(Today’s post is a look behind the curtain. Sometimes, I have trouble remembering deadlines need help brainstorming. So, on a fateful day earlier this week, I heard a song that piqued my interest…and then my disdain. As a couple of us talked about this song, it reminded us of other songs. Hope you enjoy it.)
Before we get started, I thought it would be important to note our musical tastes:
- JC: I listen to old guy music (classic rock), real country, and slightly worship Bono and U2. I also might enjoy dad pop like Family Force 5.
- Josh: I like all kinds of music. My favorite is old rock and modern pop (top 40) even though I know it all sucks. My guilty pleasures are T-Swift (my future wife) and occasionally DMX. I just started getting into country very recently. My favorite artists are Jimmy Needham and Passenger.
- Showbizhair: I have no taste weirdly enough. Listens to instrumentals because “it’s hard to have dumb lyrics when there are none.”
- Wayne: My tastes in music are about as diverse as Andrew Zimeran’s palate.
HOLY – Florida-Georgia Line
JC: I have a post idea…heard a song on the “country” station the other day. It’s a dude singing to some bar skank, calling her “holy”. My post will be about words and what they really mean.
Josh: Yes. I heard that song also. Shama was asleep when it came on and he woke up just to complain with me. That song actually qualifies as blasphemous for me. The song is “H.O.L.Y.” – high on loving you. Right?
JC: Yeah. Even when listening and subbing out the phrase for the acronym…it doesn’t make sense…I’m pretty sure these young men are mentally handicapped in some way (narrow family tree or something)
Josh: Smh, it’s the worst. The thing is that some of their songs are okay
JC: No, they’re not. I’m pretty sure Johnny Cash would Gran Torino those dudes so fast
Josh: I don’t like Johnny Cash though… I know that’s blasphemy and I’m sorry lol
JC: Son, I don’t have time to lecture you on this…just know that I’m disappointed. And you need to find a role model.
Josh: Hahaha I know man, I know
JC: Is Showbizhair getting these? I’m wondering his thoughts on the song we were discussing. Because “holy” seems like a really uncomfortable thing to call a paramour
Josh: I messaged him to see if I can get him in the discussion. Talking about the song “H.O.L.Y.” by Florida – Georgia line
JC: Thanks. I have poor group text manners
Josh: Is there such thing as group messaging manners? Lol
Showbizhair: I’m on. My opinion on HOLY will be forthcoming.
JC: Excellent. My main question is, as a non-religious person, what is your thought on using holy as a virtue in a sexual partner? It’s an odd one, yes?
Josh: My main issue is the acronym actually
Showbizhair: I can see a sexual act as a spiritual act but sex as an act is not a virtue.
Wayne: Then you’re not doing it right.
JC: Well even U2 spiritualizes sex (Mysterious Ways, Mofo, most of their 90’s set). What bothers you about the acronym?
Showbizhair: I should probably listen to the song
JC: Little bit
Josh: Holy as a word denotes purity and innocence, whereas the acronym is about getting a high off of a sexual act. It’s just not relevant plus it’s blasphemous
JC: I’ll see your blasphemy, raise you a creepy, then call at extremely awkward
Showbizhair: Having just listened to it, this was a guy that was all alone, and in this case even from god, and not being alone was the ecstasy rather than just the sex. He was lost in the desert and found salt water, believing that could sustain him, when really it is a temporary solution, which in this case is him learning what Holy means, and that it is not an acronym.
Josh: The song is titled “H. O. L. Y.” that makes it an acronym
Showbizhair: Yes, but you don’t understand the meaning if you turn it into an acronym. Especially one that is also a double entendre
Josh: So he defeats his own purpose with the title?
Josh: I just read the lyrics. I see what you’re saying. It seems that he is calling her an angel for saving him from his loneliness, which is fine enough reasoning except: “You’re the river bank where I was baptized/Cleanse all the demons/That were killing my freedom/Let me lay you down, give me to ya/Get you singing babe, hallelujah/We’ll be touching, we’ll be touching heaven”
Showbizhair: It’s unintentionally blasphemous; he doesn’t understand the term in the title. It would be like me saying God stands for Grapes of destiny. Obviously, that is what it means, right?
JC: So…these boys aren’t smart enough to understand the meaning of the song they were handed in the studio?
Showbizhair: Or they were getting paid money, dumb lyrics and all. Most songs make no sense, so this one is actually better if viewed as being written by a lost soul who is still lost.
JC: Can we make this the post? Arguing about a song that sounds like 3rd rate Christian rock, sung by a dollar store Kid Rock wannabe?
Showbizhair: I would say yes but if this song bothers you, maybe it would be better to create a site dedicated to criticizing dumb song lyrics. It is a never ending battle. And a pointless one, let’s get back to arguing why it’s important to get the right tense that Jesus was speaking in.
JC: Wise words.
Josh Michael Noel: However, songs like this confuse innocent people, which is relevant. I remember, in college, writing about how I loved this girl I was with and if God is love then that meant He ordained the relationship and stuff like that. There is probably a young Josh who will read whatever you write.
JC: So…where does this leave us? Showbizhair just thinks it’s dumb. Josh finds it borderline offensive because the writer didn’t understand the very words he penned. And I feel like this is the reverse of a South Park episode. Where Cartman takes pop love songs and puts Jesus in them. These guys took a worship song and made it about kinda sorta finding love, but still being unfulfilled.
Showbizhair: Thank you for that reference.
JC: My pleasure
Josh: I like everything that everyone says. Also, Wayne says the song makes sense and it can be a virtue if you do it right
What did we learn? Basically, singers will sing whatever is put before them. And that when you try to “make something” (looking at you, bae and YOLO), more often than not, it’s dumb. I don’t see H.O.L.Y. becoming anything other than used ironically. But I’ve been wrong before.
We’ve shared our collective thoughts on this song, and I don’t think we learned anything positive from it. Except for one thing: it made us look around at others that are “songs of summer” by people who have nothing better to do. We picked 4 others, and will do some mini posts examining them, trying to find some kind of message in them. Why? because millions of teens will stream these songs, and their parent will listen to them on the radio. The influence of these songs might have an impact on how young people interpret love and romance, and we feel like that’s important enough to sacrifice some time on our holiday weekend and parse the pop. Some of us will be listening to these songs for the first time (we’re not the intended demographic, y’all). So, over the next few days, we’re going to come back to this list of songs and sharing our thoughts on them.
I TOOK A PILL IN IBIZA – Mike Posner (I don’t know who this is.)
LOVE YOURSELF – Justin Bieber (Really? We’re doing this? Ugh. Fine.)
CAN’T STOP THE FEELING – Justin Timberlake (Can’t take seriously. Remembers ramen hair.)
BABEL – Mumford and Sons (Nothing snarky to say, I like them.)