A Boomer Playlist
“Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life.”~ Jean Paul Friedrich Richter
It was such fun to publish the Fabulous Boomer Sisters’ Christmas playlist of our favourite holiday songs, it helped me feel more festive. I had a thought. “Why not post another boomer playlist?”
For the past year, I have felt disheartened by the state of our world. I began to wonder if I would ever feel light again. I know that many others have the same sense of dread and worry. We are nervous about the political unrest throughout the globe. We are terrified the world-wide pandemic will never end. Because of these sentiments, I have found myself often thinking back to my younger days.
As my thoughts were drifting down memory lane, some of my old favourite tunes burst into my reverie. In my mind’s eye, I saw my teenage self swaying to the melody of a sweet love refrain. These remembered songs filled me with emotion — I felt happy, calm, and free. There is something magical about music — it not only soothes the soul but also transforms the mood.
Social media was an unimagined concept back when we were young. We discovered new music, bands and singers from the radio, Teenbeat magazine, TV (remember the Beatles and the Rolling Stones on the Ed Sullivan show?), friends and older siblings.
I remember spending countless hours in my room, listening to my favourite songs on my tinny record player. Puzzling out my math homework, or dreaming about that cute boy in science class, as the Beatles crooned “Michelle.” One of my best memories is being in a car crammed with friends, cruising aimlessly down the main drag — the music cranked up loud. We sang raucously along to an endless loop of songs (on eight-track tapes, remember those?). We were carefree and full of life, our futures shining brightly ahead of us.
Music played a big part in our social life when we were young. Have you forgotten school sock hops, dances and your boyfriend’s garage band? Our adolescence was spent listening to some of the greatest rock bands in history — Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, and David Bowie, to name a few. That music has endured and is loved by Baby Boomers and Millennials, alike. These days, my music collection has switched from vinyl to Spotify, but I still have my solo dance parties in my living room with Queen, Little Feat, The Police, and Dire Straits.
Ah — memories! Before I knew it, I was falling deep down into that rabbit hole called YouTube, searching for long lost songs that never fail to lift my spirits or cure my doldrums! I was entrenched in my own world — wandering from artist to artist, singing along to my favourites (humming when the words eluded me).
Turn and face the strange
Ooh, look out, you rock ‘n’ rollers
Turn and face the strange
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time
from David Bowie’s — Changes
Music is the language of emotion — it can summon all the feelings in our hearts — joy, sorrow, melancholy. We are drawn to it whenever we experience sadness, loneliness or elation. Think about what life would be like without music. We listen to sappy love songs when we are heartbroken, upbeat tunes when we are happy. Imagine a church service without the reverent tones of the choir, or ballet without the orchestra.
In the words of Albert Schweitzer, “Joy, sorrow, tears, lamentation, laughter – to all these music gives voice, but in such a way that we are transported from the world of unrest to a world of peace, and see reality in a new way as if we were sitting by a mountain lake and contemplating hills and woods and clouds in the tranquil and fathomless water.”
Below is a selection from my Boomer playlist. I hope that you will find a little bit of solace and a lot of joy from the music. Have a listen.
12 Tracks From a Boomer Playlist*
Blackbird — The Beatles
Wish You Were Here — Pink Floyd
Bohemian Rhapsody — Queen
Nights in White Satin — Moody Blues
Madman Across the Water — Elton John
Wild Horses — Rolling Stones
Down By the River — Neil Young
Bridge Over Troubled Waters — Simon and Garfunkel
On Your Way Down — Little Feat
Your Gold Teeth — Steely Dan
When the Levee Breaks — Led Zeppelin
Southern Cross — Crosby, Stills, Nash
Perhaps some of these songs are on your all-time hit list. Maybe they will remind you of your favourites from back in the day. Hopefully, they will help you “get your groove on”! Share your playlist with us in the comments! Come on, let’s dance!
Full Disclosure — this playlist has 24 tracks. Before I hit the “publish” button, I realized that the post would be too long, if I added all of them. Honestly, it was difficult to choose only 24 songs that I love — I could have posted more than twice that many! If you would like to listen to the other 12 songs, follow this link: A Boomer Playlist Part II
*Song links open in YouTube
Nice list. These days I am partial to instrumental jazz, especially anything with a trumpet. I listen on jazz radio.com. And also those simple basic four-line tunes you learn when you start piano lessons. Someday I hope to graduate to Elton John.
Thank you! Jazz was not my favourite in my younger days — I guess my musical tastes hadn’t matured then. Now my taste in music is broader. I have a new appreciation for the genre. I’ve been enjoying Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane and Pat Metheny quite a bit.
Another great play list.