Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A soundtrack

 Each generation has its' music. I grew up in the rock and roll era. My father listened to country and western. My Mom ,although I don't remember her listening to music much, listened to what I think you would call popular music. Well, popular music for her that is, I'm not sure what she listened to as a kid. I thought about that as I was riding with my daughter in law and granddaughter going to a soccer game. The wife and I sitting in the back being chauffeured around. Feels good too ! Of course the driver controls the radio, that is an unwritten rule. Now Maria listens to a variety of styles, some I am familiar with and others, I'm just what ? Thankfully no one is listening to any rap ! No potty mouth music allowed !! As I rode along I began to think about when the music ended for me.
 Just the other day, February the third, marked what people of my generation would know as the day the music died. 3 Feb 1959. Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie. Don McLean chronicled that demise in 1971 the same year I graduated high school. For a long time I thought he was just singing about Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, just folks I had heard stories about. Over the years I have come to gain a better understanding of just what he was writing about. He was writing about the death of America as it existed in the 1950's. Seems clich√© to say so, but the fifties died in the sixties. The song was rather prophetic when you study the lyrics. But I'm going off the track, no pun intended,, skipping, I couldn't resist, that one. I listened to records growing up and later on tape.
 Music isn't necessarily a generational thing however. There are those that stay current, listening to the top forty or whatever billboard they use nowadays. For me I think I lost interest in the Disco ! Meaningless lyrics set to a dance beat. At least that is what I got out of that genre. A bunch of junk followed that. I began to listen to Dads' music, country and western. That is what he called it anyway, now it is just country. I discovered a love of George Jones, Merle Haggard, Hank, Willie and the boys. Even now though, country has started to go " bro " and I'm not liking that. Don McLean said Rock and Roll died that day and America with it. He was writing ten years after the event took place. Rock and Roll has been blamed for a lot of things. It is that " Devil " music after all. Very tame stuff compared to what they sing about today and the lyrics can't even be printed without an appropriate warning label !
 I do think that most of us find a place we are comfortable with in our music. I also think that many of us are closet listeners. The music I like to listen to with my headphones on, in another world. is different than what I put on the radio. Why is that ? It is alright to acknowledge you enjoy a specific genre but playing it out load is another matter altogether. I think maybe our music, the soundtrack we live to, does get boiled down to the top forty or so. We all have a playlist for different situations. Life isn't always a party but it does require music. When I'm feeling pensive the " Hag " always has a song and when I'm feeling like a party SRV can bring the tunes. Speaking of the " Hag " he asked a question, " are the good times really over for good ? " He was talking about America as well. Waylon Jennings sang, " My heroes have always been cowboys " a song written by Sharon Vaughn. It is another one of those songs that tell a moral tale. Those songs tell of the passing of time. George Jones singing, " he stopped loving her today " is the quintessential ballad of love and love lost. I wonder what the kids of today will discover and hold onto for their soundtrack. In 1971 Carol King released her Tapestry album. I don't remember too many after that. Although not the big hit off that album and very few lyrics, Home Again, is the song that really touches me.
 So, what about you ? Are you still listening to the songs of your youth or have you stayed current ? I am in no way current. Artists and songs are a mystery to me after about 1980 or so. Disco killed the music for me ! The last band I got a little excited about was the Zac Brown band. They have failed to hold my interest. These " modern " cowboys are just ridiculous in my opinion. Make up your mind, country or rap ! Ain't no wonder so many people are confused ! Barbara Mandrel was country when country wasn't cool. Nothing confusing about that. Do these songwriters of today actually write about anything ? Guess I'll never know and probably don't want to.