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You couldn’t make it up (part 24)

Wherever you are upon the spectrum of life – let’s stick to the old-fashioned and refer to it as ‘three score years and ten’ even though (as each of us all knows only too well some people die well before their time whilst others stagger on beyond their centenary in a semi-vegetative state – there’s always a gap of understanding between the generations.

Often it is to be found in the field of music.

No doubt the popular Music Hall songs passed on by performance, word of mouth and sheet music pre-World War One sounded positively Antedevulian to those ‘live for the present’ bright young things who Charleston’d away to the new-fangled jazz music of the 1920s.

As in turn, inevitably, their frivolity and din probably offended the sensibilities of the generation before them who, having somehow survived both the carnage of 1914/1918 and the post-War Spanish ‘Flu epidemic, were seeking to make sense of it all by reasoning that ‘the war to end all wars’ would at least restore the natural order of things.

Under which definition the hideous ‘no bust or waist’ fashions of the flappers [a direct quote from my paternal grandmother who was one] definitely did not qualify.

Fast-forward to the early 1960s when my own experience first came into it.

My parents were steeped the music of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Big Band and the musicals (theatre and film) of the Forties and Fifties.

Crickey – when I hurtling towards puberty even the cheeky-innocent pop of Tommy Steele, Alma Cogan, Lonny Donegan, Frankie Vaughan and Billy Fury was regarded as firstly, crap and secondly, the soundtrack of the Devil.

Hence – when the likes of the Beatles and Rolling Stones then came along and blew the British, and then world, music scene apart – chez the Nelsons this was regarded as effectively the end of civilisation as my parents knew it.

Which, of course, for those of us under the age of twenty-five, was exactly the point!

As was supported by the evidence later when, when (grudgingly at first) my parents began to admit that John, Paul, George & Ringo could hold a tune – and occasionally even come up with some good ones of their own.

This ‘acceptance’ by the older generation might have been considered a triumph/vindication of Youth by some but in fact – for many of my vintage – it simply prompted the Fab Fours’ consignment to the room marked ‘old hat’ as we then set off in search of new heroes more suitably outrageous and therefore (hopefully) more offensive to our elders.

My text for today’s lecture – sorry, comment! – is I’m afraid another blast from this oldie admittedly steeped in a (heyday) past when, in so many respects, ‘one just got on with it’.

Today I came across a report by health reporter Kate Pickles on the latest example of political correctness gone mad and the ‘snowflake’ generation’s absurd approach to making everyone feel comfortable (e.g. no school sport prizes for anyone because that would make the losers feel bad etc.).

I am sufficiently exasperated by it cannot even be bothered to give you the gist of the story in advance – but anyway, here’s a link for those who might be interested, it appears upon the website of the – DAILY MAIL















About Arthur Nelson

Looking forward to his retirement in 2015, Arthur has written poetry since childhood and regularly takes part in poetry workshops and ‘open mike’ evenings. More Posts