A new year, 2019.
I’m reminded of an old folk song sung by the Pozo Seco Singers, “Time, oh Time, where did you go?”
The beginning of a new year reminds me time is passing for me and for every single person currently alive on this planet. I will pass a milestone birthday this year. I’ve been subconsciously resisting that knowledge but the earth continues to turn and bring up the sun each morning.
Three country western songs in my current song list deal with the fact of aging that we all face. Not a hint of lost love, mama, cheating, prison, trucks, trains or just raising hell in general in these three.
Willie Nelson sings, “It gets easier,” meaning that withdrawing from activities becomes easier as you age. Toby Keith, on the other hand, in his song from the movie, THE MULE, says “ask yourself how old you’d be if you didn’t know the day you were born.” His song advises, “Don’t let the old man in.” Don’t withdraw. Don’t stop. Don’t use age as an excuse to avoid things. Merle Haggard’s “Footlights” is about aging and having to “hide my age and make the stage” when he’d rather not. George Jones, another old timer, also recorded that song.
It seems remarkable that aging, a topic I’d rather ignore, has become a topic to be sung about by country artists, but several singers, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, George Jones and Johnny Cash confronted aging by continuing to perform all their lives. Willie Nelson even made it onto the cover of the AARP magazine and onto one of the morning TV shows recently. His song, “I woke up this morning so I must not be dead” is not one of my favorites, but still has to be included in this list.
At lunch the other day with friends, the elephant on the sofa, aging, even crept into our conversation. With lots of laughter, (how else can you deal with something inevitable?) we decided we’d all move to the same assisted living venue with our own carefully selected caretaker and “sing another verse to the song.” Toby Keith again.