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Censorship Essay, Research Paper

Music Censorship

Since the being of time people have been making and listening to music. Music has been considered the best way to express ourselves. The Bible even talks about how music was used to praise God. Music has been used for all type of things ranging from to getting a girl to notice guy, trying to get over a broken heart, or maybe losing a love one. Now society says that music has become too violent and sexually oriented. Many people have different point of view on this topic some people feel that there should be some type of censorship, while other feel censorship is against the first amendment, and others feel that parents should be responsible for what their children listen to. The question that comes to mind is should music with explicit lyrics be censored?

Many people feel there is a great need for music censorship. People feel that music containing explicit lyrics have a negative impact on the youth. Jim Walsh of the Knight-Ridder wrote and article about how he feels about censorship on music. He insists that most modern day that music teenagers listen to should be banned. Music controls peoples moods, and music with explicit lyrics can cause teenagers to commit violent crimes. Walsh continues to blame music for all the problems that teenagers have, including committing suicide and doing drugs. Most parents agree with Walsh’s ideals towards modern day music. Parents have even gone to the extreme to get parental advisory labels placed on music with explicit lyrics. Children under the age of eighteen are not suppose to be able to purchase music with parental advisory label on them without a adult. I feel that the parental advisory sticker on record is a good idea, because it way for parents to know type of lyrics their children are listening. This way censorship doesn’t have to place among the music industry.

Others believe that music should not be censored because it would infringe on the artist’s right to freedom of speech, but music containing explicit lyrics should be criticized for their negative content. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas delivered a speech to the City Club of Cleveland. In his speech he discusses how music has a major affect on youth, and how crimes among teenagers have increased greatly, since music with explicit lyrics have been out on the market. He also expresses that music should not be censored, because the artist have the right to say what they want in their lyrics, but society also had the right to criticize the explicit lyrics in their music. (1-9) The right to freedom of speech is given to all people under the bill of rights. If people weren’t allowed to speak what they felt this country would not be where it is today.

However, other Americas feel that there should be no such thing as censorship on music, but it is completely up to the parents to decide what their children should listen to. In an article written by Olivia Clarke, she interviews parents to see what they have to say about the music their children listen too. Lory Reinisch listens to the music her children listen to and then tells them what songs they can listen to on the CD. (3) Artists that produce hardcore music is only for entertainment. In the same article Dr. Dre stated, “I let my kids listen. Matter of fact, I have a 14-year-old daughter that critiques my music every now and then. It’s funny to her.” He also feels that music is just music, and parent should be their children’s role models (2). Parents have to take responsible for what their children listen to.

As a nineteen-year-old college student, I listen to all types of music, and I strongly believe that music should not be censored. Yes, some of the music I listen to contains very explicit lyrics, but I realize the difference between reality and fantasy.

Parents should not blame music for having a negative impact on their children, every child has a mind of their own and its up to their parents to instill morals in them.

A lot of artists have explicit lyrics in their music to express themselves, they are just talking about what they went through in the life. I know their music gives a lot of inspiration to teenagers to go on, because they realize that things could always be worse. Parents should not take an artist’s right of freedom of speech, just because they do not take responsibility for raising their children.


Brownback, Sam. “Free speech: lyrics, liberty and license” Vital Speeches

15 May. 1998 :454-45. InfoTrac. Gale Group. Dacus Library, Winthrop

University, Rock Hill, SC, 21 Mar. 2001

Clarke, Olivia “Parents concerned about children’s exposure to ‘adult lyrics’.”

Knight-Ridder / Tribune New Service. 10 Sept. 2000. InfoTrac. Gale Group

Dacus Library, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC. 13 Mar 2001

Walsh, Jim. “Censorship in Music? My, what a wonderful idea!” Knight Ridder

Newspaper 29 Dec 2000. InfoTrac. Gale Group. Dacus Library, Winthrop

University, Rock Hill, SC, 21 Mar. 2001

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