In the year 1579, Sir Phillip Sidney, poet, philosopher, courtier, and immortal
released his ‘The defense of Poetry’, which, spoiler alert, defended poetry. Now 16th century English poetry was basically like today’s pop music: it was a genre everyone loved to hate but secretly liked. And Sir Phillip Sidney decided he couldn’t shake off the haters who were gonna hate hate hate.
And 500 years later, neither can self entitled Lady Farishte Irani, college student, professional procrastinator, human potato, and person who likes to talk about herself in third person. She decided to follow in Sir Phillip Sidney’s legacy and write taking on those lethal haters, in defense of pop music.
Adele’s recent, absolutely heart breaking new single is basically breaking the internet right now, with endless comments by self-proclaimed music critics going on about how Adele is the only thing that saves pop music. A fan even sent the lyrics to her ex for fun.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy belting out to Adele while thinking about Benedict Cumberbatch, and/or Joseph Gordon Levitt getting married as much as the next person does, but I do not agree that Adele is, and to quote a random comment on Facebook, ‘the only thing that saves pop music’. I don’t think pop music needs saving. At all. I like Taylor Swift. I like the idea of shaking it off, or repeatedly telling my ex that we are never ever ever, EVER getting back together while dancing around with random farmyard animals. I like Katy Perry, and yes, I do feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind, and yes, I do know how truly horrible that lyric is, and no, I don’t care. Plastic bags and I connect and Katy Perry just gets me. Pop music has this unique ability to make people feel happy, even if they’re trying their best to feel all snobbish while listening to it. Saying that you’re too cool to listen to pop music is like saying you’re too cool to be happy, which is basically taking modernism to a whole new level.
Yes, Pop music has repetitive lyrics. And yes, the lyrics sometimes do lack in the…err…poetic sense (‘If the light is off it isn’t on’, thank you for that pearl of wisdom, Hilary Duff), but it’s what you want to listen to when there’s too much on your mind, and you just need something, anything, to lift your spirits. The occasionally bad lyrics can make you feel superior (if that song made it, so can you), and the catchy tunes make you wanna dance, even though you know you dancing in public is a safety hazard. That’s not to say that Pop music doesn’t have the meaningful and the deep, however. The Beatles were a pop group. ABBA was a pop group.
Taylor Swift writes lyrics like “so casually cruel in the name of being honest” (‘All too well’, 2012) while Lady Gaga sings about domestic abuse. Pop music, is quite simply POPULAR because it deserves to be. And I shall passionately crusade for it till my dying breath. Or till the pizza I ordered arrives. Also, I have Taylor Swift’s approval. Or at least I would if she ever read this. Or knew I existed (though we are BFFs in my head).