Tuesday Tunes 21: Growing Up

When I was growing up, all those years ago, the age of majority in the UK was 21, and the occasion was usually marked by a special birthday party. Things began to change in 1969 when the voting age was lowered to 18, giving rise to much confusion: did we now reach majority at 18? Did all those years of tradition have to be thrown out of the window? In typical British style we somehow managed to compromise by counting both as the birthday at which we were suddenly supposed to become mature, and many lucky people had two big birthday celebrations. Me? I had neither! But that may be a story for another day. After going themeless for a couple of weeks I’m returning to the usual plan for this week, and am marking the 21st post in this series with the theme: Growing Up.

There are many songs which talk about what growing up means to us, how a milestone can be a time to both look back and ahead, how it can be a time of reflection and of hope. I had so many from which to choose that I had difficulty even getting the selection down to four songs, so that is what I’m going with.

Where to begin? You just can’t beat the Boss, can you? This song really says a lot about casting off the shackles and constraints that you feel in youth and becoming your own person, and is the ideal launchpad for this week:

As is fairly obvious from the images in the video, this was on Bruce’s debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, which was released in January 1973. As debut albums go, it didn’t do badly, reaching #41 in the UK albums chart and #60 in the US. Probably helped by later sales, after his career took off in a big way, it has sold around 3m copies. As I said, not bad!

This week’s second tune is one that takes the concept of growing up rather differently – in this case, wishing that a youngster could always stay the way they are. I have previously written a post themed around Taylor Swift’s Never Grow Up (find it in the search box if you’d like to) and Rod Stewart covers similar ground, with a lovely video to match:

From its title you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a Bob Dylan song. It is, in part. Rod borrowed a lot from Bob’s song in writing his own, and asked Bob for permission to use his words. They agreed on a co-writing credit and a 50/50 share of the royalties from Rod’s song. That sounds like a good compromise to me – it avoided the long legal wrangles that other songwriters have found themselves in. The song is included on Rod’s 15th studio album, Out Of Order, released in 1988, which peaked at #11 in the UK and #20 in the US – though it did make #1 in Sweden! The track was the second single released from the album, reaching only #57 in the UK and #12 in the US: I think it deserved better.

The next song for this week takes the theme of looking back on life when major changes have impacted you. John Lennon was 25 when he wrote this reflection on how his life had altered, and how he had grown up, in just three years after the Beatles’ massive success began:

Apologies for the static image, but that is the official video for the 2009 remaster of the track, and offers a huge improvement in quality over previous versions, allowing the song’s simple beauty to really shine. As you probably know, it was on Rubber Soul, which was the Beatles’ sixth album, released in December 1965. Unsurprisingly, it peaked at #1 in both the UK and the US, and in a number of other countries too. Like the other songs on the album, it wasn’t released as a single – the Beatles mostly kept singles and albums apart in those days, though a couple of tracks were released as singles in the US in 1966, one of which – Nowhere Man – reached #1. Here in the UK, we just bought their LPs by the shed load!

Having given you songs from three of the best known acts of all time, this week’s final selection is from one of my favourite bands, who will probably be unknown to most of you. Oysterband were formed in my East Kent homeland, and have been a major feature of the English folk music scene for forty years or so. They are also very popular throughout Europe, but have, as far as I know, never achieved much in the US – you guys have really missed out! This is a song about growing up to the point where the life you’ve known no longer gives you all that you need. I think it bookends this week’s post rather neatly with the Boss. Again, this is solely an album track, but is none the less superb for that:

I never fail to be uplifted by that! I don’t think the Oysters have ever dented the charts, here or anywhere else, but their gigs are always sold out (when we’re allowed to go) and they are a brilliant live band: I know, I’ve seen them! The female singer on that one is Rowan Godel, who isn’t a band member but occasionally lends her powerful vocals to their songs, as well as having her own band. The counterbalance between the two voices really makes that one for me. A little side story: several of the then members of the band were also part of Fiddlers Dram, who had a novelty #3 hit in 1979 with The Day We Went To Bangor. Sadly for them there was no follow up success but, if you’ve heard that song, you’ll probably agree that the current version of the band is far better!

That’s about it for this week. I’m off to celebrate my coming of age with a cup of tea and maybe a Mars bar (other chocolate bars are available). Have a great week, and I’ll see you again next Tuesday. TTFN 👋

38 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 21: Growing Up

  1. everythingtips August 31, 2020 / 10:34 am

    lovely playlist! i like the Oysterband track! thanks for sharing💞

    Follow @everythingtips for tips and recommendations if interested! It would mean a lot to me!🥺🤍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive August 31, 2020 / 11:29 am

      Glad you enjoyed them – that is my favourite, too.

      I’ll take a look 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stevie Turner August 14, 2020 / 10:02 am

    ‘In My Life’ is one of my favourite songs …still gives me chills. My parents organised a huge party for me when I was 18. Great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive August 14, 2020 / 10:04 am

      It’s one of their best, I think. Glad you had a much better party than I did 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. robertawrites235681907 August 12, 2020 / 4:41 pm

    I think the age of majority here is still 21, Clive. 18 is quite young, isn’t it? I am a big Rod Steward fan as I’ve told you before, and I love that song.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive August 12, 2020 / 4:50 pm

      I looked up the Wikipedia article on age of majority before I wrote this piece, Robbie. It might surprise you on a couple of counts: the age in South Africa is stated as being 18, and that is the age of majority in a fairly large number of countries around the world. Here in the UK Scotland has chosen to reduce it to 16 but it’s still 18 for the rest of us.

      Glad you liked the Rod Stewart song – I’m getting to know the tastes of regular readers since I started this series 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • robertawrites235681907 August 12, 2020 / 4:57 pm

        I am sure you are getting to know our tastes, Clive. I didn’t realise that about our age of majority changing. 18 seems very young to make decisions about things like getting married. I won’t tell my sons [grin!].

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive August 12, 2020 / 5:01 pm

        I think it’s tied in with voting age – that’s certainly the case here. Like any rule of that kind, there are plenty of reasons to doubt its wisdom: the way we have voted collectively here in recent years suggests to me there should be an intelligence test, as well as one for age. I hope your sons will carry on enjoying their blissful ignorance 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. petespringerauthor August 12, 2020 / 3:31 am

    Isn’t it fun to share somebody you know who is good with an audience who may be unfamiliar with the artist or band? Great sound from Oysterband! You were right—they’re new to me. It would almost be sacrilegious to say you don’t like The Beatles or Springsteen, and I won’t buck that trend. I’ve never been a Rod Stewart guy, but you batted three out of four with me this week. Thanks as always, Clive. Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive August 12, 2020 / 9:38 am

      It’s one of the main reasons I share music here, Pete. Glad you liked them, I think they deserve a wider audience. Sorry about Rod – I count myself as an eclectic fan of his, not everything he does is to my taste but I think this song is lovely, and has a good back story. You stay safe too 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim Borden August 11, 2020 / 11:22 pm

    as you might have guessed, you had me at Bruce. There are a few great versions of Forever Young, but I prefer the one by Joan Baez. Gret song choice by the Beatles, not one I hear too often.

    But I think my favorite song you shared is the one by Oysterband, a group I have not heard of. That song was just wonderful. The lyrics remind me a bit of Thunder Road by Bruce, my all-time favorite song. Man, last week it was Bellowhead, this week it is Oysterhead. I like your taste in music. I also want to check out some of the music of Rowan Godel – any suggestions?

    Another guy that has a couple of songs about Growing up is Harry Chapin, one of my favorite artists. Cats in the Cradle and Story of a Life often bring me to tears.

    And one line from a Bob Seger songs captures pretty well a downside of growing up: “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”

    Great blog, Clive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive August 11, 2020 / 11:47 pm

      It was a good place to start! I like Joan’s version too but I think I prefer Rod Stewart’s reworking of the song, on balance.

      I’m pleased you like Oysterband – the English folk music circuit has a lot going for it. The album that song is from – Diamonds on the Water – is superb all the way through. They haven’t made a duff album, and there are three compilations – which don’t overlap – which give a real taste of what they do. I’ve drawn a blank with Rowan so far. She apparently released an EP a couple of years ago and was due an album this March. Nothing in Apple Music or on Amazon though, so I guess it may have been delayed. I haven’t tried Spotify yet.

      I considered that Harry Chapin song but then remembered I’d featured it earlier in this series!

      And Against The Wind is one of the best songs ever written 😊

      Thanks for your kind words and ongoing support, Jim.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden August 12, 2020 / 3:01 am

        I found an artist named Rowan Godel on Spotify, but it seems like the five songs listed are all in German…

        And than you for your support, and free music lessons, as well, Clive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive August 12, 2020 / 9:33 am

        I found that one on Apple Music, iTunes and Amazon too. Not sure if it’s her, but her bio does say she does a lot of collaborative work! I’ll explore further, and hopefully solve the mystery of the missing album. I think she has a website, which will probably help. I’ll get back to you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden August 12, 2020 / 6:02 pm

        thanks for the investigative work – look forward to seeing what you find.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive August 12, 2020 / 6:04 pm

        May I refer you to my later update? 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive August 12, 2020 / 3:43 pm

        Another update. That German one we both found is one of her collaborations – it’s definitely her voice! I found her website – rowangodel.co.uk – and from there traced her to Bandcamp, which seems to be the only place to hear and buy her music. She has an EP, September Skies, released 17 June 2016, and her album was released this year, on 16 March. It’s called Where The Wild Horses Roam, and from a quick perusal it sounds lovely. She has also released two single tracks, which are both included on the album.

        If you’re interested enough to buy, Bandcamp has been running a promotion on Fridays in which they waive their usual 15% share of the price. Not sure if they’re doing it again this week, but it’s a thought…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden August 12, 2020 / 6:41 pm

        thanks for all this info – I knew you would come through! I will check out the sites you mention…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive August 12, 2020 / 6:43 pm

        Hope you find it helpful. I’ve been meaning to seek her out ever since Spirit of Dust was released, six years ago. Our chat prompted me to finally extract the digit 😉

        Like

      • Jim Borden August 12, 2020 / 6:47 pm

        I’ll let you know, but you’ve never steered me wrong before!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Clive August 11, 2020 / 11:26 pm

      I’m pleased, I think it’s brilliant!

      Like

  6. Darlene August 11, 2020 / 7:29 pm

    BTW I love the Oyster Band. We have many bands like that in Canada and they are very popular.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive August 11, 2020 / 7:38 pm

      Glad to hear that, I’ve been a fan of theirs since their early days. One of your bands that I like is Great Big Sea, who covered Oysterband’s When I’m Up some years ago. I’ve seen Great Lake Swimmers live over here – they’re fabulous. Also a fan of Shanneygannock. And of course if you go further there are Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. And who could forget Walk Off The Earth, who make great music and brilliant videos.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hugh W. Roberts August 11, 2020 / 10:55 am

    You’ve a great playlist of songs there, Clive. If I added one to the list, it would be ‘Lonely Boy’ by Andrew Gold. A song about a boy growing up thinking he’d only ever be an only child.

    As for 18th and 21st birthdays, I remember them well. In fact, I remember those keys with 18 or 21 you got in a box. I haven’t seen them for a long time, but that’s probably a good thing. Like you, I never had an 18th or 21st birthday party, but I wasn’t really bothered by it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive August 11, 2020 / 11:03 am

      Thanks, Hugh. I remember Lonely Boy as being about a boy who felt let down by his parents when they gave him a sister: a great song, but it didn’t really fit where I was going with this. But you’ve given me an idea for another theme: watch this space!

      I remember those numbers too. Happy to report that the messages I’d passed on that I thought they were naff did actually work. The birthday I recall most was my 19th – a lovely day 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hugh W. Roberts August 11, 2020 / 11:46 am

        Glad it’s given you an idea for another theme, Clive. I always thought ‘Lonely Boy’ was about growing up, but maybe it was just set at a specific timeline of growing up? Nonetheless, I do like the song mainly because of its piano content.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive August 11, 2020 / 11:52 am

        It has actually suggested three possible themes, so I’m grateful!

        I checked the lyrics: it’s about his disappointment that his parents broke the promise he thought they had made to make him their only child, by having another. I used to have the album it was on, many moons ago!

        Like

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