Songs that Scared Your Parents


George Pham

You’re 16 again, messy unkempt hair down to your eyes, that brand new Marilyn Manson CD is causing virtual seismic waves throughout your house and you’re thrashing and banging your head around your room like a madman. Next thing you know your good Christian mother walks in while Mr. Manson screams “I’m not a slave to a God that doesn’t exist!” The look of horror on her face is enough to make a statue weep but the adolescent hormones coursing through your body tells you to keep on headbanging (*insert cool guy shades*).

Not your cup of tea? Alright picture this; the year is 2000, your friend just hit you up on your pager to roll up, chill and listen to some Eminem while you battle for each other’s Pog collection. The next four hours fly by in a haze while Marshal is delivering lines like, “We ain’t nothin’ but mammals—well, some of us cannibals who cut other people open like cantaloupes,” with extreme syntactic precision. As soon as your friend leaves your parents have to sit down with you to discuss why you’re listening to that “God awful devil music that talks about drugs and swears much too excessively,” meanwhile the only thing you can think about is how you’re missing that new episode of Malcolm in the Middle. I guess there really is a Slim Shady in all of us.

Those are both examples of songs that are very much in your face from the get-go, but sometimes songs have subtle implications that aren’t apparent on the first listen. Take for example the classic song by Sublime, “Santeria.” Bradley Nowell’s depressive lyrics dealing with the pain of a heartbreak wherein he lost his girl to another man are contrasted with the band’s cheery ska punk sound when he says, “If he knows what is good for him he best go run and hide, daddy’s got a new .45.” You might be able to get away with playing this one at a family picnic, just make sure you don’t accidentally leave your phone on repeat!

Whether you just wanna relive the good old days or never really grew out of them, throw on this playlist of songs that scared your parents (or ones they wouldn’t let you listen to).