I have a confession to make: I don't really like the Beatles. Perhaps that's not really reprehensible enough to be a confession— everyone's tastes are different after all— but after playing the two most recent Fallout games, I've begun to wonder if I ever really gave the Beatles a chance to grab me.
For those who haven't played the newer Fallout games, it's set in a world that appears to have retained the aesthetic of the 40's and 50's well into the 21st century, meaning that when the nuclear apocalypse comes, the world is still littered with relics that look like they're from "I Love Lucy".
And with that comes the music from that era, which makes up much of the game's mood and tone. Of course, when I first played Fallout 3 I didn't know these were actual songs, I thought they were created especially for the game. "Wow!" I thought to myself, "They did a great job making these songs sound authentic, but still managed to make a song that someone as young as me could tap their toes to."
There's a common wisdom in the society that I (and most likely you) grew up in that music is generational. The youngin's think that their parent's music is old, outdated, and/or boring, and the older people feel as though the new music coming out is noisy garbage without a single thought put into it. But why is that the case? Biologically speaking, we're not significantly different from the generations before us, no matter what your grandpa says over Thanksgiving.
I can't say I know the answer, but I have learned something important about the way I come to enjoy music, and that's that context matters. I cannot simply listen to a song and get into it, there has to be something to connect it to, some kind of narrative that allows me to not only listen to music, but experience it.
Uninformed speculation abound here, but I have to wonder if this is behind some of the musical generation gap. There might be something about getting older that makes it harder to like newer music, but it's possible that the fact that there might be no real experience to connect it to contributes to it.
Whatever the case, it's opened a wealth of new possibilities for me in the way of expanding my musical tastes, even to some select country songs, which— if you know me at all— could very well be a Christmas miracle.
Such a wonderful song.