#24 “If I had a hammer…”

We used to sing that song, over and over. Then we’d sing “Sounds of Silence” over and over. Of course, included would be “Yellow Submarine.” Peter, Paul, and Mary. Simon and Garfunkel. The Beatles. Songs we loved, love now, and can sing word for word. They meant a lot to us, in the days of protest and being sure to be heard. And they worked! So many songs that spoke to the young, to the adventurous, to the ones who wanted and brought about change. Oh, how we laugh now, when we remember the dad grumbling about “…darn kids don’t appreciate good music! And the way they dress! No style, no class, long hair…disgusting! Turn it off!” And we pretty much felt the same way about his music, his favorite singers. But we had headphones and would bellow out our songs off key as the music filled our ears and head.

Now? Well, it’s a whole lot of years between then and now. We had kids and they played their music and the only music of theirs we objected to was the heavy metal sometimes. We would ask, “What are the words? Can’t figure out the words.” Our kids would laugh and keep dancing and enjoying and we would just shrug and enjoy the pounding beat. But we didn’t protest their music as ours had been protested. No, music is music, and we can go from one genre to another without much problem.

We look back, pull up youtube to listen to all kinds of music, and escape now as we did when younger. But sometimes…in a silly or capricious mood…we change the words to fit us now. We had a good laugh the other day while singing and changing the lyrics to “If I had a hammer…” Yep, if I had a hammer now, I would have to sing–“If I had a hammer… I’d bash my fingers flat as a nail… I’d hammer holes in the wall…all over the room… I’d hammer out furniture, I’d hammer out wiring, I’d hammer out curse word, to all my fellow humans, all over the land…” How times change, right? (Where’s the band-aids?)

Then I would sing “Sounds of Silence.” “Hello darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to take a nap again…” Yes, times change. But “Yellow Submarine”? Oh, yeah! That one we rarely change and never when we’ve toked up. Yes! “We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine…” We wish! But fun to imagine, right? Some songs never need to be altered nor the circumstances under which we bellow along with them. They just fit then and they fit now…right?

One more we neglected to mention by Simon and Garfunkel–“Feelin’ Groovy.” In these days of isolation, what could be more appropriate? “Hello lamppost, whatcha knowin’? I’ve come to watch your flowers growin’. Ain’t you got no rhymes for me? Doo-it-ta doo doo–feelin’ groovy…” The only thing that would be weird is if the lamppost answered. Of course there’s always the possibility… 🙂

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