Can I add a beep to that?

“Daddy, is there any way iTunes can add a beep to a song?””Uh.” “I mean, could we take the mp3, and, you know, make it so when it plays, it has a…”It starts to dawn on me what she’s asking.

     “Daddy, is there any way iTunes can add a beep to a song?”


     “I mean, could we take the mp3, and, you know, make it so when it plays, it has a…”

     It starts to dawn on me what she’s asking.

     “Olivia, do you mean, like, a bleep?”

     “Um. Yeah. Like, if there’s an explicit version of a song…”

     “…You want to bleep out the words, right?”

This is my eleven-year-old daughter. She wants to download songs from iTunes to put on her beloved iPod Mini. But she’s concerened, because some of the songs she wants, like several from Green Day’s American Idiot are explicit. She can’t get the clean versions, but she wants the songs.

This is where the dichotomy lies. Because on the one hand, there’s my little girl. She’s thinking, simple problem, simple solution. Solve the problem. Don’t be defeated. Don’t be afraid to change things to make them work the way you want.

On the other hand — hell. How on earth can she be related to me with an attitude like that about four letter words?

Now I just gotta find a simple sound file editor that can do what she wants, and see if she’s willing to listen to the words long enough to get the bleeps in the right place…

6 thoughts on “Can I add a beep to that?”

  1. I would imagine that she’ll just get Ruby to listen to them on headphones, and tell Ruby to raise a hand when the offending word is sung. Not too efficient, but this way she is able to keep her ears pure.
    In Charleston last week, while walking to the aquarium, we came across two young men, probably 9 or 10, having a loud argument. “What the fuck YOU mean?””Fuck yo ass, sistah!”. It went on thusly, and we could hear it loud and clear for the full length of the block. Olivia was, without ever having seen SNL, doing a letter-perfect imitation of Dana Carvey’s Church Lady. Ruby, on the other hand, was clearly storing each and every insult away gleefully for not-too-distant future use. That kid is gonna have some fun. Olivia better either loosen up, or get good earplugs.

  2. Fuck, dude, that shit is funny.

    Actually, I finally was able to get over the hump with the 4-letter word thing and bought “American Idiot” for Cass for her birthday. I haven’t even previewed it yet, I just gave it to her. It’s not that I think 4-letter words are bad, it’s just the whole age-appropriateness. Personally, I don’t think ass-fucking porn is bad, either, but I don’t want my 11-year-old watching it. And it’s so hard to figure out “age appropriate” by going by what I did when I was her age, because fuck, when I was her age, big hit records full of bad words just didn’t exist. It wasn’t even an issue. Hell, remember how scandalous the Sex Pistols’ “Bodies” was in high school?

    Liam, meanwhile, has gone on his own little language crusade.

    “Me & Momma need some time alone.”

    “You mean Momma and *I*.”


  3. I remember when my daughter went to kindergarten and came back chanting “ca ca” and “do do head”, I thought how annoying but thank god she doesn’t realize that shit and fuck would get even BIGGER reactions on the playground…. she’d been using those for years!

    She seems well adjusted at 18. They’re just words. She didn’t lose her virginity faster or get into more trouble…

    She did read more than most and became the reference girl when kids came to her to ask her where the g-spot was… Ah there are perks being my daughter.

  4. Chuck and I are, alas, major potty mouths, but in spite of that Zoe knows what are “bad words” and does not use them.

    We got Zoe (who just turned 9) American Idiot right when it came out. A little fuck here and there isn’t going to kill her. As for Eminem and the like, with that sort of thing I prefer she hear the radio versions as it often gets explicit beyond four-letter words; and that’s just not necessary.

  5. I made the extreme error of buying Metallica’s Garage Inc. at Wal Mart just before departing for a camping trip, leaving Wally World straight to the freeway. I so looked forward to listening to that CD (especially “So What?”).

    As I listened and encountered the first bleep, I thought there was something wrong with the CD, just a glitch in that one song. Nope the Wally Word Nazis got ahold of it. But I had to laugh – – quite hard, actually. The context of the bleeps could be interpreted so easily. It was almost as stupid as cartoonist’s that do a dialog bubble saying:

    “You’ve just won the lottery!”

    “Holy %$@*! I can’t #@%^*&$ belive it!

    Or better, yet, in college when the instructor was prude:

    “I want to f— you.”

    If that’s her wish, that’s fine. But I find it funny about the whole bleep thing.


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