The Songs of Ages Past.
So I just spent the last 2 hours with my mom and older sister listening to songs from ages past. Is it just me or are Dean Martin and Engelbert Humperdinck just the sultriest men alive? The grace, the suave, the attitude, the strut is all part of the package. They are the definition of the very word dapper. Their voices however seal the deal. Men like these are conclusive proof that a good voice and a microphone is all you need to make good music. No lights, no effects, no smoke machines- just good-old pure, raw talent. It’s at times like this when I wish I was there to experience the 50’s all the way to the 80’s in its full varsity sweaters, high skirts and milkshake glory. Yes, it was also the time of segregation and yes, there was a nuclear arms race ranging through the world back then but though today’s generation may have have surpassed them in the political sphere, with musical legends like that dominating the scenes back then, they put today’s music industry to shame. Our generation has heard once too often of those Saturday Night radios shows, when entire towns and cities would shut down for hours while everyone glued themselves to their radio and stereo sets.Ranging from The Bee-Jees and The Beatles, to legends like Tom Jones and Simon and Garfunkel, each artists seemed to outdo the other. Their lyrics, among other things are probably one of the key differences between the music of the ‘Golden Ages’ and that of today. Their lyrics are almost pure poetry set to tune, transcending beyond the average talk of heartbreak and relationships that the music industry of today so wholly exploits, and shedding light on the fears and hopes on man, the very essence of humanity. Maybe not all songs of that time do this, but this definitely stands true for the majority of them.
Take the song The Sound of Silence sung by Simon and Garfunkel for instance- this song with its intricate descriptions in the lyrics set to a soft, almost eerily ethereal music that compliments it just so, can literally paint a picture, complete with a setting to the very last detail while also capturing and emitting an emotion, one that this writer is unable to put in worlds, all through a 3 minute song.
I must stay true to my generation and in their defense say that many a songs today also speak of such worldly truths but with all due respect to the music industry of today, I would have to say that songs of today fall drastically short in both material and melody and the heart of this 16 year old girl from India today shall forever lie in in the sublime era of the 50s.
“And the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls..”
– The Sound of Silence
by Simon and Garfunkel.