A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Train's "50 Ways to Say Goodbye" is a silly and somewhat dark pop song about a guy who's been dumped and his only way to cope is to fabricate outlandish and graphic lies about how his ex-girlfriend died. There's no profanity, sex, or substance use. The video's a parody of the breakup and shows the forlorn boyfriend shopping in a grocery store, while a mannequin stand-in for the ex falls down stairs, gets buried in cement, trampled to death, and decapitated, all in a tongue-in-cheek and comical way.
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What's the story?
"50 WAYS TO SAY GOODBYE" is the second single from Train's sixth studio album, California 37. The video and song feature a mariachi band and stars Patrick Monahan, the group's lead vocalist, as an overcome romantic who parodies a breakup with his girlfriend. The melody from the song's verses has been compared to "The Phantom of the Opera" theme from the musical of the same name by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Is it any good?
Mix cheesy humor with a bit of macabre, add a dash of mariachi, sprinkle in some power pop choruses, and you've got "50 Ways to Say Goodbye." Yes, the song and video are funny -- but they're not to be taken seriously. (Perhaps that explains the band's choice to blend mariachi into a pop-rock song.) The song is very melodic and catchy, and Monahan's smooth vocals are both a mix of appealing and appalling, and sure to get the attention of tweens and teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about lying. Why do people lie? What are the consequences of lying? Do you trust people who lie to you?
What do you think about the mariachi band Train uses in this song and video (mariachi is a style of folk music from the state of Jalisco in Central Mexico). Does it make the song and video funny? Does it seem out of place?
"50 Ways to Say Goodbye" cleverly shifts among the melodic mariachi verses, the silly pop choruses loaded with a litany of lies, and the serious bridge: "I wanna live a thousand lives with you / I wanna be the one you're dying to / Love ... but you don't want to." Do you think these three parts work well together or not?
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