Saturday, September 12, 2009

This is hilarious (and made me reflect and ponder, too)

Okay, so maybe I'm the only one who finds this absolutely hilarious. Although it looks like a million and a half Youtube viewers agree... Maybe it is only funny if you used to like Nirvana and/or 80's music... which makes this video neat to me since I remember both songs so clearly in their heydays.

I just couldn't stop laughing... and thinking how perfectly the lyrics fit into this other song!

I am quite embarrassed to admit that I cried the day Kurt Cobain (lead singer of Nirvana) died... what, more than 15 years ago? How could I have liked listening to Nirvana's music on a daily basis?? It's just so... grating. So, if you're totally unfamiliar with Nirvana, the above video didn't show you how they really sounded without their vocals. Grating, depressing, morose, harsh, whiny, angry, like Cobain had a perpetually sore throat... you get the idea (and if not, you can go over to Youtube easily enough and listen to a sample of the actual Nirvana version of this song).

How did I go from an eight year old listening to Rick Astley in the car on Florida vacations with my family to a 14 year old sitting alone in my room listening to Nirvana? Hmm, maybe it was MTV? In that case, we are never going to get cable or satellite TV if I can help our girls avoid the teen angst stuff! ;)

Which brings me to another pondering... how did the relatively happy, non-depressing music of the 80's go to the angst-filled "grunge" music of the early and mid-90's? I mean, the only depressing 80's music was songs like Phil Collins's "Throwing it All Away," which was sad but in a sentimental kind of way, not in an angry, I-hate-my-life-and-want-to-die, listen-to-me-wail-and-scream-and-groan-instead-of-sing kind of way. We went from a few tender sad songs to this raging angst stuff. What brought about this change??

And as I look back, how much lovelier the 80's were than the 90's. Not that I didn't enjoy my teen years - I did in many ways - but it was nothing compared to the beautiful innocence of childhood that was my 80's life. The 80's music was relatively innocent and happy, not overly promiscuous or immoral for the most part, and relatively upbeat. How odd that my stage of life fit with the popular music of the time... and as I entered the teen years, the music became more like how teens are often viewed: sullen and depressed and bitter. And I was a pretty negative teenager. I wonder if my "MTV years" actually helped shape me into who I am today in a positive way, or if I would have been better off without listening to Nirvana, etc. Something I guess I won't ever really know...

Also oddly, I continued to love the sentimental 80's music throughout my teen years. Not enough to buy the albums, but enough to keep my cassette tapes that I had recorded off the radio as a pre-teen and pull them out for long car trips to Florida! As I got closer to adulthood, the 80's songs became more meaningful as I realized that my childhood was gone and that these were a reminder of those years.

So now, watching this video on Youtube not only had me laughing and thinking how amazing it is that the Rick Astley lyrics fit the Nirvana tune, but it had me taking a pensive look at my childhood and teen years. And it makes me happy to now think of this depressing Nirvana song in a new light. Now, if "Smells Like Teen Spirit" comes on the radio, I can just sing along with the Rick Astley lyrics and picture his happy-go-lucky singing and dancing (albeit lame, in an 80's kind of way) rather than the grating and angst-filled vocals of Kurt Cobain. It kind of smooths over those teen years for me, a reminder that I was really still the same little kid who loved the 80's songs on the radio as I was when I was a confused teenager... and that I have come full-circle in that I would much rather listen to those 80's songs now instead of Nirvana! And how important I thought Nirvana et al were in my early teens! How to relay this to my own daughters as they enter their teens??? Maybe it just has to be lived through. Maybe I can help shape it so that this kind of music doesn't play such a powerful role in their lives as teens... how, I am not quite sure yet other than not having MTV! I'd love to hear what other parents of teens think about it all...

Okay, rambling over now. :)


Kris said...

We have never had cable, so our kids don't really watch music videos. They learn about popular music from friends, though. Surprisingly (we have 2 teens so far), they seem to have developed a wide range of music that they like - no one specific genre. I'm about a decade ahead of you - a young kid in the 70's and a teen in the 80's. I never understood or got into any of the "grunge" music of the 90's. I think that was definitely geared towards teenagers. Never got the whole mania about Kurt Cobain.

Carrie said...

I also was a child in the 80s and a teen in the 90s but I never got into Kurt Cobain or any of those grunge bands really. We didn't have cable, but I did hear about a lot of music at school. I mostly just listened to whatever was on star 94 which usually wasn't a lot of the heavy grunge stuff. I never really liked it.
My husband and I discuss this quite a bit because I have strong opinions whereas his view of music and movies is VERY "liberal" ha ha. He isn't really, but he is a lover of music and movies and can appreciate ANY kind of music and movie, even ones that I can't tolerate. ugh. It will be a battle. BUT, I am the homeschooling mom so maybe I can use my heavy influence now to mold them into lovers of jazz and easy listening! ha ha! My dad always listened to 70s music so I really loved Elton John and Billy Joel as a teen...hmmmm..

On a related but different note, this post made me think of a quote I JUST read a few minutes ago, so I wanted to share it:

"I'm not a bit changed--not really. I'm only just pruned down and branched out. The real ME--back here--is just the same."
- Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables