Sunday, April 10, 2011

Subtle Violence in music

This song by Foster the People has a catchy chorus and a hook that it fairly popular. However, when looking at the lyrics, we see that the song is about a boy who goes around shooting people. This is an interesting case, as we are used to violence being the at the forefront of certain media, whether that be music, video games, or movies. When we hear songs like this one, where violence is embedded deep into the song, to the point where most people wouldn't even classify it as a particularly violent song, we seem to conjure this fantastical imagery of violence. I know that when the violent lyrics of "Pumped Up Kicks" is paired with smooth melodies I do not really even focus on the negative aspects of the described violence. One could even say that this type of violence in music might actually be just as harmful to the masses as a mega-violent gangsta rap song because it melodically portrays the violence in a positive light, in a way. That being said, the song itself is pretty solid and its worth a listen.


  1. This sort of reminds me of Third Eye Blind's Semi-Charmed life, which on the surface appears to be pretty happy, but is actually about crystal meth addiction and sexuality.

  2. wow, I had no idea that this song was about shooting people. ya you can hear in the chorus that hes talking about outrunning a gun but i think max is right when he says that the nice melody sort of cancels out the violence. Its almost hard to think this type of song is talking about shooting people. Its a strange mixture but I like it

  3. Howdy,

    This song is speaking out against bullying. I actually talked about it in my blog. I am using your blog in my blog roll for my English course. Regardless, I just have to say because I really defended this song. This song isn't promoting violence. It is warning against the harm the bullying has and the retaliation that is likely to occur because of it.


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