Of Songs and Lyrics


Before anything, I might need to confess it here : I am not an avid listener of IKIM.fm (the only Islamic radio channel in Malaysia, I reckon), and that sure means something if you are the kind of person who thinks any other radio channel is not worth listening to. I can understand that, nevertheless.

I only listen to songs and radio when driving, and that means, it might be a 3-4 hours on weekends and min 1 hour on a weekday, if I am not commuting to work by LRT. And my choice is either Mix.fm (because they do not play any hiphop songs which I really despise), or currently my Maher Zain CD, or some zikr CDs.

And that implies that I listen to pop songs not as much as others do, even though I do not own an MP3 player of any sort -( I have never on an Apple product of any model, Steve Jobs fails to convert me) – and I do have a glimpse on current hits.

I was listening to my current favourite feel-good song – Soul Sister by Train (Oh yes, despite how crappy the lyrics maybe) I found it difficult to understand the censorship principles used by the censorship board in Malaysia.

You might have noticed some of the songs played have some sorts of deletion, and for the case of my favourite song, there are (as far as I notice) as follows:

Just in time, I’m so glad you have a one-track mind like me
You gave my life direction, a game show love connection we can’t deny
I’m so obsessed, my heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest
I believe in you, like a virgin, you’re Madonna, and I’m always gonna wanna blow your mind

The way you can cut a rug, watching you’s the only drug I need
You’re so gangsta, I’m so thug, you’re the only one I’m dreaming of
You see, I can be myself now finally, in fact there’s nothing I can’t be
I want the world to see you be with me

So those two words strike-throughed are those censored and if you listened to the censored version of the song you’ll notice the weird sound. At a glance you can understand why, well, at least for ‘Drug’ (since I can’t understand the ‘virgin’ part) did they censored them.

My point is , the censorship is pretty much based on potential negative words (yeah right!), not the whole concept or any other implicit elements of sex, drug, or terror that the song might contains.

Which gives me a slight headache, because for instance, if you take a look at this lyric, you can see that it is not something you want the children to hum and sing along with:

Your Body is a Wonderland

We got the afternoon
You got this room for two
One thing I’ve left to do
Discover me
Discovering you

One mile to every inch of
Your skin like porcelain
One pair of candy lips and
Your bubblegum tongue

And if you want love
We’ll make it
Swim in a deep sea
Of blankets
Take all your big plans
And break ’em
This is bound to be awhile

Your body is a wonderland
Your body is a wonder (I’ll use my hands)
Your body is a wonderland

Something ’bout the way the hair falls in your face
I love the shape you take when crawling towards the pillowcase
You tell me where to go and
Though I might leave to find it
I’ll never let your head hit the bed
Without my hand behind it

You want love?
We’ll make it
Swim in a deep sea
Of blankets
Take all your big plans
And break ’em
This is bound to be awhile

Your body is a wonderland
Your body is a wonder (I’ll use my hands)
Your body is a wonderland

Damn baby
You frustrate me
I know you’re mine all mine all mine
But you look so good it hurts sometimes

Your body is a wonderland
Your body is a wonder(I’ll use my hands)
Your body is a wonderland
Your body is a wonderland

Well, this is of course, a moderate one, I don’t have the gut to put other hip-hop songs which carry the same, or even more implicit sexual message, but I say: you should have banned this whole song!
Rationale: It is too lusty and sexual, maybe?

On a personal practice, of course you can always reach the conclusion that if I don’t really want to listen to this kind I should have just turned off the radio and start chanting dhikr on my own.

But say, if you have the authority, and the society and nation you want to build consist of people from various backgrounds who:
1. do not favour zapin, or traditional songs
2. would not listen to nasheed or Islamic songs like you
etc etc

..what would you do? They are coming from every corner you can think of, aren’t they?

Sometimes things are just irreversible, I think.

Err..does that sound too pessimistic?

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One comment

  1. Huzaifah bin Al-Yaman r.a katanya:
    Manusia sering bertanya kepada Rasulullah s.a.w mengenai amalan-amalan yang baik, tetapi aku telah bertanya tentang amalan-amalan jahat kerana aku takut ia akan menimpa diriku, lalu aku bertanya: Wahai Rasulullah! Dahulu kami berada dalam kejahilan dan kejahatan, kemudian Allah mengurniakan kepada kami kebaikan (kebenaran), adakah selepas kebenaran ini akan berlaku pula kejahatan? Rasulullah menjawab: Ya. Aku bertanya lagi: Adakah akan berlaku pula kebaikan selepas kejahatan itu? Rasulullah menjawab: Ya, tetapi ketika itu terdapat kekurangan dan perselisihan. Aku bertanya apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan kekurangan dan perselisihan itu? Rasulullah menjawab dengan bersabda: Iaitu satu kaum yang tidak beramal dengan sunnahku dan mengikuti selain dari jalanku, di antara mereka itu ada yang kamu kenal dan ada yang kamu tidak mengenalinya. Aku bertanya lagi: Adakah kejahatan akan berlaku lagi selepas itu? Rasulullah menjawab: Ya, ketika itu ada orang-orang yang menyeru atau mengajak manusia ke Neraka Jahanam, sesiapa yang menyahut ajakan mereka, maka orang itu akan dicampakkan ke dalam Neraka itu. Aku berkata lagi: Wahai Rasulullah! Sifatkan mereka kepada kami. Rasulullah menjawab: Baiklah, mereka adalah sebangsa dengan kita dan berbahasa seperti bahasa kita. Aku bertanya lagi: Wahai Rasulullah! Apakah pendapatmu sekiranya aku masih hidup lagi ketika itu? Rasulullah menjawab dengan bersabda: Kamu hendaklah bersama dengan jemaah Islam dan pemimpin mereka. Aku bertanya lagi: Bagaimana sekiranya ketika itu umat Islam tidak mempunyai jemaah (kesatuan) juga tidak ada pemimpin? Rasulullah menjawab lagi dengan bersabda: Kamu hendaklah memencilkan diri kamu dari kumpulan mereka walaupun kamu terpaksa memakan akar-akar kayu dan tinggallah kamu di sana sehingga kamu mati dalam keadaan yang demikian

    Riwayat Muslim

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