Our Readers' Opinions
February 1, 2008
Is there a link between music, crime escalation?


EDITOR: Vincentians home and abroad must be appalled (and rightfully so) with the ever increasing rise in heinous, especially gun-related crimes in this ‘peaceful’ land. Citizens and government alike are seeking solutions to try to address the situation.{{more}}

Persons continue to give their observations, opinions and insights concerning diagnosing, curbing or even ‘eradicating’ this evil. Sunday, 20th January, 2008, this writer had the opportunity to listen to the call-in program ‘issues at hand’ on WEFM radio station.

The topical issue at hand was ‘whether or not the lyrics in popular music contribute to the increase in crime in our country or whether the lyrical content contribute to the deviant behavior in young people.’ The discussion was very varied, interesting and quite analytical. A large number of callers wisely attributed crime escalation to a number of factors, including lack of parental guidance and the breakdown in morals and principled value system. One caller correctly stated that those persons who teach that God’s law has been done away are partly responsible. His comments may have been lightly regarded by some, but it is true when we consider that sin (the transgression of God Law-1Jn3:4)) is equivalent to crime, which is the breaking of the law.

Additionally, many agreed that the lyrics of popular artistes only help to weaken the efforts to deal with crime in society, contributing to the upward trend of criminal activities. This is not surprising, since what a person feeds his mind on naturally determines his behaviour. Research strongly attests to the great effect music has on human behavior. Having said that, could you imagine an already angered youth imbibing the lyrics ‘If a boy try dis me and me soldier, blow him brain out.. Gangster fo life …marijuana round the corner …’ The young have the tendency to imitate and experiment, and it is not so surprising when they act out the dark philosophies of these destructive songs. Some radio personalities do not help either!

Music can be a very strong influential tool for good, but when abused and misused it can be a terrible curse. This is often the case with the music listened to by young people in general. But wait! Not just young people! Consider the well renowned Sparrow with his song “Ge she wa she want…both a dem”. This encourages unfaithfulness, which could lead to destruction of family and even violent passionate crimes. And what about Becket “Rum till the carnival done”? Alcohol use and abuse is possibly the number one cause of family break-ups in SVG. Youth… (and all ages, for that matter) your mind must be fed and cultivated with the right spiritual food, as you remember the Creator while you are young, so that as you grow older and the evil days come, your mind will be strengthened against all forms of deviant, hostile and violent behavior. Consider the lyrics of the following song in contrast to the above-mentioned and allow the words to sink deep into your consciousness:

Yield not to temptation
For yielding is sin.
Each victory will help you
Some other to win.
Fight manfully onwards
Dark passions subdue.
Look ever to Jesus
He will carry you through.

Just ask the Saviour to help you, comfort strength and keep you
He is willing to aid you, he will carry you through.
Shun evil companion, bad language disdain
God’s name, hold in reverence, nor take it vain…
Be thoughtful and earnest, kind hearted and true…

May your heart be blessed with encouragement from your heavenly Father who loves and cares for you and may you listen only to music that will elevate your experience in holy living according to the principles of your Creator. Remember that your thoughts, words and actions are investigated daily by the Great Judge who has sovereign rule over you, and you have to give account for everything done in this body, including the music you spend your precious time listening to.(see Eccl.12:13,14)

Ann-Marie John
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