The DAY Programme

domestic abuse & exploitation: bringing young people out of the dark & into the light of DAY


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I've Fallen for a Monster

Posted by Natalie Collins on July 2, 2012 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (6)

As I drove home from work at the weekend, this is the chorus that  came out of the radio:

“Daddy I’ve fallen for a monster
Somehow he’s scaring me to death
Ah yes he is
He’s big and he’s bad
I love him like mad
Mamma he’s the best I ever had

Daddy I’ve fallen for a monster He got a black heart” 

This song is called Black Heart by StooShe and is number 8 in the Radio 1 chart.

Can I just state that again?

This is the chorus of the song that is number 8 in the Radio 1 chart.  

A song that celebrates a man described as a “monster who is scaring his partner to death” as the best type of partner the singer has ever had is in the top 10 of the national radio station aimed at “15-29 year olds…providing tailored news, documentaries and advice campaigns for young adults”*.  A song that clearly celebrates domestic abuse as normal is being given regular play time on a radio station aimed directly at young adults.

Some will say “but it’s just a song”.  However every individual is an amalgamation of personality and human identity fused with layer upon layer of societal messages and cultural training.  To say “it’s just a song” is the same as saying “blood is just a red liquid”.  

Especially for young people, songs are an extension of their personality and markers for where they are at both emotionally and psychologically.  StooShe getting to number 8 in the Chart says something about their marketing and PR people, but also says something about the number of young people who relate to these lyrics, young people who do have a “monster” for a partner who is “scaring them to death”, and Radio 1 among other radio stations are playing this song, which is portraying an abusive partner not only as normal, but as desirable.  For a radio station which provides “advice campaigns to young people” this is irresponsible and unhelpful.  

The reality is that Radio 1 are not going to stop playing this song, and both young people and adults are going to buy it, so let us use it as an opportunity to talk to young people about their relationships.  Let us prevent this song from promoting abuse by using it as an educational resource, and maybe in doing so enable the young people we interact with to not “fall for a monster”, but instead see this song as a model of how not to live their lives.

*Source: BBC website