6 Inappropriate Songs Played at My Gym, Plus 1 Extended Explanation of What My Gym Is Since Maybe You Don’t Already Know

by anna on October 13, 2008

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Every Saturday morning, Mr. Right-Click and I take Mini to a place called My Gym. If you’re not familiar with My Gym, it is an indoor gymnastic recreation establishment (not unlike Gymboree) where you take your kids to tire them out and–hopefully–buy yourselves some naptime later in the day. Unlike some indoor playgrounds, the activities at My Gym are structured and led by impossibly peppy instructors in their early twenties who come from Elsewhere–you know, like Kansas, or whatever–and have names like Susie. Or, Jammin. Yes. Jammin. Not Jamm-ing. Jammin.
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During these activities, they play music, and while some of it is your average kiddie music, a lot of it is aimed at the demographic of parents it imagines will be there with their toddler children. Therefore, much of it is from the early 80s. Which is fine. I love taking walks down memory lane via music. But on occasion, I’ll find myself humming along, and look at Mini racing down the slide on a plastic scooter, or belly flopping into the giant vat of plastic balls, and think, “Wait, isn’t this the music from the sex scene of Top Gun?”
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And then I’ll think, maybe I should get upset about this. But the fact is, I find the whole thing much more valuable as a source of humor than for anything else. We spoke to Jammin about this, actually, and he said some parents actually complain about the music. Me? I’m much to lazy. I’d rather mock on my blog. So, yeah. Without further ado, let me present this week’s list, “6 Inappropriate Songs Played at My Gym,” complete with iTunes links, for your reading, listening, and headscratching enjoyment.
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  1. Take My Breath Away by Berlin. Yeah, please cf. my earlier comment about the sex theme from Top Gun. I managed to talk my grandparents into taking me to see Top Gun when I was in 7th Grade, which was admittedly probably a little early to learn about Kelly McGillis’ love handles, but Mini is only 17 months. What does he need to know about “watching every motion in this foolish lover’s game.” ??
  2. YMCA by The Village People. As they loaded this one up for the second time, teaching the hand signals to the little ones, Mr. Right-Click said, “Do you know why it’s fun to stay at the YMCA, Jammin?” Not that there’s anything wrong with that. And certainly this is one of the all time great party dance songs. But that’s a conversation I’d rather save until Mini is at least into his terrible twos.
  3. Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benetar. We are young. Heartache through heartache, we stand. No promises, no demands. Hahahahaha. Nobody with a toddler wrote this song!
  4. Raspberry Beret by Prince. Listen, I liked this song a lot when I heard it the first time. And yeah, I suppose there’s nothing wrong with encouraging the kids to buy things at second hand stores. Reuse Recycle and all that. But let’s take a look at the story arc: 1) Prince is working part time in a five-and-dime; 2) his boss admonishes him for being lazy; 3) regularly substitutes single letters and numbers for complete words; 4) notices a girl wearing a raspberry beret; 5) follows her out of the store; and 6) loses his virginity to her. Is this is the kind of work ethic we want to instill in our youth? And what about fashion sense? This song seems very pro-French to me. I doubt Pat O’Reilly would approve. OTOH, this might be a recommendation for it, now that I think about it.
  5. Billy Jean by Michael Jackson. OK, first of all, I’m not sure that any song by Michael Jackson should really be played at My Gym. The associations are pretty strong and not so good. But also, I don’t know that it’s the most sensitive song to sing–surely there’s some kid in the class for whom “she’s just a girl / who thinks that I am the one / but the kid is not my son” is going to strike a little too close to home. I mean, paternity suits abound. Los Angeles is a city filled with Tom Leykis listeners. Who knows what these kids’ home lives are like?
  6. A View to a Kill by Duran Duran. This song advises, among other things, to “dance into the fire,” claiming “that fatal kiss is all we need.” OK, first of all, what does that even mean? I like the fact that it’s all 80s-era James Bond, and everything, but I’d like to keep Mini’s healthy fear of fire intact if possible, and avoid encouraging him to dance into it. That could only end badly. But more importantly, a child exposed to this kind of music on a regular basis might think that the following collection of words actually add up to coherent thoughts: “Night fall covers me, but you know the plans I’m making, / Still over sea, could it be the whole world opening wide / A sacred why? , a mystery gaping inside / The weekends why?” Yes, the weekends why, indeed, Simon LeBon. My son is at a critical point in the development of his language skills, and you come at me with “Between the shades, assination standing still” ???

Check out these list lovers:

  1. Becky at Suburban Matron
  2. Brazen Bare Toe
  3. Jenni at Oscarelli
  4. Keely, the Un-Mom
  5. Ginger at Ramble Ramble
  6. PauvrePlume
  7. Kitkatsknits

{ 19 comments }

jenboglass (steenkybee) October 13, 2008 at 6:54 am

So the only song I would have been remotely able to stomach is the Duran Duran. But only because I would imagine Simon Lebon and and I embracing together and sharing eyeliner. This has just given me one more reason I won’t go to the gym. My giggly legs can’t take that Pat Benetar song.

jenboglass (steenkybee)´s last blog post..Memed…Like a Lot, You Guys

jenboglass (steenkybee) October 13, 2008 at 6:54 am

And, by the way, HOW FIRST WAS I JUST NOW!!!!

Mary Anna October 13, 2008 at 7:34 am

I cue up my iPod for Crazy Clean-Up (my ploy to get Thing 1 to help put stuff away), and oftentimes I have to run over to skip a song I feel is a little too out there for his innocent little ears. You’d think a place created for kids would take a few minutes to review their play list.

BTW: I used to work for a homebuilder and was in charge of purchasing the music that played in the model homes. Fun perk of my job, I guess. I had to put on my prude cap and remove stuff like “Hot Legs” from the Rod Stewart collection and “The Bitch is Back” by Sir Elton. You have to appeal to the masses, yes, but sometimes you have to rule for the exceptions as well.

Mary Anna´s last blog post..WTF?

Jim October 13, 2008 at 8:16 am

Darn you Jen!

At least they’re not playing “I Touch Myself”

Jim´s last blog post..Dust Bunnies

Keely October 13, 2008 at 8:21 am

I should probably hone my sense of outrage before Xander is old enough to take to places like that, because it wouldn’t have even occurred to me that those song were inappropriate.
Of course, we let our one-year-old watch Batman and Angel and, on special occasions, Dexter, so maybe it’s a bit of a lost cause.

Keely´s last blog post..Giving thanks and getting awards

Toe October 13, 2008 at 10:42 am

I don’t quite remember even recognizing music when I was small, let alone understanding what the words said. I think the kids just like the boom, pop, groove of music. They could probably change it to something more appropriate like the wheels on the bus but how insane would that make the parents?

Oh by the way I made a list
http://brazenbaretoe.blogspot.com/2008/10/10-things-i-hate-on-mondays.html
aren’t you proud?!

Toe´s last blog post..10 Things I Hate On Mondays

Becky October 13, 2008 at 10:48 am

Dude, I have a list over at my place. Should I paste the link here?

And your list is hilarious. I have had this exact same thought in Gymboree. And “View to a Kill” just seems like the real standout. Where do you EVER hear that song played?

And is My Gym cheaper than Gymboree, i.e., less than $70/month?

Becky´s last blog post..Three Things I Should Have Seen Coming

anna October 13, 2008 at 10:55 am

@Toe and @Becky: you guys are linked up!

Keely October 13, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Blah, double post up there. I played the listy game over at my other blog, The Un Mom.

Keely´s last blog post..9 things I’m thankful for

anna October 13, 2008 at 12:51 pm

@Keely, you’re linked up! Also, I’m deleting the extra post up there.

shonda October 13, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Okay, does it have to be a song list or just any? I will totally do one tonight.

shonda´s last blog post..A Beautiful Mind

anna October 13, 2008 at 1:21 pm

any list will do! I’m going to do it every Monday from now until eternity. Or until it’s old and busted, which might be next month or so.

Ginger October 13, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Yay for lists! I’m playing, as usual.

Ginger´s last blog post..20 reasons I wish it was November 5th

Sprite's Keeper October 13, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Duran Duran. If I could thank the 80′s for anything, it would be Duran Duran. And New Kids. And hot pink. And leg warmers. Oh, no, I sense a flashback!
Great post!

Sprite’s Keeper´s last blog post..Well, the Holidays ARE just around the corner..

PauvrePlume October 13, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Hola Anna…
I just listed it up!
Also, with the exception of the first two songs on your list, I must say that the others were basically my reasons for living in the 80s. Particularly Pat Benatar, whom I still obsess over and bust into the “Love is a Battlefield” choreography whenever the song comes on. (yeah, you wish you could see, I know…)

But yeah, I don’t have a kid and/or hear these things at kid hangouts. Like you said, I’m thinking “View To a Kill” is probably the least appropriate. Killing and fire and all that stuff. Not exactly kid-friendly. Sheesh. Does that joint have comment cards?

PauvrePlume´s last blog post..12 things the doctors didn’t tell me

Linds October 13, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Woah. I clearly don’t have (and should not be trusted with) children! It would never have occurred to me that these songs were inappropriate for children, but damn, what are we teaching them?

Linds´s last blog post..Are you a Jacquie or a Marilyn? Or someone else?

Ann October 14, 2008 at 8:34 am

I completely agree!
Great list.

Ann´s last blog post..It’s Picture Day!

blissfully caffeinated October 15, 2008 at 9:40 pm

I’m dying laughing at #4.

blissfully caffeinated´s last blog post..Escargot, my car go, one sixty, swiftly / Wreck it buy a new one

Stephanie March 11, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Your post made it back to me from one of my My Gym moms.. I don’t think I knew the words to half of those songs…You have to remember we don’t listen to the music for 1 hour like the parents.. we get to listen to it over and over for 7 days straight (since it changes each week) so we have to throw in a few of our favorites!!!! and by the names I know excatly which My Gym you go to.. Funny Stuff!!! We love our My Gym Parents!!!

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