Music has been under scrutiny on behalf of censorship for decades. Censorship is defined
as an authorization to examine material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally,
politically, or otherwise objectionable. Lyrics are essential to nearly everything in music; its
poems, ballads, monologues, etc. They may take the form of actual spoken or sung sounds or of
written words, as literature does. Without the musical component, you’re left with literature and
words; this leaves the heated debate as to whether music should be censored or not. Music
should be used as an expression of freedom and should not be overtly scrutinized as to what is
appropriate because it is simply futile and a violation of freedom of speech because in almost
every case, banned music or the creation of “edited” music has been disregarded and people have
gotten to the uncensored versions nevertheless. Changing and censoring lyrics to music can
completely change or even ruin the meaning of the song, and in addition censoring music can be
compared to tyrannical regimes with the intention of censoring things that people see and/or
hear, and frankly it’s violation of our constitution.
Censorship is literally ineffective because people are able to effortlessly find an
unrestricted version of a song. With the New Age of media there is the availability of the internet
and websites like iTunes; it’s simple for people to discover uncensored songs with no dilemma.
So what’s the point of editing songs that people, especially minors, are going to eventually find
the original song anyhow? According to journalist and musician of New York, Steven Wishnia,
in times of sensitivity (post 9/11), songs were banned from the radio that were not lyrically
involved whatsoever with what occurred simply because they were “lyrically questionable”
(Wishnia). This is an example of the government being overbearing and limiting musical
freedoms. The question of what constitutes as "suitable" language and obscenity has been greatly
forced upon the music industry. The current labeling of parental advisory warnings consists of a
black and white logo fixed on the cover of an album on the bottom right hand corner. For all the
controversy these stickers stir up, do they really serve a practical purpose for protecting the
young people of this nation? And, is this another example of the government mandating our lives
rather than “protecting” us from indecency?
The censorship of music can have much more negative effects than positive ones for
songs can be extremely taken out of context. Music is almost always construed and
misinterpreted with the true gist of a song to fit a person’s accusations. The problem with this is
that the individuals (usually parents and politicians) who have an outcry over lyrics are
frequently the same group tries to use music to fault the problems of society’s actions upon.
Most of us have all heard the stories about...