When music really mattered

When the head of state didn't play guitar
Not everybody drove a car
When music really mattered and when radio was king
When accountants didn't have control
And the media couldn't buy your soul
And computers were still scary and we didn't know everything

In my recent video, I said that I used to listen to Sandi Thom but that style of music was no longer really my thing. While editing, I pulled up Spotify and started the album and realized that while I had had a pretty good grip on the lyrics, I had no clue what the "style of music" actually was.

I wish I was a punk rocker, When horsepower meant what it meant, Little Remedy, What if I'm right, and Human Jukebox are definitely going into my regular rotation. Maybe I should look into some more of the songs I thought were no longer "my style?" I've been rediscovering a lot of my old favorites recently, most of which I had totally misremembered. A few weeks ago, I deleted all my Spotify playlists (except for the lyric-less film music from Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings I use for studying a lot.).

I had realized that I had no clue anymore what music I actually liked. I knew what my husband and I liked to listen to together but hadn't explored my own taste in a long time. When people asked me about my taste of music, I'd always say that it's a weird mix between punk, classical rock, and certain types of rap. I didn't mention that one of my favorite albums was Old Pine by Ben Howard as it just made the list even weirder. How can I enjoy singer-songwriter songs and punk? How can I enjoy rap and jazz? How can I hate 80% of any of those genres but really enjoy certain parts?

Maybe, just maybe, my taste in music doesn't fit into a box.

So, I deleted everything and started adding individual songs I liked to a list instead. Well, two lists, one with things like jazz and classical music, one with everything else.

I am slowly accepting that I don't fit into boxes and a lot about me doesn't either.

Oh, I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair
In '77 and '69, revolution was in the air
I was born too late into a world that doesn't care
Oh, I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair

When I was listening to the song this morning, I realized how much those lines (and a lot of other lines) still resonate with me.

Some days, I feel like I was born too late to make a difference, like I am just too late to do something about this fucked-up situation. But most days, I still believe that we can turn this around, that we can save humanity from. itself. It's not too late. I am not too late.

And, I can still wear flowers in my hair if I well damn feel like it. Fuck the boxes I don't fit in. To mis-quote Hermione Granger: "Weird and proud of it."

Kate Hildenbrand

Kate Hildenbrand

Kate Hildenbrand is the writer behind the essays here, author of fiction novels, the creator of the Kate Hildenbrand podcast, and a student of marine ecology. At least, that's her on the surface.