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What A Drag it Ain’t, Gettin’ Old

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I love old people. Since all of my grandparents died before I was old enough to remember them, the lack of a grandparental influence in my life has made me yearn for that type of relationship. Must be why I have such a soft spot for the elderly. Of course, I’m not a fan of the crotchety variety but hey, there are jerks in every demographic. Most snotty little brats grow up to be asshole adults, who in turn become grumpy oldsters. But a lot of young folks are under the misapprehension that the elderly are all just pissed off people with white hair who hate loud music. I am here to set the record straight. I’ve always said that old folks rock. But now, I have some proof to back me up.

I came across this story on the CBS News website about a traveling choir known as the Young@Heart Chorus. In a group where the youngest member is 73, you would expect staples of their show to be hits from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and maybe some Bobby Vinton. In most cases, that would be a fair guess. In this case, you would be wrong. Outkast’s “Hey Ya” and Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” are just a few of the contemporary rock numbers that the chorus performs on a regular basis. If you click on the link above, you can read the full story and play a video to hear the group in rehearsals. One highlight is an adorable clip of a little old lady sweetly belting out “Ruby Tuesday”. The Stones might actually want to think about snagging Young@Heart as an opening act for some of their tour dates. At the very least, it would be nice for them to have some people their own age to hang out with.

Another clip shows that same woman, the eldest member at 91 years young, getting choked up at the thought of having to leave the group. Apparently her health is failing and she is faced with moving to live with her son. Judging by her reaction, I don’t think that being away from this group is going to be the best thing for her. Dear lady’s got the music bug and no amount of medicine is going to cure that.

I’m telling you, this is what I want to be doing when I’m in my golden years. I don’t want to be sitting on a porch in my rocking chair, moaning about how the music of my day was the best and how the garbage that my grandkids listen to makes my ears bleed. I want to be gettin’ jiggy with it. Unfortunately, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. I’m assuming that they don’t just let you in the group simply because you’re old. You still gotta deliver. And even by untrained amateur standards, I’m painful to listen to. So, my dreams for 50 years into the future are already dashed. But, who knows? Maybe they’ll need a roadie. With all the heavy lifting, there’s bound to be a high turnover rate for that job.

If the CBS video wasn’t enough for you, please check out the official Young@Heart Chorus Website. There are several MP3s available to download. I suggest the cover of Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime”. It’s awesome. I didn’t know whether to laugh hysterically or jump a plane to wherever these guys are and give them all kisses on the cheek. I’m not laughing at them, I’m laughing with them. It’s obvious that they’re all having a good time, just letting the days go by.

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