Numbers seem simple. We learn to count, to use them to quantify and to define. Numbers related to music and to life in many ways. In this number series, you will find a find a variety of songs and reflections on numbers. Today’s post explores songs and views on aging.
As a three-year old, I thought 21 was REALLY old. When the Beatles released “When I’m 64” in 1967 I felt as though 64 was ancient.
As the years have gone by and as I’ve spent most of my professional years working in senior living communities, my views on age have changed. I now think of age as a number and old is how someone feels or acts.
Whether it is an intergenerational group of teens to seniors or a within a set age group, here are a few songs worth sharing when discussing views on aging.
Song lyrics range from positive to negative on the topic of aging. Here are just a few along with some possible conversation starters.
- “When I Grow to Old to Dream”: Written in 1934, this has been recorded by a variety of artists from Nat King Cole to Linda Ronstadt. Can you be too old to dream?
- “All By Myself” – Irving Berlin: The lyrics seem to emphasize old age means being alone. Discuss if this is true and ways to not be alone.
- “The Living Years” – performed by Mike and the Mechanics: Is it true that generations blame each other? Why or why not?
“Every generation blames the one before,
And all of our frustrations come beating on your door,
I know that I’m a prisoner to all my father held so dear,
I know that I’m a hostage to all his hopes and fears,
I just wish I could have told him in the living years.”
- “My Generation” – performed by the Who: Why would someone want to die before they get old?
- “Time” by The Alan Parson Project : With references to the flow of time, it might serve as a spring-board for discussing perspectives on time and aging.
- “Grandma’s Hands” – Bill Withers The history of the song is included in the video. What are the stories of your family carried in hands? in objects?
- “Young at Heart” – Jimmy Durante: What does it mean to stay young at heart? How do you stay young at heart?