Just the other day, my friend Iris and I were in a place where there was music playing the background.
Except it wasn’t really music. It was what some people call “music” these days, but it wasn’t real music.
Today’s hits have titles like “Young, Wild and Free,” “A__ Back Home,” “Set Fire to the Rain,” and “Drive By.”
Even when the titles are okay, it’s hard to understand the lyrics (even those we might want to understand – as opposed to those we don’t) and it’s difficult to find a tune in what some call “songs.”
Iris and I asked the guy to play some real music. He asked, “Like what?”
And we responded that we liked Frank Sinatra, for example. And Perry Como and Andy Williams. The Righteous Brothers and the Everly Brothers. No, we're not from another planet. An earlier time? Yes, maybe that explains it.
What about Sam Cooke, Simon & Garfunkle, Al Green? They made music.
I started looking through old sheet music for some of the familiar and favorite melodies. I found beautiful music: “Melody of Love,” “Fascination,” “When I Grow to Old to Dream,” “Red Sails in the Sunset,” “Moon River,” "Wonderland by Night," "Misty" and more. That was real music.
But I also found that today’s hits aren’t the only ones with unusual titles. Some of the ones from yesteryear: “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree With Anyone Else But Me,” “Chong, He Came From Hong Kong,” “Throw Another Log on the Fire,” "Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy," "Any Little Girl Can Make a Bad Man Good," "I'm Tying the Leaves So They Won't Come Down," “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long,” “Ma, He’s Making Eyes at Me,” “Bury Me Out on the Prairie,” and, one of my favorites, “How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You (When You Know I’ve Been a Liar All My Life)?”
Even with odd-sounding names, the music had a tune and it had a soul.
Ah, for the good ol’ days!