Cultural Imperialist

"Scathing Spats on Shallow Subjects"


Wed Jun 28




Stop Singing to Yourself in Public

Stop Singing in PublicThat's a pretty song.  It's uplifting, puts you in touch with God, reminds you to be thankful. Now keep it to your damn self.

When did girls get the idea that it's OK to sing to yourself in public?  Evangelicals know what I'm talking about.  Girls love these emotional pop worship songs they sing in the Sunday service or youth group, to the extent that they don't just hum to themselves in non-church contexts, but actually sing the words in a sing-songy voice.  "Open the eyes of my heart, Lord [chirp chirp], open the eyes of my heart [coo], I want to see you [warble]," they burble absentmindedly while shopping for daisy dukes at Target.

It's not the content of the songs that bug me - it's the self-infatuation they enable.  Girls don't just want to look pretty, but to sound pretty, and without a gaudy display.  Staying on pitch while going falsetto to hit the high notes of the arpeggio - in sotto voce, no less - demonstrates a level of grace and poise that would impress even Miranda Priestly.  It's the kind of achievement that women in commercials celebrate with a bowl of Special K Red Berries.

Yet public singing creates public awkwardness around the out-of-the-closet worshiper.  "Livin' On A Prayer" is never meant to be taken even half-seriously, much less venerably, when sung in public.  It's catchy, we're stupid for enjoying such pablum, yet "we've got to hold on to what we've got" - namely our big-boy crushes on Jon Bon.  No winking nods are allowed when a girl is singing about actual prayer.  We must contort our faces into a wince of serene approval as she trills "come, now is the time to give your heart" while reviewing the Cheesecake Factory menu.

As the wisdom-and-wife-hoarding Teacher said, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."  So I beg you, vocal vixens, pipe down in public.  The rocks will cry out if God wants the noise brought.

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