The Music of Generation X
Since the beginning of time the human beings have adored the soothing sounds of music. Music has affected the way people have behaved and dressed throughout different periods of time. Different groups have been formed based upon their preference in music. Take for an example in the music of my generation, Generation X, there are several different groups oriented by music. In Generation X punks, gangs, alternative people, ravers, hippies, and pop rockers have all been labeled into groups by their preference of music. Music has also affected people mentally, causing problems in society like suicide, depression, hate/racism, violence, and drug addiction. I am about to examine five different song lyrics of my generation to demonstrate the different tones and concerns they convey onto society and my generation.
The first song I would like to analyze is "Jane Says" by Jane's Addiction. The main theme in "Jane Says" is escaping drug use and addiction. This song is basically set in a low class area. Jane is a girl who has had a heroine addiction. Her personal boundaries have been invaded and she wants out of the habit, "I'm gonna kick tomorrow...". She goes through depression and withdrawal, "She gets mad/And she starts to cry." Then the songs continues by talking about loneliness. Drug addiction is often the background for much of the music in today's society. People tend to idolize famous people and when they see or hear of their idols using drugs or drinking they follow the actions of the famous people. Another song in which I am going to discuss is written by The Smashing Pumpkins. "Tonight, tonight" is a song about growing up. The song stresses the importance of time and how precious it is, "time is never time at all/you can never ever leave without leaving a piece of youth/ and our lives are forever changed/ we will never be the same." This song brings an opening light to society and makes them feel good and at the same time depressed. The music in our generation is real deep in it's tone, the feelings music can generate is amazing. Say you are listening to a happy song your mood will genuinely be happy, then say you heard a slow deep meaningful song your attitude will change somewhat. However there is different music for different moods. "Tonight, tonight," brings in the mood of peacefulness. This song as well as "Jane Says" attracts the people in society who are considered to be alternative in their behavior and lifestyle.
Next, I am going to examine a song by a band that reels in the social group of the hippies. Phish is a band that has followers, just like the recently fallen Grateful Dead had. Phish is mainly a band that sings happy thoughts and tells stories through their music, like folk music with a twist. "Fee" is a story about life, love, jealousy, and adventure. This song discusses a life of a weasel named Fee, a gospel singer named Milly Grace and Floyd the chimpanzee. Fee falls in love with Milly and Floyd is jealous, so Floyd knocks Fee out and gets Milly who then kills Floyd and rescues Fee. In the terms of socialization the behavior of Fee and Milly induces that of true love. In the song Fee is also taking chances and he needs to sit back and analyze his life:
Oh, Fee, you're trying to live a life
That's completely free.
You're racing with the wind
You're flirting with death
So have a cup of coffee
And catch your breath.
This relates to society by showing that the life we lead is fast paced and we never stop and take time to "catch your breath." We don't take time to think.
"What I Got" by Sublime is a song that was just recently released and hit the charts at number one. This song describes the life I would say of an average stereotypical Generation X life. The song shows how our generation is like a roller coaster. The lives we lead our unpredictable. Socialism comes into effect in this song by the way the song tells us to lead our lives. First it says that everyone still has fun in times of trouble, "the moneys all gone, but I got a dalmation and I can still get high, I can play the guitar like mofo riot." The song then leads into companionship to not caring about values/norms that society has set like, drugs, alcohol, and money problems.
The last song was just released last Wednesday. "Hope in a Hopeless World," by Widespread Panic is a song that geniunely conveys the problems in today's society. The title itself explains the behaviors of depression and loss of reality. The song looks at the downfalls in our society and how things went wrong. The line, "What ever happened to the Golden Rule?" says enough to explain my thoughts. The Golden Rule in my opinion is a major norm in our society, and with that out of the way everything is really unfriendly and depressing. "Looking for hope in a hopeless world" explains that people are trying to come out and have a life, but there are so many drawbacks that they are often stuck. The song also says that you have to keep trying:
You've got to listen to the voice inside
Peace and love don't compromise
Time is passing by
Can't be standing still.
Music in Generation X has had more affect on society than any other generation has had. More social groups have been formed and many more feelings have been expressed through our music. Society is overall effected by music and always will be.
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