Mozart and Lily Allen: Not such strange bed fellows

In a story about the launch yesterday of the National Year of Music by Ed Balls, the Express highlighted the explicit content of music by NDubz, Lily Allen and Guns N’ Roses, claiming it will “dumb down music for millions of pupils rather than seek to widen their horizons.” But, for the vast majority of musicians and composers, music runs across the spectrum of human experience.

It would be near impossible for the Government to celebrate any artist if they could not choose any who wrote about sex and violence. Mozart’s Don Giovanni covers rape, seduction and murder. Wagner’s hero Siegfreid might be pure fantasy but nonetheless manages to procure a deadly weapon and amass a bodycount. Greek legend and biblical tales are rich in violent destruction (such as the massacre of the innocents) and lascivious passion (the rape of Europa, for example), and no one would imagine telling schools to keep them away from young people.

Either the intention of this piece is to find fault with Lily Allen and her fellow purveyors of popular culture, or a cheap shot at a Government minister. Either way, it’s not journalism.

Our guest writer is Cllr Alison McGovern, Southwark Council

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