A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this song might be a little too heavy for younger kids, teens will probably appreciate its emotional quality. It's a sad song that explores painful, grown-up feelings, but offers a different perspective on life that some kids are ready to discuss.
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What's the story?
Mickey Rourke personally requested that Bruce Springsteen write a song for Rourke's movie The Wrestler. Springsteen not only penned THE WRESTLER for the film (it appears in trailers and through the film's closing credits) but he also gave it to the filmmakers for free. Now that the movie has attracted critical acclaim, The Boss's single is garnering its own praise for its evocative lyrics and emotional rawness. Sung from the point of view of a down-on-his-luck, two-bit entertainer, the song compares the man's feelings of inadequacy to a "one-trick pony," a "one-legged dog," and a "one-armed man."
Is it any good?
Springsteen supplies the perfect lyrical punch with this painfully sentimental ballad. His New Jersey blue-collar roots on full display, The Boss serenades the masses with a song about lost hope, dreams deferred, and victimization. Heavy stuff -- but not necessarily inappropriate for kids. The lyrics evoke some graphic imagery, "You've seen me, but I can make you smile when the blood it hits the floor," that you may not want tweens to hear. And while the film is not appropriate for kids, the song's emotional honesty is just, well, sad. For those who like hearing a sad song now and then, this one should be OK for 12 and older.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether performers and artists sacrifice a part of themselves to entertain the public. Do you think audiences like to see someone suffer? Why is that? Do you think reality television and professional wrestling are examples of voyeurism? Can you name any other form of entertainment that might be exploitative?