of ANY song that doesn't have disturbing, glorifying, deeply sad, or other kinds of emotional/ evocative lyrics...though I'm sure at least a handful exist

Big Rock Candy Mountains
Strange Fruit
Jeramiah was a Bullfrog
Mrs Robinson
Bloody Sunday
Insane in the Membrane
The Pill
Beautuful People
My funny valentine

In fact, I dare ANYONE to name a single musical artist throughout history who doesn't have disturbing lyrics in some or most of their songs.(hint: every christian artist is immediately disqualified...singing about a tortured man -or god- is disturbing.)

Art tries to make sense of life

4 moms found this helpful

I heard this the other day in a live version...and it's even worse. I like the beat and the music the lyrics are appalling. I won't listen to it any longer.

3 moms found this helpful

SICK & they call themselves artist, i don't think so

3 moms found this helpful

well, I thought this was a fun sing-along kind of ditty until the lyrics caught my attention too. My 1st thought was for all the victims families, how very insensitive it is toward them. It even occurred to me that maybe it shouldn't be allowed on the radio for kids to hear. But then I realized court battles over free speach and civil liberties say otherwise. You can't ban songs and that gets you into that slippery slope of book burnings. I wanted to understand what they were talking about and why they put the song out. I looked into it and the guy said he wanted to get inside the mind of the killer and tell the story through his eyes. There was some mention of awareness to see the signs and stop it in its tracks - to reach out to these troubled kids. But mostly, I guess art is supposed to be provocative. To get people talking. So, while the 1st time I listened to the words I was embarassed that my son was singing along in the back seat. But then after a little reflection, I took it as an opportunity to discuss viloence and guns and bullies and how to spot a kid in trouble and who to tell. I don't think that topic would have come up for a few years if it hadn't been for this song. So, I've come to a new appreciation of it. And it does have a fun sing songy beat that sits in stark contrast to the dark subject matter. I do think it's artisitic in concept and delivery. The fact that it's controversial just helps it to sell.

3 moms found this helpful

I agree with Kari F. and Amanda G.
What immediately came to my mind is a couple of songs from my day.
"Janie's Got a Gun" by Aerosmith and "Hell is for Children" by Pat Benetar.
I can tell you that some of the music I listen to when I work out has very questionable lyrics. But I honestly rarely listen to the words and lyrics as much as I 'hear' the beat.
I do think that every generation has songs questioned by adults. I also completely agree that the people who do those things already have issues.

3 moms found this helpful

I think your reading too much into it.

2 moms found this helpful

ugggggh.

All the more reason to be listening and have conversations with our kids about what this means to them.

This is quite disturbing and I am a HUGE advocate of freedom of speech etc etc. What is the eeriest to me is that it sounds so peppy. Like you want to sing along!!!!! yuck.

So, I found this LA Times interview of Mark Foster (the leader):

"Asked to further describe his musical ambitions for Foster the People, Foster went straight for an image. One that, like the band's sounds, is a little offbeat, but also a tad goofy and jovial.
"If I were to paint a picture of the record, it'd be a big black monster devouring a field of flowers -- just standing there eating flowers," Foster said."

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with Kari. The lyrics are not about killing kids in school, it is about the sadness and loneliness of a mistreated kid who hates his life. This cry for help should be cared for. I don't imagine kids even know the lyrics. And spend no time trying to understand. There was a song a couple of years ago which demeaned women in many ways. I asking that is not be played when I was a chaperone. The kids were not happy. I tried to explain how the lyrics were nasty and demeaning. They had no idea what the lyrics meant. There are tons of songs like that.

1 mom found this helpful

It's not just about sadness and pain, it's about revenge. It's a threat "you better run faster than my bullet". That is a no brainer. It is disturnbing to me because the kids who are feeling pain and sadness could be influenced by this. School shootings do happen, and they are tragic.

1 mom found this helpful

I get what you mean. I have never heard this song, but it's upsetting when idiots like this try to be cool by being thoughtless and calling it creative.

There was a song a while ago called "Jeremy spoke in class today" by Pearl Jam - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_(song). It's about gun violence in school, specifically suicide, based on an actual incident. And it was written with respect, sensestivity, etc. It is not a pleasant son, but it's a "good" song, in that it addresses something that people don't want to think about, but that needs to be dealt with. THIS is art.

I believe in freedom of speech, and this goober's right to make music, but with freedom comes responsibility. If he's not going to be responsible writing the songs, then we have to pay attention and listen, and we need to teach our kids to think as well so others don't do the thinking for them. Jerks just make it harder. Sigh.

1 mom found this helpful

Disgusting.

All hail freedom of speech though, eh?

1 mom found this helpful

I really, really liked the beat of this song until I listened to the words. It made me sad and now I don't want to ever hear it again. I do think songs have an effect on people, and the more you are exposed to something the more "OK" it may seem.

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