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"People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one"
Really, they tell me I’m living in the past.
I’m re-living parts of the past I overlooked and threw away before I was mature enough to understand their value. Our modern age distresses me greatly. This is not the normal plaint of every middle-aged man who says “Things were better in my day.” And it isn’t merely and only nostalgia, though there’s of course some of that. We’re losing our institutions, our families, our friends, our society. Schools are pulping books written in anything other than Ingsoc.
The young aren’t merely amused by times and technologies that came before them. They are insouciant and contemptuous. There’s a striking disgust for the world before they were born. This is new, this is different.
We’re losing art and beauty. Specifically—and this can be, and has been, measured and demonstrated—we’re losing melody and harmony in music. What is called a “song” today is more likely to be an atonal percussion track accompanied by spoken word; aggressive spoken word, spit at the microphone.
It wasn’t this way always. As I reach back to my childhood to rebuild my record album collection, I’m remembering how very, very good popular music could be. And not so long ago. At my house, it’s yesterday once more.
Time was I thought I “hated” this song. The more frequently played versions from other artists never grabbed me.
But then, Anne Murray. Like Karen Carpenter, she has a voice from God. I actually stumbled on this song recently, having forgotten, or having never known, that she covered it.
It reminds me of who my mother might have been. When she was a young woman—a girl, really— poor and pregnant with me, she hoped for the things this song tells about. Mother was good with babies; I think she genuinely loved them. It was their maturation out of dollhood that she could not hack.
What’s old is new again. The song reminds me too of my sister. She was also a mother who stumbled too young. But she is a mother who righted her ship and gave her son what none of us had; a married, stable, mother and father. A home with love. Our family line won’t die in sorrow.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
He will be like you and me, as free as a dove
Conceived in love
The sun is gonna shine above
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