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…