Josefine was a hockey pro

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för teknik och naturvetenskapTekniska högskolan

Author: Erik Carl Oskar Olsson; [2007]

Keywords: ;


The purpose with this examination paper is to make children’s songs that are not gender, hetero- or nuclear family normative. Songs where the lyrics rather defuse than problematize the subjects that are handled. I wanna find out which dilemmas can be found while writing such songs, and how one should work musically to make the message apply to the children.

I would also like to know how children react when they are meeting these songs. My method comes in to pieces. First I have written lyrics and music, then I have, together with a female friend, performed the songs to a group of nine-year-olds. I have at the same occasion discussed the songs to get to know how they react. This meeting has been video recorded and thereafter analyzed. I have also made a shorter interview with the children´s teachers.

My theoretical background is mainly in three fields: children’s relation to music, gender sience and queer theory.

The songwriting developed as planned: I was effectiv, I varied the songs both lyrically and musically and I managed with one exception to write songs that could be performed in the simpliest of ways. The performance and the interview with the children went well, though it was difficult to balance between boring the children and make discussions that were deep enough.

I found myself in some dilemmas during the songwriting. It was difficult to balance between problemizing and defusing, or indistinctness and over-explicity. I was also struggling not to fall into a heteronormative thinking, which led to some picking in details and small words in the lyrics. Another dilemma appeared while writing the lyrics for the song “Mat, mat, mat”, where I on one hand was thinking of whether I encouraged boys to get eating disorders, and on one hand was thinking of whether I encouraged the gender normative “rowdy boys and good girl”-concept.

I got quite a few answers during the performance. It turned out that the children found most of the songs good and funny. According to the teachers they were more attentive and interested than usual. The songs with the most “hitty” melodies and most humorous lyrics were the ones that the children appreciated the most, which shows that hit-potential and humour seems to be good means to reach children. It also turned out that the children seemed to be able to identify with the one singing the song, irrespective of the sex.

It turned out that gender normativity was more deeply settled in the children than heteronormativity.

The girls wouldn’t, for example, dress as hockey pros, like one of the girls in the song “Min maskerad”. It was to “boyish”, while the dream outfit were as princess or rabbit. The elated need of defusing was mostly shown while performing the song “Min snippa och jag”. Several of the children didn’t know what a “snippa” was, and when they got to know it, they showed very clear that they weren’t used to talk about it, not with adults anyway.

It turned out that the children didn’t attach great importance to with whom one is in love. The homosexual relationships that are shown in the song “Hemlis” are accepted without further annotations. In the song “Familjer” the children evidently thought that the verse about a family with two mothers is the most interesting, but they do not put any special valuation on the relationship. And when it comes to the nuclear family norm, it seems to be a minor problem among nine-year-olds of today.

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