This is in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge – Moved By Music
Music is powerful: it conjures memories, emotions, and people and things of the past. It’s not only a trigger, but an outlet to express who we are. For this challenge, pick one song and write about it — or use it as inspiration for a post. The track may be personally meaningful, or remind you of something, someone, or some event you can look back on. Or maybe you’re drawn to a song’s lyrics and want to use them as a springboard for a short piece of fiction. Or a poem. Or a free-write. – Cheri Lucas Rowlands
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I was born in 1963. Some might call me a Baby Boomer, but I am most certainly not. I am a Generation Jones. I have nothing in common with the Boomers. They were suppose to change the world, make it a better place. They failed miserably. They succumbed to the marketing that the corporations directed at them. And now in their golden years they are trying to recapture their youth. Not me. I like who I am now. I have no desire to recapture some long ago glory. Because in reality there is none. We can’t go back.
But there is one thing that I do appreciate of the Boomer generation, and that is the music. There was so much potential in the songs of the late sixties and early seventies. So much was being said, so many mirrors being held up. I was too young to have been a part of any movement, but I did listen to the music. Now to be honest, I was not familiar with the folk singers who really spoke of the trials and tribulations of the age; I was a rock and roll fan. And even if these artists singing these songs had in some form been co-opted by the music industry, their songs still spoke to the undercurrent of angst that was streaming through society.
Even as a child, I understood the dark mood of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black”. I saw the reports of the Vietnam War on the evening news, and although I didn’t comprehend what was really going on, I could feel the emotion. There was also The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”; giving credence to the saying “the more things change the more they stay the same”. Then there was their song, “Love, Reign O’er Me”. I completely felt the crisis that the song was expressing.
Ultimately, the song that most speaks to me, today like yesterday, is Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. While the song, along with the entire album is a not so subtle critique of the music industry specifically, it can be said to be a comment on corporate America as a whole. The line that I always carry with me is, “Did you exchange a walk on part in a war for a lead role in a cage.” How many of us had lofty dreams when we were young only to betray them for a paycheck so we could have stuff like everyone else.
I admit, I fell to the siren’s song of conspicuous consumption for a long time. It is only in the past half dozen years that I have attempted to connect with my dreams. While we can never recapture our youth, we can hopefully move forward to a more thoughtful, less cluttered existence; where the respect of our peers is more important than the vehicle in our garage.
Check out more submissions to the Weekly Writing Challenge.