Music with a Message

Watching Katy Perry’s Chained to the Rhythm either as the music video or when she sang it live last week at the Brits can give us a lot of food for thought.

Let’s look at the music video first. It is set in a futuristic theme park with people dancing and walking to the same beat, almost marching onwards without questioning why or what they are doing. The BBC have tried to dissect each scene, starting with the entrance to the theme park, then the roller coaster rodeo, the tiny suburban house ride, the treadmill making people run like hamsters, the inferno water and finally when Katy’s character is woken up from this robotic existence and sees the truth. It is really interesting stuff. The BBC makes no mention of every RS teacher’s favourite clip, quite near the end when Bob Marley’s grandson Skip Marley sings with Nuclear Family written on the big screen and that very same Nuclear Family being stereotypical around it. GCSE Religious Studies key word alert!

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The New Statesman also analyses the video and applauds its satire, with some discussion over the lyrics.

Meanwhile at the Brits Awards in London last week Katy had two huge skeleton puppets dancing and holding hands. They were dressed in the same clothes as Theresa May (UK Prime Minister) and Donald Trump (US President) were wearing just a few weeks ago when they rather embarrassingly, held hands.

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Also during the Brits performance people loved the dancing houses which were again a reference to the sub-prime mortgage scandal in the USA, and the one who fell of the stage near the end. If you want to try and understand the mortgage scandal that lead to the credit crunch 2007-8 then The Big Short is worth a watch. For accuracy the Guardian gave it A- but for entertainment value a B+.

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