Sing a song every day

My good friend, Dave, posted a nice bit over on his blog about music from back in the day- and how most of us wouldn’t want to have our children hear it.  He pointed me out as an exception.  I don’t know that I have ever really outlined my reasons why such a thing as exposing my children to the music of previous generations doesn’t bother me, except perhaps in conversations with Dave, so I thought I would spend a few days thinking about it and then share with you.

The main reason I think our children should know our music is so that they understand what things were really like during any particular time period.  We rewrite history on a constant basis, from the government on down to the parents that tend to see the past through rose colored glasses.  We gloss over the bad times, forget the angry times and give the good times a coat of polish that reality can’t quite live up to.  The point is we lie, and in doing so, we take a lot of things that our children can relate to.  We deprive them of their ability to understand us, those times, and themselves.  If taken collectively, across all the genres, music gives everyone a pretty unfettered view of what was important to us during that time period.

What do we really have to fear by letting our children know that we faced all the thoughts and feelings that they did?  Fear, longing, despair, love and passion so wild it drove us crazy?  Anger at our parents, at our government, the uncertainty of the future?  By not admitting that we felt these things, that they were a part of us, are we not setting our children up for failure?  We are giving them an ideal that did not exist.  We owe ourselves, and our children, more honesty than that.

And, if truth be told, I still hold to the hope that Meatloaf will replace Justin Bieber at the VMA’s…


By Dan Granot

I chose the Shorter Whitman because of his work, "Song of Myself" and because of my self-deprecating sense of humor. I am under no illusion that I can write successful essays or poetry, but I have been known to write them anyway.


  1. As an uncle I am a subversive; I am the family adult who can speak to my nieces and nephews about the true things my brothers are to embarrassed or inhibited to say. Actually very mild things such as this. [ We are in some ways a very modest family.] I once gave Amanda a copy of “The Naked Ape.”

    But will they listen and engage? I now understand my uncles. I listened to them but never showed that I did. How frustrated they must have been!


  2. I had an uncle name Dave. He was a drunk, a carpenter and a scholar. I spent many, many nights listening to him, and discussing with him, everything from history to physics. We talked about his times in the Army and the Air force, about his son and his deep distrust for the government. He was the one uncle who knew I listened to him… 😉

    Having said that, I understand what you mean. As a parent, when I get frustrated, I often wonder the same thing about my children. Having said that, my children have shown me time and time again that they do listen and pay attention, even when I am sure they don’t. At times it surprises me, honors me and frightens me…

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