The First Amendment to the Bill of Rights exists because the Founders of our country understood the importance of free expression. The First Amendment states "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . ." (Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution 17). One of the ways the American people use this freedom of speech and expression is through the creation of the art form known as music. Music's verbal expression bonds our society through our emotions and experiences. This fundamental right of freedom of expression is being threatened by public and governmental groups who believe they have authority to monitor and decide what others should experience. The censorship of music lyrics is a violation of our First Amendment right, and public groups should not be allowed to bypass this right to censor obscene lyrics produced in the music industry.
Through the decades, artists such as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones have raised controversy over their seemingly explicit acts that are now viewed as legendary. Parents banned their children from watching Elvis Presley and his outrageous hip movements though today these moves are copied by Britney Spears, pop groups, and dancers all over the world. In 1956, Ed Sullivan deemed Elvis "unfit for a family audience." However, in 1970 Elvis met the President in the Oval Office, and now his face appears on a postage stamp (RIAA; History 2 of 4). On June 15, 1966, The Beatles released their album Yesterday...and Today featuring a shocking cover with the foursome surrounded by raw meat and butchered baby dolls. Immediately the album was withdrawn from music shelves everywhere and returned only with a new approved c...
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... something we have not yet discovered. We have seen the objections of yesterday as the legends of today. Now we must stand strong to make our own decisions and see things through our own eyes and touch it with our two hands, because it is through experience and challenge that we all grow and discover new ideas.
Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. 1791 - 1991 The Bill Of Rights and Beyond. Commission on the Bicentennial of the Unites States Constitution, 1990.
Duin, Julia. "Warning Labels Don't Keep Kids From Shock CDs." Insight 12 Jan. 1998: 1-2.
Hald, Karen. "Music - A Human Right." .
Recording Industry Association of America . "Freedom of Speech." Brief History .
Recording Industry Association of America. "Parent's Page." Background .
Walters, Shari. "About Music for Teens." Parental Advisory Labels .
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