Proverb – American

“Not ready to face the music”

(i.e. “She’s not ready to face the music,” “He’s not ready to face the music,” They’re not ready to face the music,” “You’re not ready to face the music,” etc)

‘I learned it from my mom. She probably got it from her mom.

‘It’s like if something bad happens and they don’t want to admit it–they aren’t ready to accept the fact. They aren’t ready to deal with the reality.

‘I’m just so used to hearing it because my mom’s been saying it for a while. It’s one of her favorite sayings.’

The informant is a 20-year-old female of Mexican-American-Portuguese descent. Her mother is of Mexican heritage. The informant is currently a student in the Los Angeles area.

This proverb demonstrates the key characteristics of a proverb: it is a statement that has been passed down in fixed form, although it can be slightly altered depending on who it is referring to. It aligns with the definition of proverbs given by F.A. de Caro in Elliott Oring’s “Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction.” De Caro states that proverbs are often metaphors. For while someone who is avoiding ‘accepting of the reality of something’ may not actually have to face music, they are avoiding the final result. Also, the proverb can be used as short-hand communication.

As far as its reflection of society, I believe this specific proverb could have a slightly negative connotation, for it is not that the subject has any influence on whether the ‘music’ plays. They are simply not ready to face it even though it is already playing. The subject–or who the proverb is being likened to– needs to face the consequences of their actions and is not yet ready to do so.

Oring, Elliott. Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: an Introduction. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 1986. Print.