Severian posted this Nerd Fight today: songs for grownups:
Or my other nominee, Bob Seger’s “Night Moves.” Yep, that’s what it feels like, all right, to be a normal teenage boy in a culture that isn’t quite yet terminal. It’s also what it’s like to be a normal adult looking back on that teenage boy. It’s not goopy nostalgia; Bob knows those days are gone. It’s not “Gosh, I wish I’d done this and that differently;” it’s “I’m glad it ended the way it did, because I am a sadder yet wiser person for it.”
In other words, it’s a song by an adult, for adults.
I mean, his first nominee is Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Auld Lang Syne” (::spit::). Heaven and the blog archives know what I think of that song.
Severian invites commenters to identify songs written for adults.
Gentle reader, I’m sure you would remember were you not still young that I posted Music: Not For Grown-Ups Any More in 2003, when I was less of a grownup than I am now, that music of the modern day was/is written for the young. We’ve covered the ground about why popular music tends to be geared to the young (I’m too lazy to find the links now–troll my Music category and see if you can find the posts about how country music was the last genre to fall to the call of the young and why I hate “Same Auld Lang Syne”).
One of his commenters posted about Roger Waters of Pink Floyd (as a co-worker in 1990 called them, “Three old men and a guitar”). However, that commenter missed the proper member of Pink Floyd for adults.
Roger Waters’ solo work was always a bit of youthful naval gazing. The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking resonates when you’re young and your relationships are unstable. Radio K.A.O.S and Amused to Death were political statements. Apparently, he has released music since then, but who cares? I mean, I grokked The Wall because my parents divorced when I was young, but aside from touching that youthful wire, meh.
David Gilmour, on the other hand….
On his 1978 solo album David Gilmour, his song “So Far Away” describes being close to but being far away from a lover:
Sweet Christmas, when I got that tape (audiocassettes were the thing in 1990-1991, child), I was an awkward teenager with no experience with the ladies. And I could imagine how it might feel (more than I could from Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”). Now that I am, ahem, 25 years old and a little more experienced with the lady (my beautiful wife), I think he got it right.
His 1984 album About Face contains a couple of gems. The first is “Out of the Blue”:
Which is all about the passage of time. Not only his, but his children’s.
The last song on the album is “Near the End”:
Jeez, Louise, it’s a song about turning the record over and starting it again, renewal, and:
Thinking that we’re getting older and wiser
when we’re just getting old.
When he wrote that, he was far younger than I am now, albeit older than I was then. But it resonated.
Gilmour’s work has been a mix of mature, grownup songs, political/activist kinds of songs, and a lot of working with the music itself–the la(te)st Pink Floyd album The Endless River and his work with The Orb tend toward the techno and electronica….
But here’s a later work–“Yes, I Have Ghosts”:
You won’t find music for grownups in popular music–that’s all geared to kids. You can find it, even now, if you look for it.
If you want, old man. Me, I’m looking for new metal to exercise by, metal with youthful vigor as befits me when I exercise.
But then Gilmour.