The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays (6-15-15)—I’m gonna make you, I’m gonna break you

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

My wise old grandmotherMy wise old grandmother (picture ►) was not a fan of what she called foul language. Granddad, on the other hand, was the world’s #1 user, with every other word being foul language or some racial or ethnic slur. How they got along for 50 years is beyond me, but maybe they were the definition of “opposites attract.”

She instilled in me that distaste for foul language with just one slap of her hand. Earlier that day I had tacked a black light poster of The Beatles on a wall of my room. She ripped it down, and I do mean ripped. I had saved my allowance for a month to afford that beautiful poster—$3.99! She totally destroyed it.

As I stood over the ruins, I looked at her and yelled “Damn you!” I was 6’3″ and 100 pounds. She was 5’0″ and 140 pounds. With one swing of her arm, she slapped me in the face, knocking me to the ground. She then stood over me and said ever so quietly, “Don’t damn me, damn you.”

Long-time readers will realize that my blog is safe for work with neither foul language nor inappropriate pictures or videos. In fact, if someone leaves what I deem inappropriate language in a comment, well, it’s my blog, and I feel free to edit comments. (English is a beautiful language. Learn how to use that beauty to express its ugliness.)

My collection of music is the same way. Prior to digital music, I would buy a record album and listen to it. Occasionally, I was shocked by what I heard in a song and, whenever that album played in the future, I would skip that song by picking up the needle and placing it on the next song on the record. In today’s world of digital music, I simply pull up the file and delete the song from the album.

Thus, I can count on three fingers the number of songs I have in my music collection with foul language in them. All of them were added in 2015, and one, titled “Star F***er, by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts is getting deleted later today after I listened to it yesterday. I just don’t like it.

Another one has just one inappropriate word. I can’t even remember the song title or the artist, but I remember remarking to Julian that in the context of the song, the inappropriate word was appropriate.

The third song was just added a few days ago. It is titled “Psycho” and is by Muse. I like the song so much that I was encouraged to explore Muse’s discography, and I now have their complete catalog.

Muse has been around since 1994, and “Psycho” is their first song to have an “Explicit Lyrics” label on it. The message of the song is a powerful one about war and “killing machines.” My dad was in the Air Force, and I graduated from Texas A&M University which has a Corps of Cadets that is 2,500 strong, so I’m familiar with this specific language in the context of war.

Along with the message about war, Matthew Bellamy’s guitar and vocals, the driving bass, the drums…. everything about the song really gets me going.

It is 5:50 long, so you’ll hear a lot of inappropriate language. Give it at least one listen to and then make up your mind, but I did warn you about the message and the language.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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14 thoughts on “Music on Mondays (6-15-15)—I’m gonna make you, I’m gonna break you

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      The drill sergeant in the video reminded me of the drill sergeant at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1968 when my youngest uncle joined the Army. We went to see his final review, and as we were walking through Fort Hood to the parade stands, there was a drill sergeant with a bunch of new recruits. He was giving them that exact speech, and the “Your ass belongs to me now” was something I will never forget. It made me want to do extremely well in school so that I wouldn’t get drafted. My ass belonged to me, no one else!

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  1. Mike Rine

    Muse opened for U2 in Houston. My daughter thought we could get one ticket … she could watch Muse, walk out and give me the ticket, then I could come in and enjoy U2. Ummm … no ins and outs … so it was another daddy/daughter music date … and yes, I like the music of Muse as well, now.

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  2. Mike Rine

    Speaking of my daughter (and bad language in songs) … when she was in HS and I was a HS teacher (at a different school), her iTunes music would end up on my laptop and I would in turn (unbeknownst to her) play it for my classes. She thought I was just playing my classic rock tunes (and I had to delete a Stones, Eagles, and Jimmy Buffett song because of the language). When she found out I was using HER playlists, her face dropped. “Ummmm dad, let me have your laptop.” In an hour she returned “here’s the laptop with radio approved music on it.” Seems one of the reasons the kids might have liked my music is it had the explicit words in them. It took a few days but a couple of kids noticed I had cleaned up the songs. Like with James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” …

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  3. insearchofitall

    I’m with you on the language. Sometimes when things fall on me, I make up words. 🙂 The music though reminiscent of my military life as a dependent, isn’t my style. My dad was the drill Sargent and he order us around like that.

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      1. insearchofitall

        Lives are as they are meant to be. No accidents. When men take orders all day, they often feel the need to give them when they get home. My mother was German, a product of Hitlers era. No kindness or warmth. We used to joke as we got older that we never knew whether to salute or click our heels as orders came from both sides and were obeyed without question or comment. Your life unfolded perfectly. Grandma may have been strict and a little behind but you may have received the kinder end of the stick. I guess we get what we need to learn in this life. It was a hard lesson but I learned it well. No regrets.

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