What’s Sex Got to do With…Trumpets

“Trumpets,” by the well-known artist Jason Derulo, was recently a hit song that landed at #14 on Billboard’s Top 100 list. The tune is extremely catchy, I must admit. The chorus is one of those that you will play over-and-over in your head for hours…or days. When I actually focused on the lyrics and heard what Derulo was saying, however, I realized that this song is purely a sex anthem that exemplifies the sexual objectification of females. Let’s take a look at the first chorus and verse of the song:

 [Chorus:]

Every time that you get undressed

I hear symphonies in my head

I wrote this song just looking at you oh, oh

Yeah the drums they swing low

And the trumpets they go

And the trumpets they go

Yeah the trumpets they go

 Da da, da ra ra da, da, da

Da, ra, ra, ra, da, da

Da da, da ra ra da, da, da

Da, ra, ra, ra, da, da

They go

[Verse 1:]

Is it weird that I hear

Violins whenever you’re gone

Whenever you’re gone

Is it weird that your ass

Remind me of a Kanye West song?

Kanye West song

Is it weird that I hear

Trumpets when you’re turning me on?

Turning me on

Is it weird that your bra

Remind me of a Katy Perry song?

 

Derulo talks about watching his woman undress, getting turned on, and mentions her ass and her bra. The way he speaks suggests that the actions by his female subject are for the purpose of pleasing him. In class, we discussed an article by Deborah Tolman that explicates the idea of sexual subjectivity. In it, Tolman defines sexual subjectivity as “having a sense of oneself as a sexual person who is entitled to have sexual feelings and to make active decisions about sexual behavior” (NSS 155). But what happens more often than not, as displayed in this song, is that young women make decisions on sexual behavior based on what men want. Women have been “sexually socialized” to think they are the object of a man’s desire (NSS 154). As Derulo clearly shows in his song, men have been socialized to think of women as objects of their desire, not as a separate sexual being.

 [Verse 2:]

(Damn) Is it weird that I hear

Angels every time that you moan?

Time that you moan

Is it weird that your eyes

Remind me of a Coldplay song?

Coldplay song

 

Derulo sings, “Is it weird that I hear Angels every time that you moan?” in verse two. The highly sexual content of this line reflects the sexual nature of the song as a whole. Sexual material is a huge part of our culture; it isn’t just specific to this song. We see sexuality being portrayed on billboards, in commercials, in movies, through institutions, etc. The consistency between these facets of our culture is the sexual objectification of women. What we are left with is a multitude of interpretations and renditions of this societal perspective on women, so clearly laid out–no pun intended–in this invigoratingly catchy song, “Trumpets.”

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3 thoughts on “What’s Sex Got to do With…Trumpets

  1. I never really thought critically about the message of this song until reading this post in which you picked it apart verse by verse. The worst part about these overtly sexually explicit songs is their prevalence on radio stations that young kids frequently listen to. I’ll never forget when the little girl I was babysitting requested that I play z100 (a NY radio station that plays similar mainstream songs) and proceeded to recite nearly every word of Beyonce’s Partition. If these songs send confusing sexual messages to us as young adults listening to them, I can’t begin to imagine how young kids are supposed to interpret them. As you mentioned, this particular song reinforces the notion that female’s should be focused on pleasing the male. Thus, underlying sexual scripts are being implicitly taught to listeners of all age which only further perpetuates people’s perception of “sexual norms,” that are really just socially (or musically, in this case) crafted.

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  2. I agree with the comment above. My twelve year old brother knows this song word for word. It’s scary to think that he will be a part of this world where guys apply sexual subjectivity as he gets older. How can we end this problem when song writers continue to write these explicit songs that are on radio stations all over the world? Whether or not young kids realize what the meaning is right now, we do not want them to think that it is ok to treat girls as objects.

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  3. This is my favorite song I after reading this post I would have never guessed the meaning behind it because I guess I never really actually listened to it and understood what the message was about. Most songs have sexual messages these days and we are more focused on the beat rather than the actual words. In the end these type of songs are giving bad messages to young kids that look up to these singers.

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