Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lawn in the tooth.

Continuing the theme from yesterday's post....

While music on the iPhone was keeping me company as I was struggling through the near-fatal mowing of my lawn, I got to thinking about the way music has been written, packaged, and marketed universally to the immature and the immature of heart, including your correspondent here. It's become a commonplace to laugh at geezers singing "Won't Get Fooled Again" now, while waving their canes and Social Security checks. Oh, yeah, gramps, that's right. Fight the power. Guess what: You ARE the Man.

Knowledgeable critics like Mark Steyn write often about the infantilization of American pop music, and yet if we look back in the history of popular culture we find that even when our popular music was intended for all ages, cranking out songs about Mom and exotic places and the old country and patriotism and making fun of others, it probably most often dealt with those perennially popular youth topics, like love, romance, moonlight, novelty dances, and such. These may make great songs, but they're not songs of the middle aged.

And that's why music has in its way become a drag on the culture. We can't grow up because our hearts are in our youth, and the music of our youth, whenever that happened to occur. It's one reason for our wacky politics nowadays--no one has the cultural muscle to deal with serious consideration and difficult choices. That's dull old-folks stuff.

No one is writing songs about paying the mortgage, sustaining commitments, achieving success after decades of toil, empty nests, or cutting the freaking lawn. Youth is written in poetry, I suppose, but life is mostly written in prose.

Until now!

I certainly don't have a solution for our maturity shortage. We all have to come to grips with it as we age. Growing up is hard, which is why most of us try the hell not to. All I can do is provide some lyrics for use by crafty tunesmiths for songs of more common middle-age concerns, like:


Grass grows high
The wife complains
Neighbors think I've gone insane
Kid just sulks
Won't do crap
But the dog did all over the map
Mow the lawn!
Kill the weeds!
Cut those things like you make 'em bleed
The grass has blades!
And it fights back!
Pull my cord and start the attack!


[drum solo]

Okay, well, it does bring to mind Zevon's "Model Citizen," but at least it's not about diapers or periodontal surgery or Viagra.

So my question to you is: Can you think of any pop songs that celebrate the events of life beyond the ones we associate with our teens and twenties?

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