Songs You Should Never Listen To With Your Parents

There are countless songs out there, with countless more being written and recorded seemingly every day. If you're looking for some good, quality tunes you and your beloved parents can jam out to together, you certainly aren't starved for options. That said, not all songs are created equal, and there are plenty you should steer clear of during family listening time. If you don't, you'll invite awkward silence at best. At worst, you'll invite angry conversations about your mindset, mental health, and what exactly you were trying to tell dear old Mom and Dad with the music you played them.

Here are some of the worst possible songs to listen to when your parents are around. The reasons vary from song to song — your folks aren't only going to be offended by a dirty, raunchy, sex-filled ditty after all. Whether it be sex, violence, or the lyrical implication that they were terrible, cold, unfeeling parents (and people) the entire time, the following songs will put an abrupt and uncomfortable end to just about any family gathering.

NF's 'Let You Down' will let Mom and Dad down

The message of NF's "Let You Down" can easily be lost within the rapidly rapped verses, especially if the listener zones out during the comparatively gentle chorus. But if you play it for your parents and they do pay attention, expect an awkward conversation afterward.

"Let You Down" (based on NF's childhood experiences of feeling like he, as he told NME, "didn't really have much of a voice or ... wasn't being heard,") is a bitter rap about a man's estranged relationship with his parents. He's angry at them for seeing him as a disappointment, always starting arguments, and seemingly never being happy for their son. Lines like, "You don't wanna make this work / You just wanna make this worse / Want me to listen to you / But you don't ever hear my words" make NF's anger clear. In the final verse, he complains about his folks wanting a happy relationship, despite not doing the work to earn one: "Oh, you wanna be friends now? / Okay, let's put my fake face on and pretend now / Sit around and talk about the good times / That didn't even happen." Giant redwoods don't provide that much shade.

His folks still neglect him as badly as when he was a child, and he seriously resents them for it. If you play this for your parents, especially while imploring them to focus on the words, they're gonna have some questions.

Metallica's 'Dyer's Eve' blasts over-sheltering parents

Metallica, loud and angry as they are, has lasted long enough to be accepted by all generations. Turn your radio to classic rock and you'll likely hear "Enter Sandman" eventually. Still, after all these years, Metallica has at least one song guaranteed to ruffle your parents' feathers: "Dyer's Eve," an anti-ode to overprotective parenting gone excruciatingly too far.

In the song (based on James Hetfield's Christian Scientist upbringing, as he told Rolling Stone), the singer rages against his parents for sheltering him from life's harsh realities. Lines like "Pushed onto me what's wrong or right / Hidden from this thing that they call life" may not be profane, but there's enough unbridled angst in that couplet to match a million angrily slammed bedroom doors. But if it's profanity you want, Metallica offers that too, screaming "Dear Mother, dear Father / You've clipped my wings before I learned to fly ... I've outgrown that f***ing lullaby." Why the tantrum? Thanks entirely to Mommy and Daddy's coddling, he's now totally unprepared for the real world that's slowly destroying him.

He hates his parents for making him this way and hates himself for being unable to handle life alone ("I'm in Hell without you / Cannot cope without you two / Shocked at the world that I see / Innocent victim please rescue me"). Basically, everyone's terrible, nobody's happy, and now your poor mother is tearfully asking where she went wrong.

Slayer's 'Disciple' hates us all, including your folks

In general, Slayer can be a turn-off for squeamish parents, what with song titles like "Necrophiliac," "Raining Blood," "Dead Skin Mask," and "Public Display of Dismemberment." Still if you can keep the titles (and album art) away from their fragile eyes, you might be able to get away with Slayer. Their lyrics, while obviously super-dark and loaded with profanity and violent/evil imagery, are often conveyed via inscrutable screaming. If you don't already know the words, don't expect to learn them simply by listening.

That's not the case, however, with their 2001 song "Disciple." Most of the lyrics are more sound and fury than anything else, so you can probably slip "Cut throat, slit your wrist, shoot you in the back fair game" past Mom and Dad without much effort. Then there's the chorus: a shout-along chant where the band repeatedly screams, crystal-clear as day, "GOD HATES US ALLLLLLLL!" Expect a good chunk of parents to get mighty uncomfortable at that point — if you're in a car, they'll likely start shout-singing "99 Bottles of Beer," just to change the mood as completely as possible.

If you then mention, even casually, that the album "Disciple" appears on (also titled "God Hates Us All"), was actually released on September 11, 2001, watch out. Now, that release date was planned months in advance, and Slayer obviously couldn't predict the horrific events that would occur, but try telling that to your parents as they start ransacking your bedroom for signs of bombs.

Body Count's 'Cop Killer' cares not for grieving moms

This might be the least subtle song of all time: a thrash metal band called Body Count (fronted by gangsta rapper Ice-T) playing a song called "Cop Killer" about proudly murdering police officers. The jaunty 1992 ditty features zero metaphors, zero irony, and zero chance your parents will enjoy it.

The song's protagonist is completely fed up with police brutality, so he's decided to blow cops away or possibly slit their throats. He couldn't care less about the cops' families either — as he sings in the chorus, "I know your mama's grieving/F*** her!" Singer Ice-T then namechecks police brutality victim Rodney King and then-LAPD police chief Darryl Gates, to make it extra clear what he's singing about. Add a few "die pig, die" repetitions, and many "f*** the police" repetitions, and you have the perfect song for making Ma and Pa uncomfortable, especially if you have any cops in the fam.

No surprise, but this song invited massive controversy, with police organizations from sea to shining sea condemning the tune. They were soon joined by President George Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle, along with dozens of Congressmen and future second lady Tipper Gore. Ice-T ultimately removed the song from the band's album and turned it into a free single, so at least the song's still around. As for your parents, if this song makes them too nervous, respect their wishes and play them something from their time. Like "I Shot The Sheriff."

Eminem's 'Kim' couldn't be more uncomfortable

While it's hard to find any Eminem song you could comfortably play around your parents, "Kim" is in a cringy class by itself. It may be the most disturbing thing Eminem has ever put to tape, and that's saying something.

Simply put, "Kim" is a domestic violence incident turned brutal murder, set to a horrorcore hip-hop beat. Eminem screams at his wife, Kim, for kicking him out of their house, remarrying, and letting her new husband and his son move in. Eminem's in-song reaction is to murder both the guys, force Kim into his car, drive her to a far-off place, murder her, then stuff her body in the trunk. Oh, and up until she dies, you can hear "Kim" pleading for her life, just to make things even more ghastly. Virtually all of "Kim's" lyrics are unprintable, but here's a bit of poetry to set the mood: "You were supposed to love me / Now bleed! B*tch, bleed! Bleed! B*tch, bleed, bleed!"

While there have certainly been other songs about love-turned-murder (Guns N' Roses' "Used To Love Her" comes to mind), few are as unnerving as "Kim." Whether you're single or not, your parents will likely end your listening party by drilling you about how you're feeling, if you're angry at anyone, did someone hurt you, and the like. You should probably play a more parent-friendly Eminem tune, and by that we mean a jaunty M&M's jingle from the '70s.

Rihanna's 'S&M' is an amplified 'birds and bees' talk

Rihanna's hit "S&M" is about just that: the wonders of getting tied up that you should probably not play when your folks are around. Stick with "Pon de Replay" for your parents' Rihanna fix, it's way more innocent.

That said, as long as they don't know the title, it might take a little while for your parents to start blushing over "S&M." Early verses make it sound like a typical, comfortably vague love song: "Love is great, love is fine / Out the box, out of line / The affliction of the feeling / Leaves me wanting more." Then comes the chorus, with key lines like "Sex in the air / I don't care / I love the smell of it / Sticks and stones / May break my bones / But chains and whips excite me," and that should be about the time your parents slink away. No matter how open they might be in the bedroom with each other, that's not a thing they want to hear about (or even think about) when their kid's around.

The cringe factor is likely to increase if you show them RiRi's performance at 2011's Billboard Music Awards. There, Rihanna performed the song in full gear, alongside Britney Spears who wore the same. There were blindfolds, handcuffs, whipping sounds — in short, very non-family-friendly material. Even the performance ending on a cutesy pillow fight won't take that back.

2 Live Crew's 'Me So Horny' ... duh

You can tell some songs are unacceptable for parental ears simply by reading the title. 2 Live Crew's "Me So Horny" is one of them and yes, it's exactly what you think it's about.

The title comes from Full Metal Jacket's famous prostitute scene, with the "Me love you long time" dialogue played out at the beginning. That in itself should be fine — there's a good chance your parents saw and enjoyed Full Metal Jacket — but the rest of the lyrics will prove uncomfortable as can be. The singer describes a dirty tryst in the most explicit, vulgar language possible. It's hard to find any lines we can repeat, though.

If this song skeeves out your folks, know they're not alone. In fact, they have friends in legal places who agree with them. As recapped by the 1993 paper "Rap, Rock, and Censorship," "Me So Horny" and its album, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, were declared legally obscene by a Florida judge in 1990. Later that year, as the New York Times reported, at least one record store owner was arrested for selling the album. In 1992, the federal Court of Appeals reversed the obscenity ruling, but that's not likely to stop your disgusted parents from scolding you for playing such obscene trash in front of them.

The Police's 'Mother' begs stifling moms to go away

Most people, parents included, love The Police. Usually, however, that love gets severely tested with "Mother," perhaps the single weirdest song the band ever recorded. Not only is it weird, it can be deeply unsettling to your poor old mom in a "what are you trying to tell me?" kind of way.

In this ultra-creepy song, the singer (Andy Summers, in a rare case of Sting buttoning his yap and letting someone else have a go at the mic) rants about his his overbearing mother. He says things like "Telephone is ringing / Is that my mother on the phone? / The telephone is screaming / Won't she leave me alone?" and also wails, "Oh mother dear please listen / Don't devour me / Oh women please have mercy / Let this poor boy be." This poor man's mother clearly didn't get the memo that you're supposed to let your children be free as they grow up, and now he's suffering dearly. Even the song itself sounds disturbed, like a musical version of the man's own warped, swirling, never-resting brain.

Your own mother, regardless of your relationship with her, will likely wonder why you're playing her this song of all possible tunes, so be prepared to either explain yourself or apologize profusely. If she catches the line "Every girl I go out with becomes my mother in the end," prepare to explain yourself extra hard.

Papa Roach's 'Broken Home' makes divorce even worse

Divorce, sad as it is, is a fairly common event these days. That said, it's not exactly something parents want to be reminded of, so playing a song like Papa Roach's "Broken Home" would likely hurt far more than entertain.

"Broken Home" covers a bitter, angry divorce where the kid feels stuck, alone, and torn. That said, he's not torn for long, as he makes it clear later on he feels his father is to blame. He sings lines like, "I know my mother loves me / But does my father even care / If I'm sad or angry? / You were never, ever there," and then plays child psychologist by suggesting his grandfather neglected his father, and that's why the father's been so neglectful toward his son. With such sensitive subject matter, we can't imagine many parents would want to endure "Broken Home," especially fathers.

Regardless of your parents' marital state, this song risks causing a broken home of your very own. If they're still married, playing them an angsty, angry song about families being torn apart might plant a seed of doubt somewhere. If they're already divorced or in the process of divorcing, the song might be seen as confrontational, like you're further piling on about a decision that was likely very difficult for them to make. Either way, there are better, happier Papa Roach songs to play at the next family gathering.

Korn's 'Daddy' puts abusive parents on notice

Very few songs about rape are likely to leave your parents unfazed, but when a song blatantly implies the abuser is the victim's parent, expect them to very quickly leave the room and possibly never return.

Korn's "Daddy" is one of the creepiest, angriest songs ever recorded. Inspired by singer Jonathan Davis' real-life experiences with child molestation, the lyrics consist of a man hysterically screaming about being assaulted by his own father while his mother watches and does nothing. Davis has made it clear in subsequent interviews that his real-life parents did nothing of the sort, and that his abuser was an unrelated family friend (who is now dead). That said, the creative license he took with the lyrics definitely turn the song-child's folks into the criminals, increasing the likelihood of parental squeamishness by at least 1,000 percent.

The song ends with Davis screaming profanities and declarations of hatred at his father, before legitimately sobbing for four minutes. That last part (which he told Rolling Stone he didn't know was being recorded) somehow makes this song even more uncomfortable. Due to the song's emotional nature, the band didn't play it live for 20 years, only bringing it out of the mothballs in 2015. Your parents would likely prefer to it be retired again, and for far longer.

Tool's 'Prison Sex' covers the worst life imaginable

No song with a title like Tool's "Prison Sex" would be acceptable listening for your dear parents, but the song isn't actually about what you'd think. It's actually about something so much worse.

Though Tool has never come right out and said it (because they wouldn't be Tool without being gleefully vague and mysterious about everything), the lyrics to the song make it pretty clear it's about a guy who was molested as a child who then becomes a molester himself when he grows up. Early in the song, singer Maynard James Keenan details some pretty horrifying stuff. He also sings, "Do unto you now what has been done to me," which completely drives the brutally cyclical point home. This guy went through perhaps the most traumatic childhood experience possible, and keeps the circle unbroken by being what destroyed him so long ago. Don't blame your parents for cautiously walking away from you once they realize this.

If this isn't a conversation you're ready to have with your folks, your only real hope is that Tool's lyrical subtlety will help convince your parents that the song, while certainly dark, is about something else. Good luck.