05 February 2019

A Musical Journey

Quite a while ago, Swistle wondered what kind of music the elderly would like to listen to.  Like, if you're in your 70's, what do you listen to?  How does your music taste change or not change as you age?

My mind has been puzzling with this query since she asked it.  I really started thinking about it after the very big birthday in December.  And right now when I have a *snow day* and I have MTV Classic playing "I Want My 80's"  I'm in a reminiscing time warp right now. Perfect for this pondering.

Here's what I've surmised and there are a few takes:

I think a person tends to stick with the decade of time that was the most formative.  So, in my case: it's the late 80's.  In Kevin's case, it's the late 70's/early 80's because: age difference.  My guess would be for most folks it would be generally in your late teens.

My dad listened to 40's music and sometimes earlier music.  He graduated high school in 1952 so that math kind of plays out.  Kevin's mom lights up when Elvis plays and his dad will sing any old Country song like he's at the Grand Old Opry.

Here's what's fun though:  Reactions to the songs are different now.  There are songs I used to like that now I think "I could live the Rest of My Life without hearing this song again."   There are songs that I hated back then that I like now.  (Bust A Move, which happens to be playing right now)  I can see how Madonna changed music as a whole now but I just found her kind of annoying back in the day.  

When I was little, my brother returned from a tour in the Army.  He brought home one of those giant stereo systems that were becoming a thing back then.  It had noise cancelling headphones and I would lay in front of that system for hours wearing them.  (hello traumatic childhood coping mechanism)

REO Speedwagon was just becoming huge and I loved that album. I would play it over and over.
Take It On the Run was super popular when Kevin was in his formative music time.  The lyrics to that song were super pertinent to him because his then-wife was like that song.  I just loved the song because I did, but for him it was a whole other meaning.

Songs tend to lose their power over time, I think.  It's like a scar or a bruise. There are a handful of songs that I would launch across a room or car to skip and now I'm more meh about them.  Oh, I still have one or two that will gut me but mostly the teen-aged angst associated with songs are gone.

One more thing, slightly to the left of the topic:

I grew up when the debate for parent advisory labels was a big debate.  At the time I didn't care because I didn't have parenting that labels would affect at all. Friends of mine wouldn't be able to buy certain things because of a label though but I would have just bought it for them so it was a non-issue to me.  

I will say that I didn't like any sort of curbing of free speech, even at that young of age. However, now I can see how parents must have thought we were all going to hell in a heavy metal handbasket.  Also, it makes me wonder because the music has gone so far past what folks were worried about Back Then.  Did the labels work? or make it worse?  If I were a parent, would I monitor my kids music? (I don't think I would but it's only a guess)

Everything changes, music often reflects that. Rap/Hip-Hop didn't exist until I was in my late teens. Heavy metal didn't exist for my parents. Rock and Roll didn't exist for my grandparents.

Finally, tastes change.  I grew up in Rednecklandia so it was all Bocephus and country music then. I hated it.  HATED. IT. It just represented everything that I wanted to get away from. Fast forward too many years and country is mostly what I listen to now.  It has to be acknowledged, though, that country music now is more like pop music of the 80's and not all twangy my dog died, my girlfriend stole my truck and my house blew away.    

So after all that, I posit that a person might tend to listen to music from then they were young. Nostalgically perhaps.  Comfort, maybe.  But music is fluid and reflective throughout time so of course, tastes will change.

Unless you were my dad.

(and the title is an unintended pun...)

1 comment:

Gigi said...

For the most part, I'd agree that we generally tend toward the music we listened to in our teens...but I also find myself drawn to the old country/rock that was heard in our house when I was really small...which is TOTALLY different than what The Husband was exposed to...which may explain our differences, especially, when it comes to Christmas music (Sinatra vs Country Christmas...which is punctuated by our differing regions of upbringing I suppose).