Our SUV has a satellite radio, and normally it’s tuned to one of the three local Christian radio stations, XM 63 (The Message – Christian pop and rock music), or XM 73 (40s Junction – previously 40s on 4). However, when I drive and my wife is at home, I generally go up and down the dial looking for something different.
I was driving to the store with one of the kids the other day, and a song popped on that I remembered from the late 90s – “The Way” by Fastball. It’s probably their only recognizable hit:
This was a song that I listened to frequently before Christ called me. Since then, I haven’t listened to much pop music, and not for piety’s sake, but because I’m not really their target audience. If I find any pop music that I like, it’s usually something I hear at a store or in a commercial 5 years later.
I didn’t think much about the song, because to me it’s just catchy, but the kids picked up on the lyrics right away:
Their children woke up
And they couldn’t find them
They left before the sun came up that day
They just drove off and left it all behind ’em
But where were they going without ever
Knowing the way?
The kids heard the lyrics and asked if the song was about a couple who had abandoned their kids.
I had no idea myself, and took to Google to find out the real story. Lela and Raymond Howard were an elderly couple from Texas: she suffered from Alzheimer’s and he had just recently had brain surgery. They were found dead in their car two weeks later and hundreds of miles away in Arkansas, having driven off a cliff.
The “children” referenced in the song was an adult son who lived next door to the couple, but when a kid hears that word, they don’t think of an age for the child. The band wrote the song to make the story of Lela and Raymond Howard seem more romantic than the tragic reality.
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—Deuteronomy 4:9 (ESV)
Still, it’s a good reminder that little ears are always listening and little eyes are always watching. Adults like to think that most things they say and do will go over their kids’ heads, but the reality is, children are more connected to media than any generation before. It surprises me that my parents let me listen to things or watch certain things that I won’t let my kids listen to or watch now (I’m looking right at you, Goonies) , and this song was a good reminder that we have to be very cautious of media because you never know how or when kids are consuming media.
Is there anything that you liked as a kid that you’re surprised your parents let you listen to or watch?