Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Those Were the Days

For the better part of a year people have been walking around in deep denial; things couldn't possibly be as bad as others were making them out to be. Until recently no one wanted to name the economic mess we are in by it's real name: a recession. Some people hoped that if they just took a deep breath and looked the other way that things would go back to "normal." Other people took the view that if they just carried on with business as usual that things would right themselves automatically. But here we are in the last month of the year and there is no way to put off facing the truth any longer: we've got problems. Those halcyon days of yesteryear are just that: gone. We can't afford to live looking backwards at what was any longer; we need to face what is our lot right now.

But yes, the nostalgia for the good times of the past tugs at us: the dreams of yesterday die hard. Nor are we the only generation ever to face what we face now, and to sigh for what once was. The music of our pop culture stands as a record of the yearnings of the past for what no longer is. And yes,


Those Were the Days

(Music & Lyrics: Gene Raskin; performed by Mary Hopkins)(1968 based on a Russian folk song)
Once upon a time there was a tavern
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours
And dreamed of all the great things we would do

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Then the busy years went rushing by us
We lost our starry notions on the way
If by chance I'd see you in the tavern
We'd smile at one another and we'd say

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely woman really me

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh my friend we're older but no wiser
For in our hearts the dreams are still the same

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDVhB0jGP7I (Those who are makpid on Kol Isha might want to avoid going to this video because Mary Hopkins does the singing)

"Those Were The Days"
by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse


Theme song for "All in the Family"

Boy, the way Glenn Miller played. Songs that made the Hit Parade.
Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days.
Didn't need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days.


And you know who you were then. Girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
People seemed to be content. Fifty dollars paid the rent.
Freaks were in a circus tent. Those were the days.


Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day that cost you under a fin.
Hair was short and skirts were long. Kate Smith really sold a song.
I don't know just what went wrong. Those Were The Days.






8 comments:

Lon said...

I don't believe in the good ol' days. They never existed. We just don't remember the bad parts.

Economic theory is that every ten years or so of the business cycle there's a recession. If this one is a bit more severe than recessions of past memory, it's more to do with the unrealistic expectations that grew out of our arrogant belief that we could perfectly control our economy.

These are still the grand new days. We're not in Hoovervilles yet.

Allen said...

I take the position that those in the older generations are going to weather the economic recession better then those who are in the younger generations, at least mentally and emotionally. Yes Lon, you are correct that recessions are cyclical. But what gets you through a recession? For the older generations it is actual knowledge of having lived through a bunch of them already. It is the past that informs the present and the future.

Sure, we look at the bright side and have hope for the future. But what keeps many going in times like this is the memories of good times in the past, and the knowledge that they are likely to come again.

Jack said...

Things will improve...eventually.

Lion of Zion said...

JACK:

"Things will improve...eventually."

my selfish side wants it to improve slower rather than quicker . . . so housing prices will still be affordable after i save up a down payment

Lion of Zion said...

JACK:

make that relatively affordable

ALLEN:

"For the older generations it is actual knowledge of having lived through a bunch of them already."

i think it's also a factor of the taller you are the harder you fall. the younger one is on the generational totem pole the higher the lifestyle expectations are and the more likely it is that they are not living responsibly (fiscally speaking).

my grandmother never ate a real piece of meat until she came to america. she could do it again if she had to. the rest of us would be screaming poverty if we had to go one week without meat. (we can even last 9 days without a siyyum :) )

DYS said...

Things may improve, but they shouldn't go back to the overextended 20 year binge of consumerism that just ended. That had no solid basis. The economy and people's expectations for what they can have, needs to shrink and stay shrunken.

SephardiLady said...

. the rest of us would be screaming poverty if we had to go one week without meat.

LOZ, perhaps I'm your grandmother! Our next vehicle (may that time not come for a very long time) will be paid for by grocery savings.

Anonymous said...

my selfish side wants it to improve slower rather than quicker . . . so housing prices will still be affordable after i save up a down payment

But you don't want it so slow that you lose your job and start using those house savings to live on!!!

Mark