So tonight, at my workplace, a high-schooler’s graduation party. It was a fun crowd – lots of drama-nerds who aren’t afraid to have silly fun. But I’m struck – as I have been many times before – at the music these kids listen to. Here’s the last ten or so songs they’ve played:
- Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees)
- Beat It (Michael Jackson)
- Bohemian Rapsody (Queen)
- Some hip-hop song I didn’t recognize
- Thriller (Michael Jackson again)
- Shout (you know, from Animal House)
- Kung Fu Fighting
- My Shirona (they all cheered and said “yeah!” at the opening chords)
- Like A Prayer (Madonna)
- You spin me right round, baby, right round (okay, that’s probably not the real title, but you know what I mean).
The dancers are having so much silly fun it’s really infectous – singing very loudly along to Bohemian Rhapsody, making werewolf dance moves for Thriller, and so on.
But what I can’t get over is, almost all the songs they’ve danced to are songs that were around when I was in high school (or earlier). I mean, I’m 35 years old. Most of the guests at the party tonight are half my age. Why aren’t they listening to music from their own time?
And this group isn’t unusual. Okay, maybe a little – I don’t hear Bohemian Rhapsody played at many of the wedding receptions I attend – but most of them feature a lot of songs from my kidhood. (The most popular wedding reception song – the one I hear at virtually every wedding reception that has a lot of young people dancing? The Village People’s “YMCA.”)
Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I really like a lot of these songs. Plus, as I said, the dancers are hilarious (and intentionally so). But it just seems a little weird.
P.S. It may be relevant to mention: The group tonight is pretty much entirely white. (And that’s how it usually is here – this is Oregon, after all).
P.P.S. The party’s over now, they’re cleaning up. I just overheard one girl singing a verse from “Leaving On a Jet Plane” to herself.
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