Throwback Thursday, Women and the Church

Throwback Thursday – Relient K "Mood Rings"

Throwback Thursday is a new series where we’ll look at how Christian culture influences thoughts about women. Today, we’ll look at Relient K’s song, “Mood Rings.”

This song was on Relient K’s 2003 album “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right…but Three Do.” The album is geared toward teens and young adults of the day. A lot of their songs are meant to be sarcastic, but I was caught off guard by these lyrics.

Lyrics

We all know the girls that I am talking about
Well, they are time bombs and they are ticking
And the only question’s when they’ll blow up
And they’ll blow up, we know that without a doubt
‘Cause they’re those girls, yeah, you know those girls
That let their emotions get the best of them
Go!

(Pre Chorus)
And I’ve contrived some sort of a plan
To help my fellow man

(Chorus)
Let’s get emotional girls to all wear mood rings
So we’ll be tipped off to when they’re ticked off
‘Cause we’ll know just what they’re thinking
Just what they’re thinking

She’s so pretty but she doesn’t always act that way
Her moods are swinging on the swing-set almost everyday
She said to me that she’s so happy it’s depressing
And all I said was, “Someone get that girl a mood ring!”

If it’s drama you want, then look no further
They’re like The Real World meets Boy Meets World
Meets Days of Our Lives
And it just kills me how they get away with murder
They’ll anger you then bat their eyes
Those pretty eyes that watch you sympathize
Go!

She’s so pretty but she doesn’t always act that way
Her moods are swinging on the swing-set almost everyday
She said to me that she’s so stressed out that it’s soothing
And all I said was, “Someone get that girl a mood ring!”

‘Cause when it’s black means “watch your back” because you’re probably
The last person in the world right now she wants to see
And when it’s blue it means you should call her up immediately
And ask her out because she’ll most likely agree
And when it’s green it simply means that she is really stressed
And when it’s clear it means she’s completely emotionless
And that’s all right, I must confess

We all know the girls that I am talking about
She likes you Wednesday, but now it’s Friday
And she has to wash her hair
And it just figures that we’ll never figure them out
Well, first she’s Jekyll and then she’s Hyde
At least she makes a lovely pair

Mood ring, oh mood ring
Oh tell me will you bring the key
To unlock this mystery?
Of girls and their emotions
Play it back in slow motion
So I may understand
The complex infrastructure
Known as the female mind

(Spoken) huh, That was terrible

With the band’s music style, some may think this is a fun, silly song. But with lyrics such as, “‘Cause they’re those girls, yeah, you know those girls; That let their emotions get the best of them” and “And when it’s clear it means she’s completely emotionless; And that’s all right, I must confess” one is left to wonder if what men really want is women who are robots and void of character. This implies a one-sided relationship where women don’t cause any problems.

The spoken word “huh, that was terrible” is confusing to me. Is the band saying that all of the words and attitudes toward women are wrong? I’m not fully convinced since they wrote a book titled, “The Complex Infrastructure Known as the Female Mind: According to Relient K.” The book is supposed to be a fun look at the band’s experience with different types of girls and providing godly advice to girls.

Perhaps Relient K meant for this to be a sarcastic song and they don’t believe the attitude toward women that is portrayed in the lyrics. I’m always up for some good sarcasm, but I find these lyrics to be less than helpful. It could be due to spending time reading books, listening to Christian leaders, and hearing personal stories about how women should not be led by their emotions, that men are to be in charge because they are more rational, and emotions can cause sinful behavior.

As of last year, Relient K was still touring. And “Mood Rings” is still showing up on their set list. What are your thoughts of this song’s lyrics?

5 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday – Relient K "Mood Rings"”

  1. Mary Wollstonecraft wrote that lack of education made women more emotional than rational. Well, it’s not the 18th century anymore. Some women have mental illness and some are narcissists, but not most. Maybe the protagonist was just clueless.

    Like

  2. Play it back in slow motion So I may understand The complex infrastructure Known as the female mind

    This jumped out at me because it reminds me so much of this classical art meme. IDK if it will link properly but it’s the top one, but it says:

    Man: women are so hard to read
    Woman: well actually we just wan-
    Man: such complex creatures
    Woman: if you just liste-
    Man: so mysterious

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.demilked.com%2Ffunny-art-memes%2F&psig=AOvVaw0ZLLIwCNwaORqB33263l6l&ust=1581777264365000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCJiCldKh0ecCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAI

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The book really rattles me, but I can still see the CCM machinery taking this mostly out of their hands. “and Mark Nichols” suggests that they hired a professional writer to put down some garbage and then tried to use the band’s name to sell copies.

    Not quite analogous, but Chris Rice wrote a song, called “Cartoons”, which was a bit sarcastic and a bit fun, and put it on the B side of some single (IIRC). Unfortunately for him, the song caught on, made that years best Christian songs compilation, and now he pretty much can’t do a concert without Cartoons.

    There have been a lot of these sorts of things, for example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Cow

    All that said, I think the song is very much a reflection of the horrible Christian culture surrounding boys/girls. I grew up in a conservative church where in middle school, boys and girls were generally separated, and there was a lot of misinformation that got perpetuated by the mostly single college-aged counselors who had heard it from their single college-aged counselors. If you add to that the pre-courtship purity culture where, even if dating was okay, it should only be done by those who were mature, adult and financially ready for marriage, there was simply complete lack of understanding between boys and girls.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This song was on Relient K’s 2003 album “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right…but Three Do.”

    “DETERIORATA” BY NATIONAL LAMPOON!

    Like

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