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We Can't Stop
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
08/07/2013

Dynamic ImageThe Song: We Can’t Stop

Main Point: The world tells us to chase after what “feels good,” but we need to pursue a righteous life with the help of God’s Holy Spirit.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: The following info should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.

  • This music video is by Miley Cyrus, the same young lady who played Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana about a teenager living the double life of “regular kid” and “rock star.” The show had 4 seasons and produced 3 albums along with 2 movies.

  • After the final season of Hannah Montana ended in 2011, Miley broke away from her (clean) Disney image with questionable antics on and off stage. Her newest song “We Can’t Stop” seems to be yet another leap in the wrong direction, continuing her downward spiral.

  • As of this writing, the song in question is ranked #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100. It’s getting play time on radio stations, the Internet, and public forums all across the country.

  • We do not advise showing this video to your kids. Although the video is rated “clean”, it is still very, very suggestive and unnecessarily risqué, featuring vulgar dancing, groping, and up-close shots of Miley’s body parts. Need any further explanation?


The Song’s Lyrics:
    It's our party we can do what we want (no drama)
    It's our party we can say what we want (Mike will made)
    It's our party we can love who we want
    We can kiss who we want
    We can sing what we want

    It's our party we can do what we want
    It's our party we can say what we want
    It's our party we can love who we want
    We can kiss who we want
    We can sing what we want

    Red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere
    Hands in the air like we don't care
    'Cause we came to have so much fun now
    Bet somebody here might get some now

    If you're not ready to go home
    Can I get a "Hell, no!"? (Hell no)
    'Cause we're gonna go all night
    'Til we see the sunlight, alright

    So la da di da di
    We like to party
    Dancing with Molly*
    Doing whatever we want
    This is our house
    This is our rules

    And we can't stop
    And we won't stop
    Can't you see it's we who own the night?
    Can't you see it's we who 'bout that life?

    And we can't stop
    And we won't stop
    We run things, things don't run we
    Don't take nothing from nobody
    Yeah, yeah

    It's our party we can do what we want
    It's our party we can say what we want
    It's our party we can love who we want
    We can kiss who we want
    We can sing what we want

    To my home girls here with the big butt
    Shaking it like we at a strip club
    Remember only God can judge ya
    Forget the haters 'cause somebody loves ya
    And everyone in line in the bathroom
    Trying to get a line in the bathroom
    We all so turned up here
    Getting turned up, yeah, yeah

    So la da di da di
    We like to party
    Dancing with Molly*
    Doing whatever we want
    This is our house
    This is our rules

    And we can't stop
    And we won't stop
    Can't you see it's we who own the night?
    Can't you see it's we who 'bout that life?

    And we can't stop
    And we won't stop
    We run things, things don't run we
    Don't take nothing from nobody
    Yeah, yeah

    It's our party we can do what we want
    It's our party we can say what we want
    It's our party we can love who we want
    We can kiss who we want
    We can sing what we want

    It's our party we can do what we want to
    It's our house we can love who we want to
    It's our song we can sing if we want to
    It's my mouth I can say what I want to
    Say yeah, yeah, yeah, ehh

    And we can't stop, yeah
    And we won't stop, oh
    Can't you see it's we who own the night?
    Can't you see it's we who 'bout that life?

    And we can't stop
    And we won't stop
    We run things, things don't run we
    Don't take nothing from nobody
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, ehh

Play the Song: We Can’t Stop

Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
    Q: What is the bottom line message that Miley is trying to get across in her song?
    A:
    It’s crystal clear: Miley says she can do whatever she wants.

    Q: Go back and look at the lyrics again. Do you notice any troubling activities that Miley sings about? If so, what are they?
    A:
    Miley sings about alcohol (“red cups”), sex (“somebody here might get some”), drugs (“get a line in the bathroom”), along with other reckless and consequence-free lifestyles.

    Q: Do you agree with Miley? Can a person do/say/kiss whatever he/she wants in life? Why or why not?
    A:
    No, of course not! A lot of people who try that are thrown into prison. Others live without friends. Still others pay the price through STDs, broken relationships, overwhelming debt, and so on.

Where to Take It From Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.


For Deeper Discussion: (If your kids seem into diving in deeper, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)

CLICK HERE if you want to look at a quick training article on small groups and drawing questions out of young people—you may find much of the information applicable as you go through this subject with your family members.

Transitional Statement:

“We can do what we want. We can say what we want. We can kiss who we want. We can live how we want.” That’s the point Miley is trying to get across in her song. It’s true, Miley really can live that way for a while…even though she’s rupturing her life and the lives of those around her. Let’s face it; most of us know someone who lives their life this way, even though it will be costly in the end. Unfortunately, many of “those” people invite us to live the same kind of selfish, self-destructive life. But we cannot accept their invitation. While the world is telling us to live the “good life,” we need to be pursuing a righteous life. Let’s talk about how we can do that.


More Discussion questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Let’s all take a second to share whether or not we’ve ever seen any of the Hannah Montana shows on Disney Channel and what we thought of it.

  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Much of Miley Cyrus’ fan base is still a younger crowd due to the fact that she played the HIGHLY popular role of Hannah Montana on Disney. How do you think those fans feel about this song and why?

  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think Miley titled this song “We Can’t Stop”?

  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Some of us probably know people who live their lives like this song talks about. They are interested in hooking up, getting high, drowning their sorrows in alcohol, and, in general, living for the moment. How would you react if they invited you to join them in that particular lifestyle?

  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: If you DO join in with them, why? If you DO NOT join in with them, why not?

  6. Read the following passage:

      Galatians 5:16-17 (NLT)

      So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.

  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Compare this Scripture passage we just read to Miley’s “do whatever you want” mentality. How do they differ?

  8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Imagine living life like Miley says in her song: saying whatever you want at any time, loving whoever you feel like loving whenever you want, kissing whoever you want when it feels good, and so on. ONE BY ONE, what would be some of the consequences of those actions? (Parents – Use this question as a 3-in-1 inquiry. Get your kids to answer what would happen if they SAID what they wanted all the time, KISSED whoever they wanted, etc.)

  9. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What would it look like for the Holy Spirit to truly guide your lives?

  10. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How does the Holy Spirit help us live a righteous life instead of a sinful, reckless life?

  11. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: How would your life be different if you let it be controlled more often by God’s Holy Spirit?

Wrap Up:
Do whatever you want. Say whatever you want. Kiss whoever you want. Live the way you want. It’s a tempting proposition, for sure.

But it’s not anything new. Not by a long shot.

Miley’s song about doing whatever “feels good” is just the latest example of a culture that lives for the moment. Just a couple of years ago, T.I. sang a song about having it all entitled, “Whatever You Like.” Likewise, Katy Perry’s songs “Teenage Dream” and “Last Friday Night” both talked about chasing the “good life” in their own ways.

In fact, this attitude goes all the way back to the beginning of time. In essence, Adam and Eve were told by the serpent to eat the fruit because they would have what they wanted if they did so. Instead, they lost everything.

So do you and I when we give in to living the way Miley says to live. This philosophy just doesn’t work. It’s selfish. It hurts others. Eventually, it destroys us.

But God offers us soooooooo much more when we depend on His Spirit to guide our lives. Just after the passage we read earlier, the Apostle Paul actually went on to show us what our lives could look like if we let His Spirit control us. Check it out.

    But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22, 23, NLT)

That “fruit” or “outcome” is what we really want out of life. Love is better than lust. Joy is better than happiness. Peace is better than jealousy. Patience is better than superficial. Kindness is better than bitterness. And so on.

So it’s really up to us. We can take the selfish and lonely path that Miley suggests, but it only leads to hurt. Or, when we’re given the opportunity to live that way, we can take the Spirit-led path, allowing God to control our thinking, which results in love, joy, peace, kindness, and all those righteous things.

Which end result sounds better to you?


Close in Prayer

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