Generations: Mind The Gap

How throwaway comments can lead you elsewhere.

Threads, I call them, when you’re writing them down, ideas or memories that immediately join with another.

I recently heard an elderly lady remonstrating with a young lad about manners, and how “we knew how to behave when we were young.” I’d heard similar stuff when I was growing up. No doubt she had, too. I think the glasses we wear to look back with are often rose-tinted.

I remember one woman telling me all about her generation. It sounded like some kind of Golden Era, and my young self back then was thinking yes, but Hitler was your generation, too

Of course I didn’t say that. I was a polite lad and I kept my mouth shut. But I realise now that I was cherry picking individuals while she was generalising.

Anyway, this memory trail led to me to another point in time a bit closer, around 2006. I was going to go and watch a Scottish girl who was about to appear in a small gig in my home city of Manchester. A young singer-songwriter who was starting to be name-checked a lot in music magazines, her debut album was imminent and I was curious to check her out, but for one reason or another I couldn’t make it. Soon the album, This Is The Life, arrived and it persuaded me that I’d missed out that night.

She’s recorded several albums since, but on that first one is a song called Youth of Today, where she defends this generational issue from the perspective of youth. This is a live version, recorded on a French TV show.

But then, conversely, in another song on the album,,she approves of the old idea of celebrity in the form of the iconic stars of the silver screen, as opposed to today’s obvious example of the WAG. Not sure who she had in mind, but “you know who you are.”

For those of you who may have struggled with the Scottish accent in the last video, this one includes lyrics!