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Music Discussions

Blame It (On The Alcohol)
A Quick Music Discussion Guide
01/26/2009

Dynamic ImageMain Point: If we lose control to alcohol, there could be some very serious consequences to face. In the aftermath, we may want to “blame it on the alcohol” but really, we are to blame.

The Music Video: Blame It (On The Alcohol)
Jamie Foxx is a very talented musician and actor, which makes this completely un-subliminal song of his all the more disappointing. “Blame It” was released in early 2009 and rocketed to #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100. There were many reasons for the song’s popularity: it was catchy, the music video featured cameos by Jake Gyllenhaal, Ron Howard, Forest Whitaker, and Samuel L. Jackson, and many more, plus Foxx was joined by rapper T Pain.

Unfortunately, the song’s message is a dangerous one. Over and over again, Foxx croons “blame it on the alcohol” as though that will get users off the hook. Getting dizzy? Blame it on the alcohol. Make a sexual mistake? Blame it on the alcohol. Ruin a relationship? Blame it on the alcohol. You get the point.

But sadly, many young people learn an important lesson way too late: when alcohol gets us in trouble, we can’t put the consequences back in the bottle. We have to bear the responsibilities of our actions…sober or not.

The Music Video:

WARNING: We encourage you as youth leaders and/or parents to use discretion with your decision to show these music videos to kids. Yes, let's be honest, most of them have seen these videos. But for those who haven't, do you want to be the one who showed them this? Or more importantly, do these kids' parents want you showing them this? Consider just using the lyrics of the song and not using the video.

The song can be found on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfjtpp90lu8



The Song’s Lyrics:
The lyrics are available here: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jamiefoxx/blameitonthealcohol.html

Transitional Statement:
Blame it on the alcohol. Umm…is that possible? Can we get away with that? “Yo, I know I pulled the trigger, but you gotta blame his death on the alcohol.” “Yeah, she’s pregnant at the age of 17, but don’t blame her; blame the alcohol.” “Sure, I said some mean things last night, but you just gotta blame the alcohol.” NOBODY is buying that line. But this song was wildly popular when it came out…maybe because folks thought they could escape the consequences of their actions by pointing an accusing finger at an empty bottle. The reality is quite different, though. If we lose control to alcohol, there can sometimes be very serious consequences to face. Even if we want to “blame it on the alcohol,” there is no one or nothing to blame but ourselves. Let’s talk about that fact in our small groups.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite musician/group.

  2. ASK SOMEONE: What was the main message in Jamie Foxx’s song?

  3. ASK A FEW: Jamie Foxx says “blame it on the alcohol” in his song. Is that even possible? Why or why not?

  4. ASK A FEW: What were some of the things in Foxx’s song that people could regret later after the alcohol wears off?

  5. ASK A FEW: Without naming any names, have you ever seen someone lose control with alcohol? If so, what happened?

  6. ASK A FEW: Have you ever heard someone try to blame their actions on alcohol? If so, did others buy it? Why or why not?

  7. ASK A FEW: What are some of the consequences that can come from losing control with alcohol?

  8. Say the following:
    Let me read you a few lines from a recent study performed by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

      Binge drinking is a dangerous behavior that can lead to tragic circumstances. It’s not often recognized as a women’s health problem but nearly 14 million U.S. women binge drink about three times a month, and consume an average of six drinks per binge.

      The report highlights how binge drinking puts women at increased risk for many health problems such as breast cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, heart disease, and unintended pregnancy. Pregnant women who binge drink expose a developing baby to high levels of alcohol, which can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and sudden infant death syndrome.

      In addition, the report finds that about 1 in 5 high school girls report binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks on an occasion for women and girls. Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes about 23,000 deaths among women and girls in the United States each year.

    Also, The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism claims that “25% of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape. Approximately one-half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim, or both. Alcohol contributes to sexual assault through multiple pathways, often exacerbating existing risk factors.


  9. ASK A FEW: I know these reports kinda focused on girls, but in your opinion, who has the biggest drinking problem, guys or girls? Why do you say that?

  10. ASK A FEW: We probably all know someone who has made mistakes with alcohol – or continually makes mistakes with alcohol. What would you say to them to help them?

  11. Read the following passage:

      Ephesians 5:15-18 (NIV)

      Be very careful, then, how you live-- not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

  12. ASK A FEW: Even though we only read four short verses, Paul gave us lots to think about. List some of the things he says TO DO and NOT TO DO.

  13. ASK A FEW: Why do you think that Paul says to not get drunk on wine (alcohol)? Why did he take the time to write that down?

  14. ASK A FEW: Who would Paul say was to blame if we got drunk and made foolish choices?

  15. ASK A FEW: Why do so many people try to blame other people or other things for their bad choices?

  16. ASK A FEW: Be filled with alcohol…or be filled with the Spirit. Are there any negative consequences associated with being filled with the Spirit like there are with being filled with alcohol?

  17. ASK A FEW: How important is God’s will in your life? Can you understand what God’s will is if you’re constantly losing control to alcohol?

  18. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What steps will you take and what decisions will you make to ensure that you are never “drunk on wine” and out of control?

Wrap Up:
Alcohol. It seems like it’s everywhere. It’s on billboards, TV commercials, and the pages of magazines. It’s celebrated in movies and some people’s lives. It’s even tucked away inside many of our family’s fridges. Alcohol will be a temptation that everyone has to deal with.

Jamie Foxx basically says that if we make mistakes with booze, we can just blame it on the alcohol. In other words, if we wreck our lives, or our relationships, or our health, we can just point a guilty finger at alcohol. But even though it made for a really popular and catchy song, his advice is horrible. We can’t get off the hook when we make foolish mistakes by blaming the alcohol. It’s utterly ridiculous! Murderers can’t blame alcohol, neither can rapists (as we’ve seen in the Steubenville, OH rape case of 2013).

Neither can you.

That’s why God’s Word tells us to avoid being drunk on alcohol. In His infinite wisdom, God knew that there would be consequences for losing control to alcohol. He wanted us to avoid that pain, so He tells us to be filled with His Spirit, not on alcohol. But the passage that we read from Ephesians isn’t the only place where God talks about the dangers of alcohol. Let me share two other quick passages with you from the Book of Proverbs.
    Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

    Proverbs 21:17 He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.
Again, God seems to be painting us a picture about the consequences associated with losing control on alcohol. He says we will be led astray and that we will be mocked and that we will be poor if we abandon our self-control to alcohol. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any of those things to happen to me.

I know that we live in a world where it’s highly popular to blame others for our mistakes and shortcomings, but that’s a weak and flawed way of dealing with our failures. We can’t blame our parents or our bosses or our little sister if we get drunk; neither can we blame the alcohol if we get drunk.

The best plan is to avoid it altogether…and then you won’t need anyone or anything to blame in the first place.


Close in Prayer

Written by David R Smith

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