Pop Music: Where bad poetry & bad theology collide

Case #1:  Natasha Bedingfield’s lastest hit single:  “A Pocket Full of Sunshine” – You don’t really have to watch the video, but here it is:

Here are some lyrics:

I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine
I got a love and I know that it’s all mine, oh, oh oh oh
Wish that you could but you ain’t gonna own me
Do anything you can to control me, oh, oh no

Take me away, a secret place
A sweet escape, take me away
Take me away to better days
Take me away, a hiding place

There’s a place that I go that nobody knows
Where the rivers flow and I call it home
And there’s no more lies in the darkness there’s light

Sound a little like a humanistic view of heaven, right?  And it’s certainly understandable to long for another place, given the falleness of this world.  I am reminded of this quotation from C.S. Lewis:  “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world” (Mere Christianity).  But here’s where the lyrics are just bad poetry and bad theology (beyond what is already bad):

And nobody cries, there’s only butterflies

Only butterflies!    Wow, that’s just bad on all levels.  This is the problem with art that has the end of consumerism in mind, as opposed to making good art.  The songwriters needed a word that rhymed with cries and apparently butterflies was all they could come up with.  Thus, giving us a picture of some distant place away from the world where we can be taken to where there are only butterflies.  Look, I like butterflies as much as the next guy, but that’s not what I want to see in heaven or anywhere else.  And by the way, who takes you to this place?  Who takes you away to this “sweet escape.”  If we can’t get there ourselves, then Who?


3 responses to this post.

  1. Adam,

    That was one of the better butterfly smack-downs I’ve read.

    Good thoughts, seriously.



  2. Pastor:

    I know someone who has that song as their ringtone. She REALLY needs Jesus. My wife and I are praying for her. She wants so desperatly to escape, or find someone to “take her away.”

    Tim Van Arsdale
    Author, You’ve Got Spam! a refreshing collection of e-mails regarding mercy ministry


  3. Posted by adamtisdale on August 27, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Tim: Pray that her eyes will be opened. One thing that is true of pop music is that it rarely leads towards introspection that moves us toward God.


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