Getting old sucks. I’m not old yet, so I’m mostly just guessing, but you almost never hear anyone announce proudly that getting old is great, unless they’re either being sarcastic or trying to sell you financial planning products. Regardless, I’m only 30 years old, and I was intrigued by a comment made by a coworker. She said that she was at a senior living center over the weekend and the seniors were having a great time doing karaoke. They were singing Frank Sinatra and more Rat Pack hits, and it got her thinking: what music will my generation be singing karaoke to when our children have forgotten about us?
She is the same coworker who still has an old camera in her cabinet, you know, just in case, by the way, and she thought that it would be fun to see a blog post about what music we might come back to in fifty or sixty years when we’re enjoying our days in the senior center, rocking karaoke night, and digging into our third Jello of the day. As she phrased it, “what music will we be pulling out of our storage locker in fifty years?”
And as is so often true, she’s right.
So, I combed my memories for the songs that my generation will be rocking the suburbs to in 2064: fifty years from now.
1. Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
I’m picturing a friend of mine standing in front of a half-empty activity room, recently turned eighty years, wearing a cardigan and his good teeth, screaming out, “A mulatto! An albino! A mosquito! My libido! Yeah!” Seriously.
2. Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know”
This song makes the list for two reasons. First, because I want to hear an octogenarian really belt out this song the way it is supposed to be sung: bitter, angry, and dirty. Second, because it includes this as the opening verse:
I want you to know, that I’m happy for you
I wish nothing but the best for you both
An older version of me
Is she perverted like me
Would she go down on you in a theatre?
Do I even need another reason?
3. Outkast, “Bombs Over Baghdad”
Indulge me for a second, if you will. Imagine your grandmother attempting this verse:
Thunder pounds when I stomp the ground
Like a million elephants and silverback orangutans
You can’t stop a train
Who want some? Don’t come un-pre-pared
I’ll be there, but when I leave there
Better be a household name
Weather man tellin’ us it ain’t gon’ rain
So now we sittin’ in a drop-top, soaking wet
In a silk suit, tryin’ not to sweat
Hits somersaults without the net
But this’ll be the year that we won’t forget
If imagining your grandmother rocking Andre’s verse is as funny as imagining my grandmother rocking Andre’s verse, I’m thinking that the senior center is going to be one crazy place.
4. Chumbawamba, “Tubthumping”
The most important part is that any senior citizen who drinks along with the song will be either (a) dead, (b) almost dead, or (c) the one you should be partying with. By my count, it’s two whiskey drinks, two vodka drinks, two lager drinks, and two cider drinks. In about three and a half minutes.
5. Sir Mix-a-Lot, “Baby Got Back”
Does this one require any explanation? It does? Go check it out on YouTube and come back. We’ll wait.
Finished? We’re good now? Ok, then.
6. The Butthole Surfers, “Pepper”
This one makes the list for two reasons. First, I want to hear an 87-year-old request “The Butthole Surfers.” Second, this verse:
Another Mikey took a knife while arguing in traffic
Flipper died a natural death, he caught a nasty virus
The there was the ever-present football player rapist
They were all in love with dying, they were doing it in Texas
Really… any idea what they’re talking about? What exactly were they doing in Texas? And why were they drinking from a fountain that was pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain?
7. Beck, “Loser”
I’m expecting a deeply philosophical discussion after a round of this classic. I assume that this question will come up: “Is time really just a piece of wax that’s falling on a termite, that’s choking on the splinters?”
Indeed, Beck. Indeed.
8. The Lonely Island, “I’m On A Boat”
“Hey, Blake… Blake… I can’t remember… who the hell was T-Pain?”
“I have no idea. But I gotta get me a nautical themed pashmina afghan!”
And, yes. The joke is that there will be people named “Blake” in nursing homes in fifty years, and that no one will remember T-Pain.
9. Rednex, “Cotton-Eyed Joe”
This would be the song that would have everyone tapping their canes in unison and would have Misti and Colin throwing out their backs. Let the reminiscing begin:
“We played this song at my first and third weddings!”
“This was at my bat mitzvah!”
“We sang this at my prom!”
Then, when it ends, everyone will be slightly embarrassed to have gotten so excited about it. Just like today!
10. Ginuwine, “Pony”
Wanna break some hips? This song will do it. But don’t imagine it – not a pretty image.
And rounding out the top 15:
11. The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”
12. Rage Against the Machine, “Bulls on Parade”
13. Garth Brooks, “Friends in Low Places”
14. Robin Thicke, “Blurry Lines”
15 Prodigy, “Breathe”
Well, that list ought to confuse the grandkids. “Grandpa… we found this when we were going through your storage unit… why do you have a little plastic case that says ‘Dookie’” on it?”
Looking for storage advice? We have lots and lots of that, too. But today? Karaoke!