The title of Lady Gaga’s hit “Bad Romance” says it all. A teen panel working with the Boston Public Health Commission has listed the tune on its list of the Top 10 2009 “Songs with Unhealthy Relationship Ingredients.”
During a seven-week commission-sponsored program, the teen panel, made up of 14 teens age 15 to 19 years old, learned about healthy relationships, teen dating violence prevention and how to examine music based on themes of power, control, equality and gender roles.
The teens came up with a “Sound Relationships Nutrition Label” based on the common Nutrition Facts label that’s posted on the back of food packages. Rather than listing a food’s calorie count, sodium and protein levels, the relationship label can be used to evaluate a song’s unhealthy relationship ingredients such as drama, disrespect, manipulation and possession/obsession. Healthy relationship ingredients are also evaluated including fun/enjoyable, support, respect, equality and trust.
“Music, like food, can feed our brains and give us energy,” said Casey Corcoran, director of the Commission’s Start Strong Initiative, according to the Commission’s website. “But songs can affect our health and the health of our relationships.”
Barbara Ferrer, the commission's executive director explained in a statement that the commission wasn’t trying to tell people “what they should or should not be listening to. We are giving them a tool that will help them make an informed choice about what they put in their bodies.”
Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” ranked in the No.10 slot amongst the Top 10 2009 “Songs with Unhealthy Relationship Ingredients” with a score of 20 out of 50. The song was listed as unhealthy because of its obsessive lyrics. Lyrics sample: “I want your ugly/I want your disease/I want your everything/As long as it's free”
Gaga’s “Paparazzi” song ranked in the No.3 slot because of lyrics that described stalking behavior such as "I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me/Papa, paparazzi."
ALMA Awards, Los Angeles, Calif.
September 17, 2009
The most unhealthy song was Mario’s “Break Up” (feat. Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett) with a score of 45 out of 50 and lyrics that promoted cheating. Sample Lyrics: "I know I be/Sayin' I'll be faithful but I don't"
The Top 10 unhealthy tunes also includes Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It”(feat. T-Pain), New Boyz’s “You’re A Jerk,” 50 Cent’s “Baby By Me,” Drake’s “Best I Ever,” Ludacris’ “One More Drink” (feat. T-Pain), Flo Rida’s “Be On You”(feat. Ne-Yo) and Pitbull’s “Hotel Room Service.”
Hard Rock Cafe, Universal City Walk, Universal City, Calif.
November 17, 2009
And which songs did the teens give kudos to? The Top 10 Songs With Healthy Relationship Ingredients (2009) includes Justin Bieber’s “One Time,” Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent,” Iyaz’s “Replay,” Michael Franti’s “Say Hay,” “Knock You Down” by Keri Hilson feat. Kanye West, Keith Urban’s “Only You Can Love Me This Way,” Rob Thomas’ “Her Diamonds,” Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” Colbie Caillat’s “Fallin' For You” and The Black Eyed Peas’ “Meet Me Halfway.”
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Click here for the Boston Public Health Commission’s website.