I'm sitting here, eating a reinvented Twinkie and reminiscing about the times of my youth, thanks to Jen and Kristi, the hostesses of the Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday blog hop, and Troy (at "As Long As I'm Singing") who suggested today's topic. The topic?
List five seminal songs that made you who you are today.
(Thanks, Troy. Just what I needed ... self analysis at my age.)
With a life spanning almost six decades, it is impossible to say what songs shaped me during all of my years.
(It would be easier to blame that on the damn Twinkie!)
There has been music in my life as long as I remember. As a child, I had the benefit of viewing the ED SULLIVAN SHOW every Sunday night. Yes, I remember the first time the Beatles ever performed there, as well as the Rolling Stones, Dave Clark Five, Animals, Diana Ross & The Supremes, and so many others that laid the foundation of music today.
(Of course, the memories grow somewhat more dim as the years progressed
and smoking Mother Nature's offerings improved my appreciation of the sounds
coming from that black and white television.)
I have to remember the times ... the 60's. I was old enough to understand, but yet, not understand why people of different color weren't treated as equals, why people I knew were dying in a war in Vietnam that made no sense, and how politicians fed the masses lies in hopes their minds wouldn't understand the truth. We were a nation divided ... and rightfully so. The ancients felt they could have it all as long as the masses were separated by hate and racism. It was our duty to bring it all together with love. (The Woodstock Music and Arts Fair tried to do exactly that!) The Youngbloods said it best:
Our parents just couldn't understand. They had never questioned the government, but instead, had accepted what was told them as cardinal truths and allowed themselves to be herded like cattle. We were refusing to follow the laws and social paths they had been a part of. We were revolting against all the "Establishment" had to offer. Anti-materialistic, social restrictions in demonstration of love, relationships, and even our odd clothing styles and hair length became our way of saying, "We're different than you and not going to allow ourselves to fall into the herd."
In a way, Steppenwolf's song, "Born to be Wild" wasn't just a song about a biker going across the country. It became a statement of how we were different, stronger, and loving the fact that everyone was unique in themselves ... not needing to be like the previous generations.
(I know, years later, we've all become amazingly like our parents.)
Or, have we? Where my parents might have collected dishes, tools or savings bonds, many of us have vast music, movie and/or comic book collections. Where they took the road of "having to brag", we've taken the road of "having to enjoy." I guess the philosophy of "Live For Today" and "Today Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life" did sink in deeper than we envisioned, after all.
Amid the atrocities we were revealing, there was a unity among the "long hairs." In fact, there was really a feeling of trust and belonging that held true. Even when "the man" used this against us (such as record promoters, military recruiters, and Charles Manson), we still held together. It was a pact of the young to lend each other a helping hand when in need. To stand together against the evils of the day. And, to lend support even when relationships failed. Carole King's "You've Got A Friend" was an anthem for us.
My constant battle against today's "Political Correct" society stems from this time. As our society seems to want to return to the concept of locking you into a mode of accepted behavior, we fought against the accepted behavior of the day. We knew that each one of us had something to say, to do, to experience, and there should be no social restrictions that kept this from occurring.
Oh, we were still polite, for the most part, and understood that there were considerations of others that needed to be followed. But, we also believed that the more we followed the path, the more likely were were to become cattle, herded without thought, to serve whatever purpose the government desired. Freedom was our goal ... and still is in today's world of "HUGE GOVERNMENT." Let man rule themselves, and let industry and government serve their needs, instead of us serving theirs. The Rascals helped us to comprehend with this song.
But, times change, greed meets new acquaintances, and government becomes even stronger than before. People become stupid and start believing in the politicians words again. Big business brings society to its knees as individual debt rises, wages decrease, labor unions are made illegal by state governments, and political correctness becomes the way of the world.
(Sometimes people fail to see and hear
even though they haven't lost their eyes and ears.)
There are still some of us fighting the battle, but we are dying out. We still want people to be free, equal, and happy. We deny the fact that we are becoming a "Big Brother" society and hope and pray that we get it together before it's too late. We're not the prophets of doom. Rather, we want to be the voices that bring about freedom, love and equality.
Regardless of Don McLean's "American Pie", the music hasn't died. It's still deep within us. No, not today's bullshit POP music that doesn't carry a message worth listening to. Instead, an internal beat that continues to say, "We can make it if we try. It's not too late, baby, the time is today. We have to teach our children, do away with the ball of confusion, and keep alive the freebird inside of each of us."
As long as music's alive within, we have a chance!
Don't ever let it die!
Oh, would you like a Twinkie??