Friday, June 6, 2014

Don't Stop Believin'

I'd never, ever, ever have thought it.

I was there when the song came out, way back when.  If you'd asked me, at that point in time, if I thought it was destined to be a classic, I'd have laughed in your face.

"Don't Stop Believin'?  The Journey song?   Thirty years from now, my not-even-dating-their-mother-yet children will be singing this?"

Hah, I would have gone.  Hah!

Overwrought and radiant with the Velveeta-Cheez of that peculiar era, I'd have never have placed it as anything other than the stuff of momentary nostalgia as my generation sagged into middle age.

Yet, at the pool during a swim meet this last winter, it was piped in after some pop-stuff that I'd be hard pressed to identify.  And the kids sang along, not half-heartedly, either.  They belted it out, loud and strong and together.  Kids.  Not parents.  Kids.  These are kids who were two decades from being conceived when it was out there on the radio, or on one-a-them newfangled CD thingummies.

It's a central part of the repertoire of my younger son's School of Rock House Band, the song they end on, the one that everyone piles on stage and sings along with.

It's going to feature in an end of year choir performance.  The song keeps surfacing.

Why?

It's hard to say.

Why does culture pass on one song, rather than another?  Why does a society value and hold on to a thread of music?  Sometimes it's beauty, and sometimes it's intensity or silliness or grace.

And sometimes we just like it, because it's goofy or it evokes a feelin' we..um..want to hold on to.

Human beings can be strange that way.



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