Saturday, November 17, 2018

8 Fabulous Famous Songs About Getting Older

by Susan Q (writer), East Village, New York, January 15, 2014

As we get older, we love to hear the songs of our youth.

The Rock and Roll generation have finally turned old, despite their best efforts. Roger Daltrey once immortalised the line "hope I die before I get old" back when he was a young whippersnapper of just 21. Now he's 69 years old and still doing gigs just like the members of the Rolling Stones, U2, Led Zeppelin and ZZ Top. Even Ozzy Osbourne has dusted down his black cape to come out of retirement every now and then.

Yes it's hard to believe that the rebellious punk rockers out there who were busy trying to incite Great Britain to be anarchic are now old enough to qualify for bus passes. The energy and vitality of youth may no longer be with them but music still plays an important role in the passing of age; whether that's to look back with sentimentality or to rage against Old Father Time.

Ageing and a sense of our own mortality have always been popular themes for songwriters and here are 8 of the most famous songs about getting older.

1. As Time Goes By - Herman Hupfeld

This song epitomises the passing of youth and was made immortal when it was sung by Dooley Wilson in the classic film 'Casablanca', although it has been sung by a succession of famous stars since then including Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

It's essentially a love song about never ending love throughout the ages.

2. Forever Young - Madness

Moving away from crooners now this song is no less sentimental as lead singer Suggs told The Sun newspaper back in 2009:

"As much as old people teach young people, young people can teach you when you get older...It's important to be young in your mind." Well said that man!

3. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

Or should that be stairlift to heaven? This isn't a song about dying but is in fact, consistently voted as one of the greatest rock songs of all time. Songwriter Jimmy Page said that the song meant something individual to everyone at certain points in their lives and because it is such a positive song, people have got married to it and been inspired by it.

4. Grow Old With Me - John Lennon

You can always count on John Lennon to provide a soundtrack to life. This song was written just weeks before his death which adds a sense of poignancy to it.

5. It's a Long and Winding Road - The Beatles

Again the Beatles have a wonderful knack of writing about life and this Paul McCartney song was originally about the tensions within the band at the time. The lyrics talk of the past and of regrets for what might have been.

6. Help the Aged - Pulp

No it's not a song to raise money for charity but a rather rebellious, carefree song about those ageing rockers with lines such as:

"Help the aged/One time they were just like you/Drinking, smoking cigs and sniffing glue."

7. When you are Old and Grey - Tom Lehrer

With age comes a certain wry sense of humour that is reflected in the lyrics of this famous song which is less about growing old together and more about hating each other as you get older. Best sung with your tongue firmly in your cheek!

8. The Grateful Dead - A Touch of Grey

Ah the Grateful Dead, still hanging on in there, well apart from Garcia unfortunately. This ballad is a survival hit which includes those famous lyrics:

"I will get by/I will survive."

Sing it out loud!

9. My Generation - The Zimmers

Yes I know the original was by The Who but this cover in 2007 by an army of London pensioners just managed to hit the right note and had us all chuckling over our tea and biscuits.

So remember now, crank that music up loud and belt your heart out because if you can't find solace in music now then where can you find it?

This musical post was composed by Acorn Stairlifts who may not install stairlifts to heaven but who can install you an outdoor stairlift as well as indoors.

About the Writer

Susan Q is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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