Monday, December 2, 2013

Messed Up Music Monday: "Stay" by Florida Georgia Line

I used to be a big fan of country music. I grew up in the country so it went hand in hand with my environment. I loved me some Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, and Garth Brooks. But I eventually grew out of that as I was introduced to different genres of music. I still have a country station on my Pandora and when I flip through the radio I'll occasionally stop on the local country station to see what's new. Recently I discovered this new band called Florida Georgia Line. I had heard them mentioned on TV a few times so curiosity got me and I checked them out.

I just watched their video for "Stay" and was basically disappointed. I didn't really listen to their musical abilities, I was mostly focused on the story in the video and the lyrics. The first lines made me immediately uncomfortable. First, to the lyrics.

"I'd sell my soul just to see your face. 
And I'd break my bones just to heal your pain." 
Neither one of those things would happen or do any good for anyone. Also, committing violence against yourself is not a good way to make someone want to be with you. If you can't get someone to like you in your happy non-broken-bones-with-soul-intact state, how the heck are these two "solutions" supposed to make you any more appealing? What would be more enticing (for me anyway) would be something like "I'd check my masculine privilege at the door to get a chance to tell you how I really feel. I'd break all the stereotypes about being a 'real man' and genuinely listen to your hopes and dreams." But I'm no song writer.

"But if I told you I loved you, would it make you want to stay?
I'm sorry for the way I hurt you and making you walk away.
(I should have took the time to tell you)"
Yes, you should have taken the time to tell her you loved her on a regular basis. Everybody needs to hear that they're loved. But what would make someone want to stay is not just words, but actions. And hurting her, however that occurred, is not going to be fixed just by saying "I love you". (BTW, the song is speaking in generalities so I will do the same.) Did you cheat on her? Then no, "I love you" is not going to fix that. Did you steal money from her? Again, ILY is not going to work. Did you put her down and tell her she's worthless and then switch around to the honeymoon phase and write this song (hello red flag!)? Then again, those three little words aren't enough. The fact that you hurt someone enough to make them want to leave and they actually get in the car and go (see video), you can bet your ass ILY is not going to do the trick. Healthy communication and NOT doing things you know will hurt the one you love is the way to keep that person in your life. 

"My heart's on my sleeve, but it's turning black.
(I guess I know what it feels like it to be alone)
Without your touch I'm not gonna last.
(I know you know that I need ya just to carry on)
It feels like my walls are caving in.
(You'd always hold me before I left you hanging on)
And I'll do anything to have you here again...
There's gotta be a way, 'cause going on without you is killing me everyday."
Ok, RED FLAG, RED FLAG, RED FLAG! This is not healthy communication people. Telling someone that your life is over without them is passive aggressive and is not meant to make them feel special. It's meant to guilt them in to staying with you. And, by saying her leaving is "killing" you, you're making this her fault. Yeah, it SUCKS when someone you love leaves you. But when that happens it's time to do some self-reflection and figure out where things went wrong so you won't make the same mistake again. It's not the time to lay a guilt-trip and tell them you'll basically die without them. Not healthy, or fair for that matter. Do you want someone to be with you just because you want them to be and not because they want to be? No, not if you're a sane person. 

Let's learn some healthy relationship behaviors like communication (tell them how you feel, when things upset you, when they make you happy, and yes, that you love them if that be the case), trust (it's a two way street buddy), and support (listen to their hopes and dreams and encourage, not push, them to pursue them). Also, learn how to be independent and allow them the space to be independent as well. Your life should not depend on whether or not their in it.

Now to the video. Please watch the video here so we can be on the same page. I could point out all kinds of wrong things with this video, but I'll stick to my main points for brevity's sake: unhealthy relationship behaviors and unhealthy masculinity. He's hurt her in some kind of way that makes her want to leave him. She leaves and he texts her over and over again (kinda stalker-y) saying he can't live without her. Instead of giving her time to process and have some space to herself and to stay gone if that's what she wants, he torches his trailer, his phone and a picture of them happy together. It's sad that I have to point this out, but burning down the house is not a healthy way to express your hurt feelings. If you're feeling that bad that you want to break and burn stuff, I think it's time you sought some counseling. 

Also, she changed her mind and came back (and depending on the non-hypothetical situation could be either a good or bad thing) and he missed out because he was acting a fool. It was probably all for the best that they did not end up together in the end because he obviously has some serious emotional issues he is not dealing with. It's sad that men aren't taught that yes they have feelings and how to express those in a healthy way. This is one of the things I focus on with my two boys. I don't scold them when they cry. I hug them and tell them it's okay and ask them why they're crying and talk them through it. I validate their feelings, not shun them. It's hard to unlearn something you've been taught from day one so I don't want to teach them not to express or deal with those emotions. I want to give them the tools they need to live a healthy emotional life and have healthy relationships, romantic and otherwise. 

So, now you know why I'm disappointed with this song. The guys in Florida Georgia Line are popular right now and they're just teaching their fans, male and female, how guys should deal with a break-up. It's more of the same and it's about time we had some examples of how to handle it that don't end up with property destruction or violence for that matter. I was hoping for better and I'll continue that hope until I see it happen. 

What do you think of this song/video? Do you know of any songs that deal with a breakup in a healthy way? If so, please do share. 

No comments:

Post a Comment