In Whispering Darkness

I am back from a bit of a vacation!  I didn’t really go anywhere.  Although, I did spend a couple of days in Chicago, but that doesn’t feel like somewhere special since I live so close.  The vacation, though, surrounded visits from family including my sister and her family and my brother and his wife.  This vacation was pretty unique for me since it is the first time I really took time away from the blog since we started.  I also took time away from all of my online activities, for the most part.  This felt very good, but it also feels good to be getting back on track.  After all, I enjoy writing the blog and have many things to do for that convention, which is quickly approaching!  That said, I already miss my fabulous nieces who are 10 and 14.  While we didn’t get to spend as much time together as I had hoped due to illnesses on their parts, I did manage to give them a little playlist of songs.  After all, it is important to ensure that they receive a solid musical education.  🙂  Interestingly enough, as I worked on this playlist, I really struggled with which Duran songs to put on it.  I wanted to give them a good representation of what Duran is capable of…but I wanted it to be appropriate for both the 14 year old AND the 10 year old.  This was a bit of a challenge as Duran really isn’t all hearts and flowers and isn’t bubblegum like too many people assume.  Instead, Duran often takes on some dark topics, both with their music, but more specifically with their lyrics.

It seems to me that there are very few “light” Duran songs.  Even those songs that are super popular often deal with issues that are less than fun.  For example, Girls on Film might be about models but, more specifically, it is about exploitation of models.  What about songs like the Reflex or A View to a Kill?  We already know that the Reflex could have multiple meanings and some of those meanings might be a bit more adult, right?  A View to a Kill’s lyrics aren’t happy and bright with a chorus of “Dance into the fire”.  Yes, obviously, there are a few of the singles that are positive.  Rio seems to be very carefree, if it really is about a woman or about something else like America.  A more recent song like All You Need Is Now also is very positive.  I, of course, included my favorite, Planet Earth, which doesn’t seem either positive or negative.  What happens after you run out of the positive, not dark, not adult themed songs?  You find that a lot of Duran songs are dark or adult themed.

What are some of the topics that Duran songs have focused on that are really dark and/or adult?

*Save a Prayer–a lot of Duranies love this song and believe it to be “beautiful” but it is about a one night stand.  Not exactly kid friendly.

*Wild Boys–“there’s bloodstain for your pain” with references of gunshots.  Not happy.

*Notorious–about media exploitation.  Pretty adult.

*Skin Trade–this one doesn’t need explanation about being adult in nature, does it?

*Violence of Summer–lyrics like “It starts with desire.  Ends up under cover” seems pretty adult to me.

*Too Much Information–the control of the media.

*Lady Xanax–the title obviously references a prescription drug usually taken for depression and/or anxiety and the lady in the song definitely fits that description

*Astronaut–Alien sex.  Enough said.

*Bedroom Toys–Obviously adult!

*Dirty Great Monster–Assumption that many people have is that the song is about sexual abuse.  If so, that’s pretty dark and adult.

Still, there are others that might not be as dark or as adult but still feel less bright and happy.  Some of those songs to me are:

*Friends of Mine–it feels to me to be about betrayal and a loss of trust

*I Don’t Want Your Love–this song feels like a straight up love song until you really pay attention to the lyrics.  Then, it is clear that this “relationship” might involve some cheating since the person would be “keeping someone else behind”.

*Ordinary World–grief and loss are not happy topics.

*Falling Down–this song isn’t very happy either as it describes a person needing help as the person is “falling down” literally or figuratively.

*Being Followed–Being watched and followed isn’t very happy or bright

I could, obviously, go on and on with these lists.  The songs I included were the first ones that came to my mind.  My points here are pretty simple.  First, it is difficult to pull out those happy, positive, all age appropriate songs.  It isn’t impossible but not as easy as one would have thought.  Second, it amazes me that anyone would or could assume that Duran shouldn’t be taken seriously.  Clearly, they have dealt with a lot of real life issues, tough issues.  They haven’t been afraid to look at all sides of life from the positive to the negative, the good with the bad.

-A

5 thoughts on “In Whispering Darkness”

  1. Hello Amanda and welcome back from your vacation!
    What about What happens tomorrow? That's an adult lyric, about the fear for tomorrow.
    Do you believe in Shame, Out of my mind, So long Suicide, Shadows are on your side are other wonderful lyrics written for more serious topics.
    I guess that I was a teen, beyond my “ta-na-na-na-nas” off the Reflex I didn't care much of what Simon was singing and I was less fluent in English than I am today.
    I don't think their “poignant” – so to say – lyrics are more frequent than they were in the early days: adult fans always existed and always gave a help to understand them, luckily for the whole community!
    I'm just glad that the guys and us we are (growing up) wise(r) together.

  2. The thing is as I see it adults are trying to over protect children today, we listened to these songs growing up, and no one had a problem with it, and by the way we turned out just fine. Yes, a lot of Duran Duran's songs are adult, but some of their songs are about serious topics that children should be aware of, like child abuse. If a child does not know that what is being done to them is wrong, or think that they are the only one who has ever dealt with this then they feel that they have no where to turn for help. I should know this, because I was abused as a child though luckily not sexually, but I knew several girls who were not so lucky. The thing is even if a kid is not having to deal with this themselves, they may know other kids who are, and hearing songs like “Dirty Great Monster” might encourage those children not being abused to help those who are, or at least teach them to be a little more understanding of those who are. Music was first invented my our most ancient ancestors to TEACH, it was meant to educate the young in a way that would make the information taught easy to remember. Even now with so many artist in the music bizz just to make money, and not trying to teach with their songs they are still teaching, but unfortunately what they are teaching is not so good. Many of the truly great artists like our beloved band are teachers weather they realize it or not. Though I have no children of my own, I feel that to many parents of today are over protecting their kids, by refusing to expose them to reality, and to me that is doing those children a grave disservice. What about when these kids grow up, and are suddenly shown a world that is not as nice a place as their parents told them it was. I'll tell you what happens, because I had to deal with this personally because though my parents were abusive, they also kept me very sheltered, so when I was finally thrust out into the world I was totally unprepared, and had a VERY hard time adjusting. If you think a kid is to young for sexual material okay, that I do understand, but as far as serious subjects such as media control, child abuse, and other tough topics I feel they should be made aware, and warned, and music is still one of the best ways to teach without seeming to preach, which means that in the long run a child is more likely to listen, and learn………………..

  3. I didn't post this particular blog to bring this question of what and when should children be exposed to what but since you went there, I'll respond a bit. While I'm sure that there are some parents/guardians who overprotect, I know of many who underprotect. As a middle school teacher, I have seen both. As far as my nieces go, I will explain. First, the playlist I was putting together for them was to have a “fun” theme as they received it before they came to visit. I wanted them excited to come. Second, I am not opposed to sharing more adult themed music with them but I believe STRONGLY that exposure such as that requires dialogue, which I couldn't really have with them when they would listen to the music since they live far away from me. Teaching requires discussion, explanation. Lastly, if I were to expose them to more adult themed tunes, I would discuss it with my sister as I absolutely respect her as a parent and would want her blessing.

    -A

  4. AMEN, Amanda. Amen. A lot of DD's material can be dark, it's true. It's also true that I listened to a lot of it when I was a kid and turned out fine. That's not really the point. You were trying to broaden the horizons of your nieces musical tastes, and you wanted some lighter, fun music to do so. Why is that really a problem? It's not..and truly, those subjects mentioned above are topics that should at least originate between a parent and child. That said, I think it's fabulous that you went to the effort to expose your nieces to some great music! -R

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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