Music Discussions

What The Hell

The Song: “What the Hell” by Avril Lavigne

Main Point of Discussion: In spite of what the world tells us, there are always consequences to our actions, so we must stay focused on living a godly lifestyle.

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


  • This Canadian-born singer is definitely one of the pied pipers of this generation. She used her affiliation with fellow Canadian Shania Twain to launch her career in the U.S. and eventually around the world. She’s best known for “Girlfriend,” a spicy number that basically tells a certain boy to break up with his girlfriend in favor of her, and “Sk8er Boi,” a song about a boy and a girl with very different tastes and personalities becoming a couple.


  • As of this writing, Lavigne’s latest song sits in the #29 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 (though it climbed to #11 at its peak). The song’s message is a very popular one among kids in our culture.



  • NOTE TO LEADER: It’s obvious this song uses an expletive in the title, but the song also uses some sexual imagery and even includes several sexual messages. The discussion will address those issues/topics; just make sure you’re prepared to discuss them with your kids.


  • Above all, 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.



    • You say that I’m messing with your head
    • (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    • All ’cause I was making out with your friend
    • (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    • Love hurts, whether it’s right or wrong
    • (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    • I can’t stop ’cause I’m having too much fun
    • (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)


    • [chorus]


    • You’re on your knees, beggin’ please ‘stay with me’
    • But honestly, I just need to be a little crazy
    • All my life I’ve been good but now,
    • I’m thinking ‘What the hell’
    • All I want is to mess around,
    • and I don’t really care about
    • If you love me, if you hate me,
    • you can’t save me, baby, baby
    • All my life I’ve been good but now,
    • whoa ‘What the hell’


    • What, What, What,
    • What the hell


    • So what if I go out on a million dates
    • (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    • You never call or listen to me anyway
    • (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    • I’d rather rage than sit around and wait all day
    • (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    • Don’t get me wrong,
    • I just need some time to play (yeah)


    • [chorus]


    • La la la la la la la la, whoa, whoa
    • La la la la la la la la, whoa, whoa


    • You say that I’m messing with your head
    • Boy, I like messing in your bed
    • Yeah, I am messing with your head
    • When I’m messing with you in bed


    • All my life I’ve been good but now,
    • I’m thinking what the hell (what the hell)
    • All I want is to mess around and I don’t really care about (I don’t care about)
    • All my life I’ve been good but now, I’m thinking what the hell
    • All I want is to mess around and I don’t really care about. (if you love me)
    • If you love me (no), if you hate me (no)
    • You can’t save me, baby, baby (if you love me)
    • All my life I’ve been good but now, whoa, what the hell
    La la, La la la la la la, La la, La la la la la la la

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

Q: What’s the message of this song?

A: The singer doesn’t care about consequences and wants to do whatever she wants when she wants.

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this song?

A: We can’t let ourselves be tempted by Avril Lavigne’s lyrics, however fun and carefree and pleasurable they may appear to be. Since God is in control of our lives and Jesus is our Lord, going about our days with “what the hell” attitudes go directly against our commitment to God.

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this song to actually living out those opinions?

A: First, we must continually remind ourselves who we belong to—Jesus doesn’t play second fiddle. He wants to be first in our lives—and there’s no room for a “what the hell” attitude with Jesus. Second, we must continually judge our wants and desires against what the Bible commands; an “anything goes” attitude doesn’t fly with Scriptures that say, for example, to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23).

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:
In this song, Avril Lavigne seems to adopt a fairly careless lifestyle; she just begins to say, “What the hell.” While everything worked out for her by the end of the video, the truth is, if we live our lives by that standard, we generally have to pay a high price. Since we can’t live our lives with a “what the hell” attitude, let’s take a few moments to look at how we should live our lives. 

More Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Let’s all take a second to share a careless or silly mistake we’ve made in the past.
  2. ASK A FEW: What are some things Avril does in the video to show that she’s adopted a “what the hell” way of living? (Parent – she sleeps with her boyfriend, confesses to cheating on him, steals a taxi, crashes it into another car and walks away, flips off the viewer from onstage, etc.)
  3. ASK A FEW: What are some ways we live a “what the hell” lifestyle (even if we don’t actually say those words)? What prices do we pay?

Read the following passage from the Bible:

      • Colossians 3:2-12 (NIV, 1984)

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

  1. ASK SOMEONE: What are some of the things Paul tells us to get rid of? (Parents – answers you’re looking for: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry, anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. And no lying.)
  2. ASK SOMEONE: At the end of this passage, Paul turns his attention to telling us how to live. What does he say our lives should look like? (Parents – answers you’re looking for: clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.)
  3. ASK A FEW: Are there “consequences” (or outcomes) of living lives of “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience?” If so, what are they? (Parents – You just want to show that every decision has a consequence. If it’s a bad or sinful decision, the consequence is usually a penalty. If the decision or action is good, the outcome usually is positive.)
  4. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Based on this passage of Scripture we just read, it’s clear that God wants us to live a holy life. How will you begin to do that this week?

Wrap Up:
Tonight we watched a popular music video from a popular artist. The song contains a popular message in our culture: “You can do whatever you want…and you don’t have to worry about consequences.” We see just how wrong that message is. When we get reckless in our relationships, or with our sexuality, or with drugs/alcohol, or even with our mouth, we pay a price. And sometimes that price is high! (Of course you do: Even young children know there are consequences for breaking rules. Yet, this message still fools a lot of people. That’s why God’s Word is filled with warnings to obey the Lord and live a godly lifestyle. Just check out what Deuteronomy 11:13-28 says:

13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you. 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

22 If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him— 23 then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. 24 Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the western sea.[b] 25 No man will be able to stand against you. The LORD your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.

26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.

It doesn’t get much plainer than that: If we live godly lifestyles, we will be blessed. If we don’t, curses follow.

The time to start living godly lifestyles is right now.

Close in Prayer 

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David R. Smith

David R. Smith is the author of several books including Christianity... It's Like This and speaks to parents and leaders across the U.S. David is a 15-year youth ministry veteran, now a senior pastor, who specializes in sharing the gospel, and equipping others do the same. David provides free resources to anyone who works with teenagers on his website, David resides with his wife and son in Tampa, Florida.

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