“Oh my god, you don’t listen to THEM, do you?”

At a recent party, a friend of mine got up after a couple of drinks and was able to sing his way through ‘Jumbo Breakfast Roll’ and ‘Aon Fhocal, Dha Fhocal’ in their entirety – he knew every word, lilt and breath. Now, while on one hand, I was highly impressed (that’s a serious skill after all) on the other hand I was shocked that he would willingly perform two such novelty songs in front of an audience of his peers – not the usual style of music that he would claim to prefer. Wasn’t he afraid of the reaction? “Ugh, can’t believe you know all the words of that rubbish.”

Ah yes, the curse of the music snobbery. We’ve all been there, either on the receiving end (“Hahaha, I can’t believe you actually listen to Taylor Swift!”) or imitating our peers and feigning disgust at another unfortunate individual’s admission that yes, he does really enjoy the music of Tiesto.

I know of a gentleman, who again shall remain nameless – there would be wigs on the green if he knew I was telling people his deep, dark secret – who would subtly maneuver his way over to the music at a session and casually turn on Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me”, before running out of the room, trying to pretend it wasn’t him. Personally, I have enjoyed Taylor’s music since way before she started shaming her ex-boyfriends, so I don’t consider his music preference a huge disaster. Yet, he tries desperately to hide the fact that his iPod contains quite a few shanties by our Taylor. And why? For fear of the reaction from others.

I’m talking about ‘music snobbery’ – where people judge others based on the contents of their iPod, CD collection or Spotify playlist. I’m often on the receiving end of this behaviour. If I had a penny for every time someone criticised my choice in music (“Ugh, Claire, why have you so much rubbish on your iPod? Ugggghhh.”) I would have enough pennies to pay for a million packets of brown spaghetti – rather than paying for just one packet in 2 cent coins, like I did the other night. LOL.

There seem to be several stages in the process of becoming a music snob. It starts with some casual jibes about a cheesy song one might have on one’s ‘Most Listened To’ playlist – anything from S Club’s “Reach For The Stars” to R.Kelly’s “Trapped in The Closet”. “Ah shur Jaysus, ya don’t listen to that choon, do ya?!” You know the sort, all good natured fun. Then it starts to become more competitive, as we begin to battle over who can put on the most alternative song for the listening pleasure of their peers. “Yeah this is by an absolutely brilliant local band from the back of beyond, you can really hear the snare drum building up to a powerful climax. Let’s all sit here, close our eyes and nod slowly in time with the experimental guitar chords.” How about NO.

So what if I enjoy a varied and contrasting musical collection? I have everything from Shania Twain to Pink to Drake on my iPod and I refuse to apologise. Excuse me for enjoying the synthetic beats of GaryMcF (of teenage disco, chipmunk vocals fame). I will not apologise for knowing every word of “Every Girl” by Lil Wayne and his mates in Young Money.

Friends, comrades, lay down your prejudices and let your ears enjoy a feast of every kind of music. No more snobbery!

Claire O’Connell

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