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Paying Attention to Song Lyrics

June 16, 2008
by root
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I read your article about music and recovery (November 2007 issue), and I too agree that music and lyrics play an important role. I am an addiction counselor and in recovery myself. When I used alcohol and drugs and had codependency issues, I thought the song “Every Breath You Take” by The Police was a song of devoted love. Listening to it once in recovery, I saw that it was a song about control and obsession.

My wife used to sing the song “My Baby Loves Me Just the Way That I Am” by Martina McBride when she felt good about herself. She had not sung that in a while, especially given that she became concerned about her weight and thought herself unacceptable and unattractive to me. I suggested she go back to singing that song.

Working with youths who listen to songs that have lyrics with a lot of anger and mistrust, I find that the young person usually portrays those issues.

David Smith, Valleyview, Alberta, Canada