I just logged on to try to start responding to everyone's replies to me and so glad you posted this here!
First off, thanks everyone for chiming in (and sorry not to post individually but it's been crazy busy at work with my boss gone and me having to take over her projects). It was good to see your thoughts and to know I'm not alone in feeling bummed, plus thanks for some good strategies for dealing with it. DS hasn't asked what sexy means but now I know what to say--I like the idea of tying it not only to adults but to when adults love each other/want to get married...if only because that might give it an "ick" factor for little boys, LOL. Just kidding...but not really.
It is disheartening when kids pick up things like this and you realize how little you can control it. We're fairly cautious about what we listen to/watch at home. Our playlist is really varied, from baroque/classical/modernist/opera & ragtime/jazz to rock, alternative, soul, bluegrass, blues, folk, Irish, alt-country, dance, and even Broadway music. Lots of good kids stuff that I can stand, such as Pete Seeger and Dan Zanes, and Kids Place Live is always on in the morning. But we don't often listen to pop, and if songs come on with questionable lyrics we change the channel... But they're still going to pick things up from elsewhere especially the older they get. My older DS has a friend whose parents are really lax about what he's exposed to and DS is always coming home asking if he can watch things on youtube that I won't let him. (Anybody out there familiar with "Annoying Orange"???)
What I hadn't posted below was that about a month or two ago my older DS had sung the refrain from the sexy song while we were in the car, and younger DS picked up on it...and DH and I just looked at each other not knowing what to do. We just ignored them, and luckily they seem to have forgotten about it. But when the DJ played it last Saturday there was my 4 year old, laughing and singing it quite loudly.
By the way, the girls (and one boy) who were dancing were not just gyrating, they were doing that move that they do in the video (big-time cringe!!)
And I have to say I kind of think the refrain "I'm sexy and I know it" isn't even the most cringe-inducing line -- I don't know what I'd do if the boys started singing about having passion in their pants & not afraid to show it...or the line about pimping to the beat, but tg they don't seem to have caught those!
Anyway, I don't ever want to make such things more enticing by acting horrified by them. Explaining why certain things are not appropriate for them is challenging but part of parenthood.
And I did speak to the preschool. Apparently the same dj comes every year so they promised to ask him not to play that song (or others like it) next year. I will make sure I ask if anyone's seen the playlist before the next fair. From what I can tell I'm the first one to say something about it, but it was toward the end of the party when a lot of people had gone, and it was outdoors so perhaps some people didn't hear it.
Feeling a bit like Tipper Gore here, but you know, like Tara said, sometimes you need to speak up.
Thanks again for making this an interesting conversation.