Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Born This Way: Why Lady Gaga Puts a Hamper on My Spiritual Life


Feed the word into Google and it will spit out millions of quotes, poetry, ideas, and articles inspired by this topic -- and justly so.
     There is something unique, something mysterious about music which can call forth formerly dormant emotions, inspire previously non-existent passions, and encourage one's feelings to rise to a crescendo as never before.

Which is exactly why it's a problem.

I have a bit of a confession to make. You've all heard of those darned Seven Deadly Sins, no? Well, I've got an issue with the rarely addressed Eight Deadly Sin: "Refusal To Delete 'Bad' Music From My iTunes Playlist."

I'm an emotional person to begin with. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and am easily affected by outside forces. (i.e. My day will be ruined if Mr. Good-Looking Senior Who Doesn't Know I Exist doesn't show up for class in the morning). Ergo, music, which has the uncanny ability to make bikers cry and politicians change their party, has very, very powerful affects on me.
I feel rather inclined to compare it to Your Average Joe drinking a bit too much alcohol -- I do and say things I wouldn't normally be disposed toward.

I came to this realization two weeks ago when I attended a stellar performance by a local opera singer. As the French lyrics rolled off his tongue, it felt as if my soul was soaring among the clouds. Rather Platonic? Maybe. But the overall feeling was positive; spiritual. I felt closer to God. The it hit me: other music does not make me feel the same way.

This is where Lady Gaga comes in.

I can't resist a catchy tune or dramatic lyrics. It's my downfall. Gaga's "Alejandro" is #2 on my Top Played list. This is not a nice song. And somehow, subconsciously, my brain-emotion connection thingy recognizes that. When I listen to a song which does not have a positive or innocent message, I will react accordingly. Unfortunately.

Granted, I've never run anyone over because I was listening to "Night Drive" by AAR. But I'd rather avoid the affects of such music. Here's the problem: I am completely and totally, 100% unable to delete these songs from my Playlist. I can't do it! I'd be letting go of all the tunes, the lyrics, the inspiration (some good things have come out of these songs!) that went hand-in-hand with these forbidden fruits.

Now let's forget Gaga. This is where God comes in.

I know I won't be able to delete these songs EVER -- At least not on my own. Heck, I can't get out of bed in the morning on my own. Maybe this Lenten season I'll learn to abandon myself to Him, throw my pride out the window, and say "I can't do it. Can you?" and see where that gets me.

Something tells me that by the end of these forty days, I'll be gaga for Gaga no more.


  1. I've struggled with this, too. Not with Gaga, but with Dave Matthews. So many of his songs have me singing sexual, anti-theist or irreverent lyrics. What a great Lenten sacrifice idea!!

  2. I agree, Elizabeth. The lyrics go against everything I/we believe and know to be true, but we allow ourselves to listen to it... it's kinda sick. :-/

    Thanks for the encouragement! Right back atcha... ;-)