Thursday, December 29, 2011

Great Songs about Aging

Before Christmas I was playing with my guitar - trying to learn the chords to the song “Beloved Wife” as sung by Natalie Merchant.  Maybe because my wife and I have been married for over 40 years this song really gets me. I love it.  And I started thinking of other songs about aging that I’ve grown to love as well.  I decided to make a list.  

As I worked on my list I realized that there must be a lot of great songs out there – related to aging – that I’ve never even heard. So, I sent out an email that asked participants in the National Academy of Elder LawAttorneys' member’s listserv to suggest additional songs. The response was overwhelming - from Country and Bluegrass, Folk and Blues, Rock and Broadway, the suggestions flooded in. While I was already aware of many of the songs, there were quite a few that were new to me. Some of them made me laugh, others tore me up completely. 

I had a wonderful Christmas holiday sorting through and listening to the suggested songs.  And I promised to compile a list of some of the ones that most appealed to me (with emphasis on songs that are easily available via hyperlink).   

So, here is Jeff Marshall’s List of Great Songs about Aging – with help from my friends - in alphabetical order with hyperlinks. Thanks to everyone who contributed. I hope you enjoy them. And if you decide to come up with your own list, perhaps you will share a song or two by adding a comment below.  

100 Years – Five for Fighting

Angel Band – Old and in the Way

As Good As I Once Was - Toby Keith

Beloved Wife - Natalie Merchant

Borrowed Time – John Lennon

Cat’s in the Cradle – Harry Chapin

Done Got Old - Junior Kimbrough

Don’t Blink – Kenny Chesney

Don’t Let Us Get Sick – Warren Zevon

End of the Line – Traveling Wilburys

Father and Son – Cat Stevens

Forever Young – Alphaville

Gentle Annie – (Stephen Foster) - Jay Unger

Glory Days – Bruce Spingsteen

Grandma’s Hands – Bill Withers

Grow Old Along With Me - Mary Chapin Carpenter

Hands of Time - Ron Sexsmith

Hazy Shade of Winter – Simon and Garfunkel

He Went To Paris - Jimmy Buffett

Hello in There – John Prine

In Color - Jamey Johnson

It was a Very Good Year - Frank Sinatra

Just Breathe - Pearl Jam

Living Years - Mike & the Mechanics

My Generation – the Zimmers

My Way – Frank Sinatra

No Time at All – from Pippin

Not Dark Yet – Bob Dylan

Ol' Man River - Paul Robeson

Old Friends – Simon and Garfunkel

Old Man – Neil Young

Our Town – James Taylor

Remember When – Alan Jackson

Rockin` Chair - Hoagy Carmichael

September Song – Willie Nelson

Shouldn’t I be less in Love with you - from “I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change”

Silver Threads Among the Gold – John McCormack

Skin – Chris Trapper

Stop This Train – John Mayer

Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams

Teach Your Children - Crosby, Stills & Nash

That Lonesome Road – James Taylor

The Circle Game – Joni Mitchell

The Dutchman - Steve Goodman

The Way - Fastball

The Way We Were – Barbara Streisand

Through the Years – Kenny Rogers

Time - Pink Floyd

Time Passages – Al Stewart

Too Old To Cut the Mustard Anymore – Rosemary Clooney with Marlene Dietrich

Turn, Turn, Turn – The Byrds

Waitin' On A Woman – Brad Paisley

When I Get My Wings - Will Hoge

When I Go – Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer

When I'm Gone - Phil Ochs

When I’m 64 – The Beatles

When You’re Old and Lonely – The Magnetic Fields

Where’ve You Been - Kathy Mattea

You’re Aging Well – Dar Williams


Sabrina Kane said...

Dear Mr. Marshall,

I was forwarded your blog post by a relative. I very much enjoyed your list, but wanted to propose the Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac hit, Landslide.


Sabrina Kane, law student, Baltimore Law

Jeff Marshall said...

Thanks, Sabrina - for suggesting "Landslide" - I've always thought it was a wonderful emotional song - I didn't include it because I never really understood the lyrics. But several people have now suggested it for this list - so I will include it when the list is updated.