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I've Fallen for a Monster

Posted by Natalie Collins on July 2, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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

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6 Comments

Reply Rachel Saunders
5:13 PM on July 2, 2012 
Thank you thank you thank you! I thought for a moment that perhaps I was the only person in the country who had a problem with this song. I am so disappointed that the BBC continue to play it. I can't help but think it's massively hypocritical to have any stance against domestic abuse if they allow this song to be played. It seems to be saying to young men, that women like to be treated badly and it says to young women that it is acceptable to be treated that way. Pop culture is so influential, it is wrong that we allow it to confuse young people like this.
Reply Natalie Collins
5:20 PM on July 2, 2012 
Hi Rachel,

No you are definitely not the only one! Thanks so much for commenting!! I am greatly encouraged!

Thanks,

Natalie
Reply Liz
6:17 AM on July 4, 2012 
I agree with you that lyrics and songs that glamorise domestic violence and unhealthy relationships aren't at all good and should be boycotted, however I feel that there are worse songs than this floating around in the charts and in the last couple of years, these songs seem to have grown and got a life of their own, but although the chorus of this song is about a monster, the rest of the song and the video that goes with it is about a woman who understands that this is not a healthy relationship, and she needs to get out. She does in the end, with help from her friends (band members) who hate the bloke who is treating her badly.

I think the whole song is brilliant for teaching women and girls that they can walk away from a guy that is cheating on them.

It's popular because it's catchy - as is 'Call Me Maybe' by Carly Rea-Jepsen, who's singing that it's ok to give your number out to someone you've just met! Using music to promote positive behaviours is a good thing though.

Liz
Reply Zoe
3:19 PM on September 11, 2012 
I dont think this song "celebrates" domestic violence, I think it says that the person in the song is in an abusive relationship but they love them like so many people dont leave their abusive partners because they love them, and that "the best I ever had" may mean she has been in relationships before that were even more abusive so this man is the best in comparison to these partners.
Reply EddieBoy
1:08 PM on September 21, 2012 
I was disgusted the moment I heard this song. This singer should be kept awake at night by the screams of abuse victims but somehow I doubt she is.

I also hated Alexandra Burke's 'Bad Boys' which was much of the same - "I know I'm playing with fire but the bad boys always take me higher" or some similarly worded crap. I'm a 27 year old male, I don't know anyone who's suffered domestic abuse but it enrages me just to think about how our society accepts these songs.

Couple that with radio's willingness to promote (not just by playing his songs but actually verbally promote) Chris Brown because apparently once a few years have passed, regardless of if any believable remorse has been shown, people who smash their girlfriends to a bloody pulp can still be put on a pedestal.
Reply EddieBoy
1:12 PM on September 21, 2012 
Zoe says...
I dont think this song "celebrates" domestic violence, I think it says that the person in the song is in an abusive relationship but they love them like so many people dont leave their abusive partners because they love them, and that "the best I ever had" may mean she has been in relationships before that were even more abusive so this man is the best in comparison to these partners.



That is a horrendous cop out. You surmise that she's saying "this is the least abusive relationship I've had yet!" and *that's* suppose to make it better?

If you write a song about a man who beats the shit out of you, give it a happy feel and sing it brimming with joy then YES you are celebrating domestic abuse. There's no conflict in the song, there's no acknowledgement that anything he does to her is wrong, there's none of that.

What you're doing is being an apologist, which is *precisely* what people should *not* be doing when it comes to men who beat the shit out of their girlfriends. The term 'domestic abuser' lacks those descriptive qualities, I think.