Officially old: song lyrics don't register with young clerk

Today, I got some gas and some things at the gas station’s convenience store. The total came to $65.21.

“Sixty-five, twenty-one,” said the young gentleman manning the station.

“‘In sixty-five, I was twenty-one, and called the world my own’,” I said, forking over the cash.


“Jackson Browne, ‘Running on Empty’,” I replied.


I looked at the clerk. Young guy, maybe early 20s. “Old song. From 1978.”

“Oh. No wonder I don’t know it. That’s old.”

And I guess, now so am I. :frowning:

Sad, innit? When my oldest (now almost 24!!!) was little, I would always listen to the Oldies station, and she’d always ask “Who sings this?” (Following close on the heels of that question was another: “are they dead?”)

So, one day there was a classic Beatles song on the radio (I think it was Strawberry Fields, but don’t recall exactly) and she said “Who sings this?”
“The Beatles” I answered.
Bugs?? Bugs are singing this?”
“No” (barely suppressing laughter), “not actual bugs”
Then I realized “Hey, she watches Shining Time Station! There’s a way to get her to relate to The Beatles” So I said “You know, Mr. Conductor from Shining Time Station?”
“Yeah. . .”
“Well, he was one of The Beatles!”
She thinks a minute, then asks “Were they all that tiny?”


So hard to explain old music to young folks! (Get off my lawn!)

Then there was the day my middle daughter came home from college; I think she was about 18YO. She said “Hey, mom! Do you know who Adam Ant was?”
Uh, yeah. My best friend in high school was only going to marry him or something! (We were very much into androgyny at that point).
Daughter had just discovered Ant’s music via a friend of hers.

Well, that IS thirty-three years ago. Think about 1978, when you first heard the song. If somebody then sang a couple of words from a popular song from 1945, would you have recognized it?

In days of old…

He obviously hasn’t been working retail very long. The proper response is
“‘In sixty-five, I was twenty-one, and called the world my own’,” I said, forking over the cash.

short pause “And here’s your change.”

Another symptom of being old: your memory’s failing you. :slight_smile:

Specifically, it’s eliding two verses, the one about “in sixty-five I was seventeen” and the one about “in sixty-nine I was twenty-one.”

Plus it’s ‘road,’ not ‘world.’

It’ll only get worse from here. :smiley:


I got one… The Stones, a symphony orchestra rendition, in an elevator, in a medical complex. Somebody hand me the Depends and the Milk of Magnesia

I was in my father’s nursing home this week, and they had a lot of jolly folk music. I kept imagining thirty or forty years from now with them playing the Beatles and Eminem…

Try to explain to the “Mariah Carey” generation who Minnie Riperton was <sigh>

I had to look her up.

ETA: Oh, and I’m old an’ shite.


Maya Rudolph’s mother.

Quick! Cover the glassware!

Johnny, based on past posts, I thought you might have been of a vintage who knows of Minnie Riperton. “Lovin You,” and all that.

Now I really do feel old!

You know, I actually had to google “Mr. Conductor from Shining Time Station.” That’s how old I am.

I guess I’m too young because I read this and thought, “George Carlin wasn’t in the Beatles!”

Also, I feel old when I meet kids in high school who haven’t heard of bands from the nineties. And I’m only 23!

Mariah Carey? Her first album was in 1990, so those 21 yr olds at the bar were being born when “Someday” came out.

Well, you know, my gas station convenience store attendant is E.F. Hutton, and he says…

<leans toward Darth Nader>

I owned that Jackson Browne album and still wouldn’t have recognized the lyric, especially out of context. It’s not exactly one of the pithiest lines ever written.