I greatly applaud Archbishop Burke’s decision regarding Sheryl Crow (who herself recently used the opportunity of a charity benefit to lash out at Karl Rove), and the diocesan press release was very insightful. However, there was one very seroius matter that was overlooked in discussion of this fund raiser.
It is an issue which should be almost of equally serious concern, in terms of our culture, to our fight for the dignity of human life, yet something which most Catholics, even very “good,” “orthodox,” “pro-life” Catholics, consider to be a non-issue.
Simply put, regardless of Sheryl Crow’s politics, it would be indecent and scandalous to have her performing her “music” at a Catholic benefit. Even if she could refrain from making overt political statements (which I doubt she could) from the stage, the lyrics to her songs themselves are variously immoral, anti-Catholic and “political.” I can’t imagine what she would sing that would be appropriate to a Catholic venue or a children’s charity.
I was only tangentially familiar with her work-I knew enough to know I wasn’t interested. But I just did a search for the lyrics of her songs. Here is a list of several songs from her first two albums. I don’t have the time or the stomach to go on.
1. “Run, Baby, Run”–a song about radicalism and drug use and people fleeing from responsibility
2. “Leaving Las Vegas”–a song about drunkenness and gambling (offering no moral evaluation of these matters)
3. “Can’t Cry Anymore”–a song about despair
4. “Strong Enough”–a song the begins with blasphemy
5. “Solidify”–I can’t make sense of the lyrics
6. “The Na-Na Song” includes the following anti-Catholic, anti-NFP lyrics:
“Panaflex Soloflex Genuflect PopeWhat the world needs now is babies, gun and hopeGuardian angel dust in the wind cries MaryWanna be Madonna but the price is too high, veryPerfect rhythm Nazis in the pagan rhythm nation”
7. “All I Wanna Do”: her “signature song,” an anthem to hedonism about a person sitting in a bar, bragging about being able to drink all day while others work for a living.
8. “Maybe Angels”: a song that dismisses “holy rollers who don’t know how to save me” and equates people who believe in Jesus with people who think Elvis is still alive.
9. “A Change”: refers to autoeroticism and ouija boards.
10. “Home”: a song that disparages marriage.
11. “Sweet Rosalyn”: To its credit, this one could at least be interpreted favorably to Catholicism.
12. “If It Makes You Happy”: as the name implies, this song advocates hedonism.
13. “Redemption Day”: a song advocating euthanasia.
14. “Every Day is a Winding Road”, another of her more famoous songs, includes the words:
“I’ve been swimming in a sea of anarchyI’ve been living on coffee and nicotineI’ve been wondering if all the things I’ve seenWere ever real, were ever really happening”
Various other songs deal with broken relationships and empty sexual encounters.
Anyway, as one of those people she calls “rhythm Nazis,” I find her work itself quite offensive.