I have a broad musical taste and there is no music that I entirely dislike. Often I have wondered whether there is any really bad, irredeemably bad music. Particularly when I found myself watching Last Night of the Proms yesterday evening. But even there, is it irredeemable?
Remember that music exists to create certain thoughts and emotions in us, thoughts and emotions that would not necessarily be there without it. Just as sexual desire is in some way beyond our control, in the way that Augustine complained about, so is the emotion created by music. I cannot listen to this, for example, without emotion. Yet what is it saying? That God once visited England, and that we should fight both mentally and physically, with a sword, to establish some weird vision of England in this country? The thoughts are strange, but the music conspires with the words to make them temporarily acceptable. (Also disturbing is the sight of Victoria Beckham struggling with the words, but that is something else). If we have a problem with this, we have a problem with all music. And since we don't have a problem with all music, clearly not, we don't have a problem with this. Ergo, no music is totally problematic.
Last week I was wondering whether Mickey Gilley's version of "It wasn't God who made honky tonk angels" had finally got us there. It is exceptionally bad, in fact so bad that there is no version of it on YouTube (ponder that for a moment). But then the original version by Kitty Wells is tolerable, and the version by Patsy Cline brings us close to the sublime.
So forget the words - songs are just bad poetry redeemed by music. Is there any music that is simply too bad to be saved?