CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Apparently, there could be words and rhythms someplace in the "Star Spangled Banner" that can get the juices flowing and hormones humming. So you better watch out this 4th of July. And be sure to turn down the TV or radio when a sporting event is broadcast. Our national anthem might be an aphrodisiac.
This startling tidbit of information comes from the morning metropolitan daily in Cincinnati, where far-right columnist Peter Bronson informed his readers this month that abstinence is good for teenagers and music makes them do the horizontal rumba. He quoted an abstinence advocate who wants to keep tax-funded abstinence programs in the public schools.
"Seventy percent of music has overtly sexual overtones, and much of that is overtly derogatory to females," the advocate told the Cincinnati Enquirer's Bronson.
No examples were offered of how that 70% figure was determined. Is it possible the abstinence movement listened to every musical composition in every human culture since the world began? Is it possible that 70% of all Aztec music had overtly sexual overtones? And what about the stuff in the Vatican -- is Ave Maria a siren song to fire up the mating instinct?
Bronson's musical musings never addressed the where or how the abstinence movement came up with its data. In other words, nothing backed up the claim.
The figure Bronson cited was delivered by Gary Rose, a physician who heads the Medical Institute. Advocates of abstinence programs have been critical of Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland for turning down federal aid because there is little proof the programs actually work. Now they seem to be ginning up a statistic that is ridiculous. Sure there is sexy music. But plenty is inspirational. And the statement Bronson regurgiated unthinkingly is ridiculously shallow -- how can anybody prove 70% of all music, every note, is overtly sexy?
Rose told Bronson that his mission is to promote health education, not moral (or religious) programming: "This is not an agenda to be moralistic. Our goal is to provide objective and scientific information."
So, there is science behind the claim that 70% of music stirs the loins? Boy, was I ever fooled when I heard the words "swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home." And, one has to wonder, what was Kate Smith thinking when she belted out God Bless America. Isn't there a verse about something white with foam?