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Some of My Personal Favorites From Boomer Music


A lot of my fellow writers from the Quill have provided their valuable opinions on music, their tastes ranging from discussing anime music to Olivia Rodrigo albums. Feeling inspired, I thought I would throw my hat into the ring. But in what genre of music could I, a man who just started listening to music religiously last year and knows nothing of the technicalities of the field, be qualified to write in? My mind immediately floated to old music. 

Controversial opinion alert: I think boomer music is better than modern music. This doesn’t mean I deny the value of modern music. If I had a playlist, it would include more music from the past decade than from any other musical age (although because I’m basic, it would just be the excessively popular stuff). I guess the reason why I like older music is because it tends to be slower and more soulful. So, if you prefer the taste-less artificial music of today (which I occasionally guiltily indulge in), halt your eyes at this juncture.

I’ll give you a bit more time.

But if you’re like me, who itches for shops and restaurants to play another piece of boomer music but can never figure out the names of the songs, read on.

Oh yeah, I didn’t just copy songs off the Rolling Stones Top 500 list. I don’t vibe with the top songs at all. Though all the songs have a great message, and I’m certain that there’s a lot of skill involved, the first song I even quasi-vibed with was the song at number eight, which was ‘Dreams,’ by Fleetwood Mac. I was told that the song borders on psychedelic rock. I promise I’m not weird; I just honestly don’t jam with the songs on that list much.

Also, by old, I mean from before 2000. I know I just called a lot of BISV teachers old, but they already knew that. 

With all that out of the way, here’s my list, which is fully devoid of any technical terms. Just my own feelings about the music. 

I’m scared.


‘Penny Lane’ by The Beatles: Probably my favorite Beatles song. I first heard this song on James Corden’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ with Paul McCartney. I guess the original reason I fell in love with the song is that it’s super catchy. It’s one of those songs where you could snap the melody between your fingers, and you wouldn’t lose much of its beauty. Most catchy songs get tiring after a few listens. Not this one. The modesty of the melody mirrors the simplicity of the lyrics, chronicling daily life on its namesake location. Every time I stumble upon this song, my body is transported to a sunny day in 1960s London. 


‘Lemon Tree’ by Fool’s Garden: I first heard this song on ‘The Voice China’ when I was five (I know it’s weird, but this show defined my music tastes in childhood), and for months, these lyrics were stuck on replay in my head:

I wonder how, I wonder why

Yesterday, you told me ’bout the blue, blue sky

And all that I can see is just a yellow lemon tree

Words can’t describe how catchy this song is. After listening to dozens of mushy love songs, this kind of childish, upbeat music was exotic and fascinating to my ears. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered what this cheerful song was actually about: the loneliness of the songwriter after his lover’s death. Few songs can make me wanna dance (I don’t cause it would send everyone around me into shock) when it plays, then cry when it’s over. ‘Lemon Tree’ can do that. 


‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra: Everyone has probably heard this song at some point or another, but assumed it was some obscure song and just moved on with life. It wasn’t until I rediscovered this song in a Frank Sinatra playlist that I truly appreciated its elegance. I enjoy this song over Frank Sinatra’s other classics, like ‘New York, New York,’ because it showcases Frank’s deep voice throughout, rather than smothering it with instrumental music. The music keeps building and building, like a stairway to heaven (weirdly inserted old boomer music references be like). And when the melody reaches its zenith, you just want to leap to your feet to match its intensity. 

Though I’m usually not a lyrics kind of guy, this song is an exception. The lyrics of this song are highly personal. It feels almost like an old man telling his grandchildren: I lived a fulfilled life because I did it my way, and you can too. Very motivational. 


‘Sweet Caroline’ by Neil Diamond: Everyone knows this classic. But this one really stands the test of time because of how singalong-able (is that a word?) it is. The opening is somewhat underwhelming for a timeless classic, and the lyrics are outright cringe at parts (Reaching out, touching me, touching you??). But the chorus makes it all worth it. Whenever the iconic “sweet caroline” flies through the radio or Spotify, tailed by three equally iconic sounds of the trumpet, you simply can’t help but jam along to each magnificent beat. Then, when you finally tire of listening to this masterpiece, you wonder where all your homework time went. 


‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You’ by George Benson: The lyrics are mushy. The melody is beautiful. That’s my best description of this masterpiece. When I first heard this piece, I loved the first verse so much that I replayed it half a dozen times, believing that the chorus could not supersede its quality. I was wrong. I know that the enjoyment of music is highly subjective, but even if you don’t love this song as much as I do, I promise that you’ll at least mildly enjoy it (if you’re not a lyrics person).

Speaking of excessively corny lyrics…


‘What a Wonderful World’ by Sam Cooke: Most of you probably know of Sam Cooke and think of him as a man of the most sophisticated songs. In fact, your opinion likely derives its existence from his emotional masterpiece, ‘A Change is Gonna Come.’ Well I’m here to tell you that besides that one, most of his other songs are not literary masterpieces, like this one. But if you listen to it, his soulful tone manages to pull you into the melody to the point where the corniness of the lyrics becomes irrelevant. I mean, here’s the first verse of the song:

Don’t know much about history

Don’t know much biology

Don’t know much about a science book

Don’t know much about the French I took

I promise you, when it comes out of Cooke’s mouth, these lyrics sound like a verse right out of ‘Country Roads.’ I think it might even be better. 


‘Unchained Melody’ by The Righteous Brothers: Usually, when a song is chock full of vocal acrobatics, you lose its simplicity and elegance. Usually, a live performance tends to be of lower quality than a studio recording. I say usually because the one exception to these rules is ‘Unchained Melody.’ The music is full of riffs and runs that put the angelic voice of the Brothers Duo on full display. The song doesn’t just work well with vocal acrobatics; it is defined by vocal acrobatics. If you didn’t understand a thing I just said, try listening to the song itself. That should clear up the confusion. Hopefully, you will have heard it in the past, and this time, make sure it occupies its well-deserved spot on your playlist. 


Obviously, this is not nearly a comprehensive list. There are many great songs that I didn’t put on here, simply because I don’t have a list and am too lazy to make one. I guess that’s one more reason why I prefer older music: it feels more laid back than modern music, and that’s What I Like. 


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