Kid-friendly pop songs without sex, swearing and big butts

‘Oh. My. God! Would you look at her butt?’

These words came from my six-year-old’s mouth last week when she was playing dolls with her little sister.

‘Excuuuuuuuuuse me?’ I had said to her, my mouth nearly on the floor. This was completely out of character for my mild-mannered, sweet angel.

‘Where did you learn that?’

Seeing my reaction, she knew she was in trouble. She really had no idea that what she’d said was offensive. She was simply repeating something she had heard.

‘I heard it on the radio,’ she replied meekly.

The radio. Great. Thanks Sir Mix A lot. I guess I didn’t switch that song off quickly enough.

I suppose I’m lucky, really, that Miss Four didn’t join in with the chorus:

‘I like big butts and I cannot lie. You other brothers can’t deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung …’

Ever since the CD player in our car broke, we’ve been listening to the radio. To be honest it has been a welcome reprieve from Yo Gabba Gabba, Frozen and Justine. The girls complained at first, but now they love it. Top 40 music is my style and the girls and I spend our car trips to and from school and daycare bopping along to wicked tunes.

There’s rarely any explicit language on the channels we listen to and if there’s a song that involves inappropriate content, I’m quick to change the channel.

There are certain songs that creep in though. They seem innocent enough. The music is catchy and you don’t think too deeply about the lyrics. You’re just enjoying a little escapism as you drive ‘mum’s taxi’, right?

If you have an inquisitive six-year-old like mine, you need to think more carefully about song choice.

We were singing along to Hailee Steinfeld’s Starving recently, when the innocent questions came.

Here’s a snapshot of the chorus in case you’re not familiar with the song.

I didn’t know that I was starving till I tasted you
Don’t need no butterflies when you give me the whole damn zoo
By the way, by the way, you do things to my body
And I didn’t know that I was starving till I tasted you.

‘What does she mean tasted you?’ asked Miss Six.

‘How can you taste someone?’

Bam, there it was. Straight to the point. When the girls ask a question, I always attempt to answer it rather than say I don’t know.

‘Okay, um. Well …’ I said.

‘You know when people who love each other have a big sloppy kiss …

*My internal voice at this stage was screaming at me. Shut up! Shut up! Retreat! Retreat! This is not the right answer*

‘Well, sometimes you can get a little taste of the other person.’

Awkward, awkward, awkward.

As soon as I said this I was kicking myself. If I’d had a chance to think about it more I would have said something along the lines of:

‘Well, you see this young lady was happily going about her life until she met a young man. They fell in love and she became happier than she’s ever been. She realised that her life prior to meeting this young man had been missing something. She was ‘starving’, you see, and didn’t realise it until this man fulfilled her in ways she’s never been fulfilled before.’

I don’t know which answer would have been worse. I’m clearly not qualified for this gig.

We’ve now opted for creating playlists for the girls that have all of the fun music of before, but no inappropriate content. We’re steering away from explicit language, sex, drugs and anything that can put me under pressure from an inquisitive six-year-old.

These are just some of the kid-friendly songs on our list:

Firework – Katy Perry

Roar – Katy Perry

Can’t stop the feeling – Justin Timberlake. As soon as Can’t stop the feeling comes on the radio, the girls squeal, ‘Justinnnnn!’

I love you always forever – Betty Who

Try everything – Shakira

Happy – Pharrell

Runaway – Galantis

Sit still look pretty – Daya

Let me love you – DJ Snake Feat Bieber

Shake it off – Taylor Swift

S Club Party – S Club 7 *Because there ain’t no party, like an S Club party*

Which kid-friendly songs would you add to the list? Do you pay much attention to what music your kids listen to?

Linking up today with Kylie Purtell for IBOT.

48 comments on Kid-friendly pop songs without sex, swearing and big butts

  1. Lydia C. Lee
    November 8, 2016 at 5:46 am (9 months ago)

    I remember how nasty it was hearing my 3 year old sing along to Whistle…ick! I have to admit, we just paly it all but with other kids in the car I try to switch off the ‘rude’ ones…my problem is more the N word. Sex I can deal with – the N word I just have to say ‘never say that, don’t even sing it!’

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:47 pm (9 months ago)

      Oh yep, that is not good at all. Terrible to hear coming from a kid’s mouth.

      Reply
  2. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    November 8, 2016 at 6:08 am (9 months ago)

    How awkies being caught off guard in the car – no one tells you about that in the parenting manuals! Call me a late bloomer but when I was a kid, Abba was about as racy as things got. At the risk of sounding like the fun poilice, I feel quite twitchy when I think of the pop music and videos kids are exposed to these days. It’s not just the twerking and gyrating that set off alarm bells but the lyrics too! I think this list is pure gold and what a great idea. Anything with S Club always gets my vote!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:47 pm (9 months ago)

      I definitely don’t let the girls watch the videos. Way too raunchy!!!

      Reply
  3. Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life
    November 8, 2016 at 6:20 am (9 months ago)

    Sorry but I had a little chuckle reading how your little girl focused in on the most awkward part of the lyrics to ask for an explanation! Why is it that kids always zoom in on what we wish they didn’t hear yet when we ask them to come to dinner or do their homework etc suddenly they don’t hear a thing!
    Ingrid
    http://www.fabulousandfunlife.blogspot.com.au

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:48 pm (9 months ago)

      Haha! Yes, funny that 🙂

      Reply
  4. Josefa
    November 8, 2016 at 6:25 am (9 months ago)

    Oh I love this Renee, I often wonder about kid-friendly songs as my niece decides to put on another dance routine for us and starts flicking through songs on You-Tube (OMG what is she going to pick!) and then tells me all about her dance concerts and the songs that go with those….I think this list will be quite valuable to many parents (or Aunts!) xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:49 pm (9 months ago)

      Thanks Josefa!! Oh yes, very scary when the kids scroll through youTube. You have to be on high alert 🙂 x

      Reply
  5. Bec Senyard
    November 8, 2016 at 7:53 am (9 months ago)

    I make kid friendly play lists too on my iPhone. I include some Disney classics and songs that feature on the movies they like to watch like Shrek – Smash Mouth and etc. Some of the lyrics in a lot of pop songs aren’t appropriate for little ears. Whenever I have the radio on I usually have 96.5 FM on because the music has been filtered for family ears. Plus you get the hits on there as well.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:50 pm (9 months ago)

      Oh, I never even thought of 96.5. I will try that tomorrow. Thanks!

      Reply
  6. Rachel
    November 8, 2016 at 7:57 am (9 months ago)

    That Sir Mixalot song is in the new kids’ movie ‘Sing’ that comes out at Christmas. My kids are obsessed with the trailer for it, and have been jumping around the house singing “Oh my god. Look at her butt” on repeat. I don’t have a problem with the language itself (I don’t think bum or butt is rude), but it’s the implied objectification that grinds my gears!!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:51 pm (9 months ago)

      Yes, I don’t mind bum or butt either, but it’s the meaning behind the lyrics and the fact they don’t even understand what they’re talking about.

      Reply
  7. Deb @inner compass designs
    November 8, 2016 at 9:38 am (9 months ago)

    Got to love the questions from kids- I admit we all tend to get caught up in the music and often miss the dodgy lyrics (since I am singing them wrong anyway lol)

    Next week my blog post is a playlist of music for building self love, acceptance and power. Have a listen- a handful will be way too old for your girls but there are loads that are appropriate and will have you all smiling and feeling like strong and loved women xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:51 pm (9 months ago)

      Oh that sounds perfect, Deb. Thanks. I’ll keep an eye out for it 🙂

      Reply
  8. Emily
    November 8, 2016 at 10:37 am (9 months ago)

    There are SO many songs I won’t let my kids listen to! If there’s a subtle mention or a metaphor that’s not easily unpacked, I’m okay, but blatant stuff – Blurred Lines springs to mind – is out. x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:52 pm (9 months ago)

      Yep, it’s a minefield out there!

      Reply
  9. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    November 8, 2016 at 10:44 am (9 months ago)

    Finding popular up beat songs for primary aged cheerleader routines was hell! Luckily for us we became very clever at cutting and reworking music to chop out the bad bits. But I guess the over all “theme” of the song still remained. It would have been nice to have your list when I was coaching!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:53 pm (9 months ago)

      Oh my Gosh! I can’t believe you went to all that trouble. You’re very dedicated.

      Reply
  10. Kylie
    November 8, 2016 at 11:01 am (9 months ago)

    Miss 5, at the park…holding hands with a little boy…

    “You spent the night in my bed…I woke up and I said…I wasn’t expecting that”…

    Got a whole heap of perfect parenting eyebrows raised at me that day!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:53 pm (9 months ago)

      Lol. Oh Kylie!!! So, so funny – but not at the time, right?!! 🙂

      Reply
  11. Nicole @ The Builder's Wife
    November 8, 2016 at 11:40 am (9 months ago)

    I am happy to read this, my kids are very restricted to what they can and cannot listen too. It’s is a bit harder now they are teenagers, but prior to that they have been closely monitored and definitely no music clips, they way the dance ARRRHHHH!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:54 pm (9 months ago)

      Oh, I know!!! It’s awful isn’t it. I don’t even want to think about how hard it will be when they get older.

      Reply
  12. Raychael Case
    November 8, 2016 at 11:47 am (9 months ago)

    Love this list. Every primary school disco needs it. They often leave the kids in charge of the music playlist with disastrous results.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:54 pm (9 months ago)

      Oh yes, that is not a good idea at all!

      Reply
  13. Andrea
    November 8, 2016 at 11:48 am (9 months ago)

    I have been waiting for someone to come up with a list like this! I haven’t stepped away from nursery rhymes and Giggle and Hoot, it’s a minefield out there in radio land! And Mr 4 takes in EVERY THING!! (Except me asking to do pretty much anything). He already asks some doozies, so some upbeat clean and fun mainstream tunes would be great 👍

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:56 pm (9 months ago)

      It sure is a minefield, especially with these curious little ones of ours. Whenever you need a break from Jimmy, switch on some of these tunes xx

      Reply
  14. hugzilla
    November 8, 2016 at 1:11 pm (9 months ago)

    OMG yes this is me with my kids too. Thankfully a lot of the innuendo goes over their heads, but some of the lyrics are so suggestive. I actually refuse to watch pop music videos as well, because of the overly sexual imagery, which usually involves the hyper-sexualisation and objectification of women. And it sucks, because I love pop music videos!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:56 pm (9 months ago)

      Oh I know! We were never allowed to watch Rage if we slept over at Grandma’s house. Now I get it – and it was a lot cleaner back then!!

      Reply
  15. Karin @ Calm to Conniption
    November 8, 2016 at 1:31 pm (9 months ago)

    I didn’t pay attention until one day Ari said something and I was puzzled to where he got it from until we were listening to his favourite song, Macklemore’s Downtown. NOW I am very aware!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:57 pm (9 months ago)

      Oh yes. Such a catchy tune too!!!

      Reply
  16. Robyna | The Mummy & The Minx
    November 8, 2016 at 2:02 pm (9 months ago)

    The other day I put on the music channel on Foxtel to have some tunes while I cleaned. Wow. That was turned off quickly. Even the innocent-lyric songs seemed to have half-naked women gyrating all over the place. Didn’t matter if it was a male or female artist – seems like objectifying women is the name of the game. Uggggh.

    Reply
  17. Melinda
    November 8, 2016 at 2:10 pm (9 months ago)

    Oh that awful Starving song- we had the EXACT same moment in the car! We were all singing along and the meaning of the words dropped on all of us at the same time. And don’t get me started on the music clips- so close to pornography it’s really not funny (or entertaining to a mum of two kids anyway!).

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:58 pm (9 months ago)

      Oh, I know!!! What is with music clips these days? Puh-leeeease, make it stop!!!

      Reply
  18. Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    November 8, 2016 at 7:34 pm (9 months ago)

    Now that my kids are older, i barely hear the words. Some of the film clips that go with these songs are like soft porn… not good and not something I can watch with my kids.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:58 pm (9 months ago)

      No, definitely not good at all. It’s sad music clips have gone this way.

      Reply
  19. JF Gibson
    November 8, 2016 at 7:54 pm (9 months ago)

    When the kids were younger I was very attentive to what they listened to, and definitely no music clips. Now, I’m a little more relaxed.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 8, 2016 at 9:59 pm (9 months ago)

      I can’t wait to get to that stage 🙂

      Reply
  20. Karen Hopkins
    November 9, 2016 at 4:25 am (9 months ago)

    Thankfully my kids haven’t got onto music videos on youtube yet – although they have seen the Sing trailer. One thing I’ve started doing is playing ‘Radio for Kids’ on Pandora. There’s a mix of songs from Disney and hits appropriate for children.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2016 at 7:37 pm (8 months ago)

      I will have to check that out!! Thanks for the tip 🙂

      Reply
  21. Kathy
    November 9, 2016 at 8:35 am (9 months ago)

    That’s a great catchy playlist you’ve come up with. I made my kids listen to Ben Lee on CD in my car for an age and they actually liked him, although they did get sick of it after a while. And they don’t even mind yoga music! But generally the six year old picks up far too much – and it is hard to control when you have a 13 year old playing her songs.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2016 at 7:38 pm (8 months ago)

      Oh yes!! That would definitely add an element of difficulty.

      Reply
  22. Cat@life through the haze
    November 9, 2016 at 9:58 am (9 months ago)

    I have had more cringeworthy moments when listening to music that my hubby and I grew up listening to than the current stuff (mainly because I am a grumpy middle aged woman who won’t listen to these modern songs lol). At 45 I grew up listening to such an eclectic variety of music but let me tell you there are choice lyrics there and I honestly don’t ever remember mum censoring them. She probably just turned it up louder and sang instead of answering questions lol …

    Ever listened to some of the lyrics from the 80s closely, you don’t realise until you hear it coming back out of your children’s mouths lol … Here I was thinking well it is what we grew up with so it’s not that bad and better than the current stuff. Not so much lol …

    Good luck with the curly questions. For what it’s worth I would have gone with the sloppy kiss answer too xoxo

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2016 at 7:39 pm (8 months ago)

      Lol!! Thanks Cathy!! Yep, you’re probably right. I remember secretly listening to Rage Against Machine without my parents knowing. I was a little older though of course x

      Reply
  23. Jo @ You had us at hello
    November 9, 2016 at 11:02 pm (9 months ago)

    Oh wow! You don’t realise hey! I once had the Violent Femmes on in the car and Will asked “hey Mummy, what’s a fuck?” WOH!!!! Pulled the car over there and then. Managed to steer away that conversation and put that cd away for a rainy day. Jeepers! Love your kidsafe song list – it’s a cracker!

    Reply
  24. inthegoodbooksblog
    November 10, 2016 at 1:42 pm (9 months ago)

    This has happened to me on more than one occasion Renee!
    Some of the song lyrics are very vulgar. My daughter used to sing a song by Rihanna which was quite rude. She was unaware at that young age (about 4 at the time), but I have had it happen time and again (all 3 of my kids love music like me so its bound to happen!)

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2016 at 7:40 pm (8 months ago)

      I can only imagine with Rhianna lol. I think I know the song you mean too – awkward 😉 x

      Reply
  25. Kylie Purtell
    November 14, 2016 at 10:58 am (9 months ago)

    Bahahaha! It is for this reason that I stopped listening to Triple J and we now listen to WSFM (think classic songs from the 70s, 80s & 90s, heavy on the 80s). Although I’m sure in another year or two even that is going to raise some questions from Punky, she’s to smart for her own good! I remember as a kid there were so many songs that I used to love, and it wasn’t until I was much older and heard them again that I actually understood the lyrics and what they were saying/implying. And then I thought, “Man, Mum was all strict about the music I listened to and yet some of these songs on her oldies station are worse than anything I ever listened to and she sanctioned it!. Hypocrite!”.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 22, 2016 at 7:40 pm (8 months ago)

      Hahaha! That is hilarious!

      Reply

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