Back in the day, we had a speaker at one of our professional development days. His entertaining and insightful presentation was You Are What You Were When. Without going into detail, the basic idea is that we are greatly influenced by the times (eg decade) of our development. A person who grew up the 30s would have been influenced differently than a 50s teenager and so on.
We recognize this intuitively now with baby boomers, millennials and Gen Xers and what have you (because I lose track). But the point is that there seem to be general characteristics that are unique to each cohort.
I think music really emphasizes generational differences and I thought of this as I was humming and going over lyrics in my head of He's the Lily of the Valley this morning. I have hardly darkened a church doorway for about half my life now and think the existence of a god-creator highly improbable, yet I often find myself replaying old hymns and gospels songs in my head. And I rather enjoy them.
In passing I present Willie Nelson's version of the song. Of course, I remember singing it with gusto in my little church back around 1960, and the lyrics stick hard to me these 60 years later.
And of course, I more or less lost touch with pop music after the early Beatles. Beyond that what I hear today, when I watch The Voice, for example, much of the music seems like awful stuff. What's with falsetto singing? Can you imagine Elvis using the head voice? And what happened to melody? For the most part, these songs are unsingable to me. As for lyrics, they cram so many words into their songs to the point where many of us can't make them out. And you pretty well have to have dancers cavorting in the background to create distract from the songs themselves.
But to the younger set, like my grands, and also my 46 year old daughter (who has always kept up), this is good stuff.
To wit: last night we were playing some true oldies such as The Everly Brothers, and they just about drove the kids up the wall.
To prove my point, Sue just came in as I was finding the link and said, this is real music.
When the kids are 70, will their current music evoke the same feelings as ours? It's hard for me to imagine, but probably.
To complete my ruminations here is a short clip of the You Are What You Were When guy, I heard him back in the late 70s or early 80s, but apparently, he's still going strong.
If you will excuse me now, I will continue to play my personal oldies over Echo for awhile longer and feel that sweet nostalgia. It's Stand By Me right now. Now, that's a song.