Happy Food Coma Day! (God, I love Thanksgiving. I'm going to have leftovers for brunch right after this...)
Next year, I have a high school reunion--no, I'm not going to discuss which one it is, because it will make me seem incredibly old, even though I'm really not. (really!) Just thinking about it makes me feel like I've lived for a hundred years. (But I haven't!)
Anyway, I've been thinking about the reunion and what music will be played there, and what music reminds me of my high school experience, and this song--"Forever Young" by Alphaville*--just sounds like that experience to me.
There are songs that, for some reason, just ARE graduation songs. When they come out, every high school in the country chooses them, or should choose them, as the song played at graduation. "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day, for example. Or "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday" by Boyz II Men. Or "These Are The Days" by 10,000 Maniacs. Or even "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" by Baz Lurhman.
For me, that song is "Forever Young." It wasn't the song played at our graduation--I don't remember what was. Probably something by Bryan Adams. I don't even recall if "Forever Young" was suggested as one of the possible songs--I certainly didn't suggest it, and what songs got on the list was decided by people much more popular than I was, the type of people, in fact, who would listen to Bryan Adams. But in my own personal high school of my imagination, "Forever Young" is always playing at graduation.
Even back when I first heard it, when I was a senior in high school, it seemed to sum up how I was feeling then, sort of melancholy and gorgeous at the same time. If you haven't heard it ever, it's simultaneously very 80s sounding (hellooooo synthesizers!) and eternal at the same time.
And the lyrics are the epitome of over-the-top dramatic, yet somehow sad and beautiful, like all good graduation songs:
So many adventures couldn't happen today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams swinging out of the blue
Oh, let 'em come true
I want to be forever young
Really, who doesn't want to be young forever? I'm not one of those people who peaked in high school and spends all her time wishing she were back there (I had a fine time in high school--don't get me wrong--I'm just not a living in the past person), but being young forever doesn't sound like a bad idea when I hear this song.**
* This is not the same song as "Forever Young" by Rod Stewart. That is also a good song in a cheesy pop ballad way, but that is not the song I'm talking about here.
**Of course, I was also an English major, and nothing will kill your "I want to live forever" vibe like "Tithonus" by Tennyson, but then Tithonus didn't get eternal youth. Of course, Wilde's "Portrait of Dorian Gray" doesn't paint a pretty picture of eternal youth, either, does it? I guess the lesson here is Immortality: Better in Songs and Movies Than Literature.