Here’s an odd statement -I love living with teenagers. Let me amend that statement. I usually love living with teenagers. No, I can make it more honest. I love living with my teenaged children when they are not making me insane.
One of the things that I love about living with teens is that they take you back to “the day”. I remember when I was a teenager thinking (in that very egocentric manner common to teens) that I would always be able to relate to teens. Well, ha ha. It’s a bit of a stretch now and it can take quite a bit of effort. I have to admit that I don’t always make the connection. The one area that really takes me back and causes me to shake my head in wonder is music. When I was a teenager music was sooo important. There were many different musical influences in my life. Being the youngest I could not help be influenced my my older sisters. So Neil Young, Joni Mitchel, Gordon Lightfoot, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and Carol King and even Jethro Tull meant a lot to me. My other sister gave me America, Harry Chapin, Donovan,Elton John and Chicago. My father gave me classical music, Theodor Bikel and Chassidic music. There was also music that I rejected; opera, disco and G-d help us ABBA. I saw the invention of Punk (no thank you) New Wave (yes thank you) and RAP (can anyone say misogyny?). I had a friend who was consumed with music. She made me many a tape trying to influence me and she did, mostly for the good (or so I think). Enter; The Band, The Grateful Dead and CSNY to name a few. Thanks to her I got to see The Kinks, Neil Young and The Grateful Dead in concert. The Dead did a 20 minute guitar riff that had me wishing for a whack from a shovel to the back of my head to end the misery. Sorry all you Deadheads.
So I was thinking about the very eclectic selection of discs in my van right now – Sting, Jason Mraz, The Who (my son’s disc), The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, America, Departures soundtrack and yes one of the GLEE albums – and how often I drive around in complete silence. How I crave the silence! My eldest son gets in my van, hears the silence, glares at me and states “You hate music!” This happens every time he gets in the van and there’s no music playing. How do you explain to a teenager that I still love music it’s just not as important as it once was? Yes, I still love music, really I do. But, now more than ever I love the sounds of silence.
Is music still important to you now that you are no longer a teen or in university? Why was it so important? Was it simply the need to express ourselves and to figure out where we fit in? Was it the poetry of youth? Why do you think it’s so important to teenagers?