What if we could redo those songs?
The obituaries for rock star David Bowie waxed eloquent over his ability to change, evolve, reinvent and metamorphosize.
Sadly, the songs of our youth don’t change as we progress through life; they possess a certain nostalgic charm, but they fail to remain relevant.
True, someone will occasionally record a cover version with a different tempo, but the lyrics remain preserved in amber, no matter how much sadder but wiser we become. (As The Four Tops might declare, “It’s The Same Old Song.”)
Is anyone up to the task of updating our rich musical heritage to reflect the aging process and harsh realities of life?
(Granted, some songs don’t even need the title tweaked. For instance, that paean to senior moments, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”)
Yeah, songs about broken hearts always sell, but can’t we have some songs bold enough to deal with other health issues? You know, like “Mama’s Got A Pillbox” (with apologies to The Who) – or a reworking of songs by The Animals, especially “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – Help Me Put My Dentures Back In.” Both of those would go well on a CD with “Papa’s Got A Brand New Hip” or “If I Had A Rotator Cuff, I’d Hammer Out A Warning.”
Maybe Bob Dylan could be persuaded to record “The Moles, They Are A-Changin’.” That would complement “You Can’t Always Pass What You Eat” and “Talkin’ About My Defibrillation.” And who wouldn’t love the Muddy Waters knockoff “Got My Mojo Signed Up For Disability”?
Don’t get me started on obesity and lack of exercise. You’ll have to hear “The Tracks of My Man-Boobs” to believe it.
Economic issues would provide lots of material for revamped songs, including that classic instrumental “The William Tell Overdraft.” Then there’s “Every Deduction You Take (I’ll Be Watching You)” and “Whole Lotta Auditin’ Goin’ On.” Fans of The Supremes would surely rave over “Baby, Baby, Where Did Our Middle Class Status Go?”
Family dynamics are another rich area for song upgrades. For instance, “Baby, You Can Drive My Car – Because Obviously You’re Never Going To Trust Me With My Keys Again.” A group capable of mimicking the harmonies of the Bee Gees could have a million-seller with “I’ve Got To Get An Alimony Payment To You.” And let’s not forget “Gimme Shelter – From Grown Children Seeking Shelter Six Months After Finally Moving Out.”
Other socio-political aspects of 2016 culture would make great songs, such as “People (i.e. Multinational Corporations) Get Ready,” “The Long And Winding Line At The VA” and the defiant anthem that shouts, “Compound interest! Huh!! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!”
Nineteenth century updates such as “Jimmy Crack GMO Corn And I DO Care” could share “Billboard” chart space with the Allman Brothers tribute “I Feel Like I’ve Been Tied To The Selfie Stick, Tied To The Selfie Stick…”
James Brown is no longer with us, but surely some enterprising impersonator could cash in with “I Got Your Identity (I Feel Good).”
Pandora and Spotify would really clean up streaming that soulful “Showboat” tune “Old Man-Trapped-In-A-Woman’s-Body River.”
Wait – there’s more. Everyone who agrees to purchase all the aforementioned songs is also promised a remake of one of The Drifters’ greatest hits. “Up On The Roof”? It’s now titled “I’ve Got Shingles!!!”
Hey, I’m just a man whose intentions are good.
Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at email@example.com and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”