Why you gotta be so rude?

Casey H.

Managing Editor

It is generally accepted that when a man wishes to marry a woman, he asks the father first. A father’s blessing is a tradition that has lasted since ancient times, when men would offer a dowry for a marriage. While this tradition is slowly dying out due to blossoming feminist ideologies, many would-be grooms still seek their future father-in-law’s blessing and often respect his wishes. However, with MAGIC!’s song “Rude” peaking the Billboard Top 100 chart for the past month, opinions are quickly changing, and it may not be for the better.

“Rude” tells the story of a man who “put on his best suit” to ask his girlfriend’s father for his blessing in marrying his daughter. When the dad says that he will “never get his blessing till the day [he] die[s],” the singer responds by calling him rude and appealing to his humanity. All this does not really matter, however, as the chorus ends with the defiant words, “I’m gonna marry her anyway.” This defiance continues throughout the remainder of the song, with the singer saying that he has “left [him] no choice” and that “she will go anywhere I go” (in reference to the daughter), ending by, once again, imploring how the father could be so rude.

The song has become a summer hit, boasting millions of digital downloads worldwide. It has been on the Billboard 100 list for fifteen weeks, staying at the top for four weeks. “I like it,” says Woodstock junior Stephanie De La Cruz. “It has an upbeat rhythm and a funny story.” De La Cruz’s friend, junior Maria Hamill, had never heard the song before andRude CH commented on “Rude” as she heard it. “It sounds super chill,” she says at the beginning. Upon getting to the chorus, she smiles and says, “I like the premise. It’s like he asked for permission, but he loves her so much he’s going to marry her anyway.” The younger generation has danced to it all summer, making the formerly unknown Canadian fusion band famous and landing them spots on shows as popular as The Tonight Show.

Considering the impact that music has on people today, whether it be from an iPod or a radio, it would be unsurprising if the “ask a father for his blessing” tradition took a hit. At the very least, respect in the father and his opinion could certainly decrease, as MAGIC! has displayed a blatant disregard for it in their billboard topper. Dads everywhere are not happy at the message, and Benji Cowart’s response “Rude (The Dad’s Side of the Story)” has been at the forefront. Cowart is a songwriter from Nashville and a father, and his love for his daughter prompted him to write lines such as, “Why you gotta call me rude/for doing what a dad should do?” Mr. Andy Hall, an AP Language and American Literature teacher as well as a father of two, says, “I’d be a bit confused and upset. They asked for my permission, and then decide to not follow through with my decision.” There is little doubt that what MAGIC!’s singer did was, ironically, rude, but it also sheds some light on the differences between the past and the present.

There seems to be a gap between the levels of respect in this generation and generations past. Upon hearing the premise of “Rude,” Dr. Krista Webb, AP World and US History teacher and Social Studies department head, could not help but be in disbelief. “Really? He’s going to violate what her father says?” she laughs. Despite the stereotypical image of a scary, shotgun-wielding dad, boyfriends seem to be less intimidated as of late. At the very least, they do not show the same amount of reverence as they once did. When asked if this would ever happen when she was younger, Dr. Webb chuckled and said, “No. Not at all.” What has caused this cross-generational gap?

The answer seems to lie in one of the biggest issues in America today. It is not war or poverty or corruption; rather, it is entitlement. People seem less inclined to work for the American dream and instead expect it to be handed to them. Mr. Hall, who teaches an entire unit on the American dream, says, “I think our society thinks that our own choices are the most important, and the song represents that.” It is not just in music that this problem becomes apparent. Matters of inheritance, healthcare, and job opportunities show signs entitlement’s taint.

“Rude” is catchy, with a relaxing beat and easy-to-learn words. However, it also portrays the problems creeping into our generation: lack of respect and people as if they have the right to something without having to work for it. While there is nothing wrong with the song and many believe that it deserves the fame it has claimed, its message is, for the most part, not a good one.

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