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Timber
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
01/21/2014

Dynamic ImageThe Song: Timber

Main Point of Discussion: Our culture shamelessly promotes a distorted view of sex, but as Christians we are called to avoid immorality and follow God's guidelines in this critical area.

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

  • IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Youth Ministry believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce teens to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most teens, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos like this one. Thanks to YouTube, MTV.com, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away. If you decide to use this, do so by catering it to fit your family’s needs.

  • Pitbull is one of the biggest names in music right now. Though he was listed as one of GQ Magazine’s top “25 Least Influential People Alive” in 2011, he now has songs and videos downloaded and viewed by the millions. You’ll hear him in malls, school quads, and even during Zumba at the gym.

  • Timber is Pitbull’s collaborative effort with Ke$ha, and is an interesting country/pop/rap mash-up that preaches a not-so-subtle message about gratuitous sex. The video features Ke$ha being…well, Ke$ha…and Pitbull line dancing on a beach??? (Yep, you read that correctly.)

  • The song made it to the top of the Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and is holding steady. The music video has been seen many millions of times on YouTube and is wildly popular.

  • Don’t appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide, primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.

Introducing the Song:
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Eventually, somebody was going to mix rap music with pop music with country music. Pitbull was the first human to do so. If you haven’t already guessed it by now, we’re going to be taking an in-depth look at the worldview behind the hit song “Timber” by Pitbull and Ke$ha, a tune that we’ve all heard by now. Take a listen and get ready to talk about it in a moment.


The Music Video:
You can find the song’s video at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHUbLv4ThOo



Song Lyrics: Timber

It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night you won't remember
I'll be the one you won't forget

The bigger they are, the harder they fall
These big-iddy boys are dig-gidy dogs
I have 'em like Miley Cyrus, clothes off
Twerking in their bras and thongs, timber
Face down, booty up, timber
That's the way we like to. What? Timber
I'm slicker than an oil spill
She say she won't, but I bet she will, timber

Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down
Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down

It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night you won't remember
I'll be the one you won't forget

It's going down (it's going down), I'm yelling timber
You better move (you better move), you better dance (you better dance)
Let's make a night you won't remember
I'll be the one you won't forget (you won't forget)

Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane
Nah, it's just me, ain't a damn thing changed
Live in hotels, swing on planes
Blessed to say, money ain't a thing
Club jumping like LeBron now, Volí
Order me another round, homie
We about to clown. Why? 'Cause it's about to go down

Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down
Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down

It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night you won't remember
I'll be the one you won't forget

It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night you won't remember
I'll be the one you won't forget


Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking forr):

Q: How would you sum up the main message in Timber’s song?

A: Pitbull is singing about trying to get a girl to go farther than she is willing to go, sexually. He says, “She say she won’t but I bet she will.” In other words, he’s trying to make her fall (timber) into bed with him, not in love with him.

Q: In this song about sex, Pitbull sings an awful lot about alcohol, too. Is there a connection between the two?
A: Definitely. He says, “One more shot, another round, end of the night, it's going down” as though he’s using alcohol to get his way with her.

Q: His song is about drinking alcohol and hooking up, which can be pretty dangerous. What are the consequences that Pitbull warns his listeners with?
A: None. He doesn’t talk about any consequences at all. In fact, during Ke$ha’s part of the song, she sings over and over again: “Let's make a night you won't remember, I'll be the one you won't forget.” The truth is, if we live our lives like these two are prescribing, we will remember those nights forever, and regret them, as well!

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:

Timber is Pitbull’s attempt at a hoedown…a hoedown with a hip hop influence, that is. But this hoedown that Pitbull sings about is one that is quite contrary to the message that God has about sex and relationships in His Word. Over and over again, Pitbull talks about taking a girl further than she wants to go. It’s a message that fits in well with our culture, mainly because our culture shamelessly promotes a distorted view of sex. As Christians, we are called to avoid sexual immorality and follow God's guidelines in this critical area. Let’s talk about that for a few minutes so we can make a game plan for getting there.

More Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Before we dive in, everybody take a second to tell us were you to get a tattoo, what would it say and what the graphic would be.

  2. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: What three words would you use to describe what Christians believe about sex?

  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How greatly does sexually explicit music impact people’s sexual activities? In other words, do you think that racy music can cause people to act in a racy or risqué way? Why or why not?

  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What is the biblical view of sex?

  5. Introducing the passage:
    Before you read the passage, it might be helpful to explain how the Bible defines ‘sexual sin’, which is any sexual act outside the context of a committed, one man-one woman, marriage.


    Read the following passage:

      1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NLT)

      Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think Paul counsels us to “run” from sexual sin rather than fight it?

  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: In what ways does sexual sin affect us that other sins do not?

  8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you think that the biblical view of sex (between one man and one woman in a marriage) is outdated and possibly even repressive? Why or why not?

  9. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Timber is obviously sending the message that casual sex is no big deal. How would you respond to that?

  10. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How great is the pressure to live your life like the message in the song Timber? How many of your friends do it?

  11. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: What is one thing that needs to change about your life, right now, so you avoid making sexual mistakes that lead to lifelong regret?

Wrap Up:
The Bible is clear regarding sexual sin and the way it uniquely and devastatingly impacts our lives, yet our culture continues to applaud and idolize people who celebrate the breaking of God’s design.

As followers of Jesus, it is critical that we balance upholding God’s design for sex with a non-judgmental attitude towards people who emulate Pitbull and others who preach a very different message. As well, talking to our friends about how God’s design for sex actually provides the true path to enjoyment is something that God might be calling our family to.

We need to think of specific strategies that will help us “run” from sexual sin. I want you to know that you can always talk with us as a family about this temptation. This is HUGE! There are so many long-lasting consequences of living like Pitbull and Ke$ha talk about in their song. As someone who loves you more than you can imagine, we don’t want you facing that.

There are lots of mistakes out there; there are lots of landmines out there. God’s Word has given us a path through all of the dangers. It’s up to us to follow His directions.

If we don’t, we will fall like
Timber.

Close in Prayer

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