Monday, August 11, 2014

In defense of Katy Perry

Yes, that Katy Perry. 

And by Katy Perry, I just mean Katy Perry's lyrics. I don't actually care about defending Katy Perry the person. Because a) I don't know her and b) I'm pretty sure "Cultural Appropriation" is her middle name (which, funny enough, is Miley Cyrus' too), and, you know, that's not really my cup of tea to defend.

But as a listener of pop music (what else would I listen to in my car?), I would like to defend her lyrics. Because they take a lot of shit, and I'm gonna say right now it's undeserved (unless we're talking about the god-awful "Ur So Gay," in which case, okay, yeah, I'll give you that). Otherwise, her lyrics convey the exact type of messages I want to hear in pop songs, so allow me to stand up for them.

Don't act like you can't relate.

1. "Acceptance is the key to be, to be truly free." (from "Unconditionally")

Call it an empty platitude if you want, but HAS ANYTHING TRUER EVER BEEN SUNG? You know how some people create mantras for themselves? This one should be the entire world's.

2. "She used to set the sails of a thousand ships/ Was a force to be reckoned with/ She could be a Statue of Liberty/ She could be a Joan of Arc/ But he's scared of the light that's inside of her/ So he keeps her in the dark." (from "Pearl")

Preach it, Katy. Who hasn't thought a friend's significant other was an insecure piece of shit who brought them down? Just me? The entire song is about asserting yourself and rejecting such relationships and, you know, that's not the worst message to spread around. The lyrics are as cheesy as a handwritten love note recited by your lame boyfriend over candlelight but at least it's not a grown woman wishing she were the nameless girl in a country song.

3. "And we pop what is prescribed/ If it gets us first prize but you know who I/Who I think will win/ Are the ones that let love in." (from "This Moment")

If we are our true selves when we're drunk then I love the entire world and everyone in it. And isn't that better than being the angry drunk? The angry drunk is the worst. Even worse than the weepy drunk.

4. "I’ll be the one defining who I'm gonna be/ No concealing feelings, or changing seasonally/ I’m gonna love myself, the way I want you to love me." (from "Love Me")

I'll say it again: there ain't nothing wrong with spreading the importance of self-love. See also: Jewel's "Stronger Woman." True, sometimes I want to listen to a song about how much I hate myself, but then there are these other times when I actually want to feel good. Katy Perry is for feeling good.

5. "Oh, I can only take responsibility for me/ It takes two, two sides to every story/ Not just you/ I can't keep ignoring/ I admit half of it, I'm not that innocent." (from "It Takes Two") 

Oh my god, ya'll. It's the anti-Taylor Swift. Are we actually admitting we also contribute to shitty relationships? I feel you, Katy. That's right, world. You can contribute to the demise of a relationship and still be a worthwhile person.

6. "Have you ever been so lost/ Known the way and still so lost/ Caught in the eye of a hurricane/ Slowly waving goodbye like a pageant parade /So sick of this town pulling me down." (from "Lost")


7. "You think you're so rock and roll/ But you're really just a joke/ Had the world in the palm of your hands/ But you fucking choked." (from "Circle the Drain")

I've never been in this situation but I'm hardcore responding to the vitriol. Oh god, what does that say about me?

8. "Take me down to the river/ Underneath the blood orange sun/ Say my name like a scripture/ Keep my heart beating like a drum." (from "Legendary Lovers")

It's so sacrilegious. I relish it.

9. "You chewed me up and spit me out/ Like I was poison in your mouth/ You took my light, you drained me down/ But that was then and this is now." (from "Part of Me")

Oh sister. I've so been there.
10. "Oh my God no exaggeration/ Now all this time was worth the waiting/ I just shed a tear/ I'm so unprepared/ You've got the finest architecture/ End of the rainbow looking treasure/ Such a sight to see/ And it's all for me." (from "Peacock")

Wait, is she talking about a penis? Of course she is. That's one thing you can count on about a Katy Perry song. She's always talking about sex. In fact, I love how overtly sexual 99 percent of her songs are. Nevermind that the real Katy Perry actually seems to have a pretty shallow take on sexuality, the person singing her songs is all about exploring your sexuality. No, I'm not talking about the terrible song that is "I Kissed a Girl." I'm talking about how every song on her latest album is basically about sex. Get it, Katy. Or at least the Katy in all your songs.


  1. My daughter absolutely LOVES Katy Perry and I bet she will love you after this post... I'm gonna have her read this :)

    Speaking of song lyrics.. I was listening to some funky songs this weekend and they were so weird lyrics. I should post about it. Because I want some answers!!

  2. You have opened my eyes to the genius of Katy Perry! hahahaha

  3. All hail Katy Perry lyrics! I can still remember talking about Peacock with you back in our undergrad days. Where the hell have the years gone? May that song forever be fondly spoken of.

  4. Unconditionally is probably the best song... Top 10.

  5. Hahah, yes I love scoring points with daughters. I can't help but love Katy Perry--she's too fun. And what songs did you hear?

  6. I am SO glad I was able to show the light to somebody!

  7. Peacock was our jam for going out! It will always hold a special place in my heart.

  8. I love Unconditionally now. For some reason it wasn't my favorite at first.

  9. Her "I kissed a girl" will forever be my favorite though. It brings back memories. LOL!