Young People and Music These Days

A seventy-one year old man sits at a red light.  He takes a sip of coffee.  Within seconds, his blood pressure begins to boil as it happens once again.

This is his cross to bear.

A twenty-six year old man rolls up and comes to a stop in the lane next to him, aggressively pantomiming a drummer.  The music in his car is turned up so loud, the older man notices bubbles splashing in his coffee.  His mirrors are quaking up and down.  He can feel the bass from this person’s speakers reverberating on his chest.


It’s some kind of hard rock band he’s never heard of.  He hears the lyrics loud and clear but he doesn’t understand why the lead vocalist keeps yelling “Fight till you die!  Fight till you die!” repeatedly.

The light turns green and the young man speeds off and the blaring music fades away.

For land sakes!” he protests to his wife, seated next to him. “Can you believe these little twerps!?  Music today is just meaningless noise!  Such nonsense!  The words don’t make any sense.  It’s just the same thing over and over!  It’s not music.  It’s just gibberish!  I can’t stand that garbage.”

Eager to soothe his tensions, he flips on the radio and an old familiar song is playing to his delight:

Boogity boogity booooooogity!
Boogity boogity boogity shoo
Who put the bomp
In the bomp bah bomp bah bomp?
Who put the ram
In the rama lama ding dong?
Who put the bop
In the bop shoo bop shoo bop?
Who put the dip
In the dip da dip da dip?

Beaming, he rolls down the windows and cranks up the volume, feeling exuberant.  Just as he did when he was twenty-six.

“Now this is music with words that are about something!” he declares.

Far too often, we condemn and demonize and fear what we personally do not understand.  Or what we didn’t grow up with.  Or that doesn’t go hand in hand with our sensibilities.

If we dare to apply understanding and perspective, we might just be surprised at how often it’s realized that there really is nothing new under the sun.

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