Opinons: Politically Correct?: Keeping the classics

Opinons: Politically Correct?: Keeping the classics

I’ve been listening to my classic rock and folk playlist on repeat for the last couple weeks, dazed by my favorite lyrics in Crosby, Stills and Nash & Young songs and entranced by the lonely piano melodies of Leon Russell.

Everything on my fat 76-song playlist came out between the 60s and 70s.

When I was a baby, my mom didn’t know any lullabies, so she sang us songs like “Our House” and “Teach Your Children.” It was my mom that introduced me to all these artists because she listened to and bought all the records for herself when she was growing up during her preteen and teen years.

I like the idea of my mom sitting her in childhood house in the 70s just as enchanted as I am by Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” and the Allman Brother’s “Eat a Peach” while sitting on some forest green shag carpet watching the records spin.

And now, years later, my mom is still listening to this music, but instead of placing records on a turntable, she’s singing along to the same songs playing from my iPod in the car.

I’ve been wondering lately whether the next generation (my kids) will like classic rock as much as much as my mom and I like it.

As time passes, will classics remain classics? Will the voices of Gregg Allman and Neil Young still resonate?

If I think of time in relation to the age of the earth, the 40 or so years that have passed since these albums have been released is nothing. I’m really only the third generation to fall in love with these artists.

I can’t fathom kids in 2040 still listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

But there is some hope. My six-year-old cousin Gordie’s favorite band is Led Zeppelin. He has a little Led Zeppelin shirt and listens to “Mothership” on repeat. My uncle has influenced Gordie’s enthusiasm for a band that released their first record in 1968.

When we’re done feasting on Christmas, my family sits around and plays music. My older cousins on their guitars, my aunt on her fiddle, my uncle on piano and everyone else singing along to a Beatles song.

I think if we keep passing on this love for classic rhythms and rhymes then the classic sounds will be remembered.

In my Art History class we learned that “classical” means the high point of a period. So, Classical Greek Art is the high point of art and classic rock is the high point of all rock’n’roll.

Part of the beauty of the recent-reopened Peabody Opera House is how the owners maintained the building’s orginal architecture, including the Greek columns of its enterance. So, I hope that classic rock impresses itself into modern culture like the art of ancient Greece.

If we keep the classics going by conciously passing on these vintage tunes to younger generations, classic folk and rock will never die. When I have kids the lullabies I will sing to them won’t be “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” I’ll do as my mom did and keep the classics.  In the immortal words of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: “Teach your children well.”