Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What A Drag it Ain't Gettin' Old

I love old people. I think I've mentioned before that the lack of 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. 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...letting the days go by.

20 comments:

Masha said...

old people are definitely awesome. When I was 12, I had a pen pal who was 83. She would tell me about how she lived in China when Russians used to live there, and she would send me money to "buy something sweet for the horses."
Young people these days are just too droned into everything being microwaveably quick-conversations, styles, technology, etc.
With old people you have to find time and really listen. Woah revolutionary.

Teri said...

That totally made me cry. I wanna be just like them when I grow up.

Goan Pao said...

being old is more mental than physical...I guess though age has caught up with these folks theyre still youngsters at heart.
I used to visit an old age home with other youth from my parish. They share these really awesome stories. guess their times were way more eventful then i find my day to day fast paced life. Cheers to all Octa, nona etc genarians..

Doggie Extraordinaire's Mom said...

We have a little old Jewish lady who comes into the library and she's probably more intelligent and cogent than most of our staff. She tells me stories of her family during the Nazi occupation, how it fractured her family and some converted to Catholocism and now they don't speak to one another. The elderly have stories to tell that absolutely fascinate me. I wonder if I'll have anything interesting to say to the youth when I'm old. Nothing like a World War and holocost, but what on earth will I have to tell anyone?

...I used to work in a library back when we had books, and they were made of paper and people came to this building where I worked instead of viewing it on these virtual reality machines...

Lavinia said...

What an awesome post. I'm lucky to have had three grandmothers (long story) and have known my maternal granfather until he passed away when I was 13.

I plan to compile a book of all the children's stories my maternal gran used to tell us when we were younger. Ther are all in my first language, Setswana, and it would be a great loss if she passed away without leaving a record of them.

They sing Outkast? Thats amazing. Apparently Geminis do not age at heart so maybe I'll be singing the latest music tunes when I'm in my 80s ^_^

The Moviequill said...

when I start blaming the gov't for everything and then bitching I don't have enough money, I know I am getting old...

pia said...

I am a licensed social worker who specialized in geritatrics, and it was so weird to go from the nursing home to visit my mother who would have been the rockingest coolest old lady of all time if she only hadn't become blind

She was still awesome. Her best friend's 91, works as an interior designer, dances and drives. When she broke her pelvis---usually a dooming thing--she was back within months doing everything

Sangroncito said...

I find the older I get the more I miss my maternal grandmother (the nice one, not the evil paternal one!). I have a picture of my grandma in my bedroom. What I wouldn't give to have her for just one hour to ask her a million questions about family history.

Bailey said...

Enjoying life at 15 MPH!

The Everglades said...

Yeah, that is awesome. My grandparents saw 8 Mile and loved it. I couldn't believe it. I was in awe. When I'm old I want to be really cool too.

blake

still_figuring_out said...

what a sweet post.
the younger generation tend to take the old folks for granted, but these people actually rock.

BadGod said...

I can talk to my grandpa for hours. And still not have a clue what he is talking about. But it is fun.

Until grandma reminds me I am the youngest grandson. And still single.

Ruben said...

I like old people also. They are smarter , more comfortable about who they are, but I don't care for the old person smell.

Alice said...

when i was growing up, my friend'd grandfather used to waterski and got on the cover of "active old folks magazine" or something... i vowed at the age of 9 to be like him when i grew up

Mad Munkey said...

They all look like they are dong a heil hitler move... creepy...

JC said...

I was out blog surfing and old folks seem to be the theme for the day. I hope that I am like this when I am a little ole gal. I have been like a little ole lady all my life, so maybe I will be like a kid as I get older.

Lee Ann said...

That is cool! I hope when I get old that I am cool like that.

Melanie said...

My grandmother totally shocked me once by telling me that if she could do it over again, she would have waited til she was 30 to get married. I never thought I'd ever hear something that sophisticated and cosmopolitan from my 78-year-old grandmother who was born in a god-forsaken village in the poorest part of Italy.

Yes, old people do surprise!

no milk said...

i quoted this in NMP! :)

م said...

very sweet post.

 

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