Imagine Glen Miller’s “In the mood” with its full complement of saxophone, trumpets, drums, trombones and reeds. Imagine a lit-up ballroom full of senior citizens, dressed in hats and suits, dresses and gloves, moving around the dance floor to the beat of this 1940s classic. Now imagine a nightclub full of 18-year-olds, 73 years ago, dressed in hats and suits, dresses and gloves, at the height of the swing era, dancing to the same tune under lights that are dimmed and with expressions that say “struth, it is ‘swell’ to be seen in a place like this”.
Now visualise a night club full of 18-year-olds today, dancing to the flash of lights and the beat of, I don’t know, some remix version of a popular song. And finally imagine a bunch of 80 year olds in about sixty years, dancing to the exact same song. These same 80 year olds will no doubt also “drive” too slow in their flying cars, grow unruly, silver, spikey hair and tell their stories of fresh air and the season called “winter” that is long-gone, for the hundredth time.
It’s hard to imagine, right? But if history has taught us anything, this may very well be the case (the dancing, who knows about the flying cars and the rest).
So what lasting impression will we be leaving on our great-grandchildren one day, when all they have to go on are the history books and the remnants of the music we used to listen to? Frankly, the thought of them judging us on some of the music since 2010 (not all of it, I’ll admit), leaves me feeling a little uninspired, just as I perceive some of the music that is considered “in”.
Where are the political songs, the ones that made a statement or the ones that actually meant something? It seems that the songs we hear today in first world countries are a direct reflection of our contented lives. This, of course is good news for us, but unfortunately seems to stifle the production of fuel that inspires great music.
Although I won’t start any of my sentences with “in my day…” I will finish this one with “I refuse to believe that I’m just getting old.”