Why Do You Need a Quarter for the Phone?

musings 250_edited-1Often I like to listen to my iPod while I am at work with the playlist being all 3,800+ songs on random.  Occasionally, I will get Blue Christmas in July or Buffett in the middle of a snowstorm; but I like the variety.  I will sometimes find a tune I hadn’t heard in a while.

The other day, Jim Croce’s Operator came on and it dawned on me – the younger generations may not know what the heck Jim is talking about.  Have they even seen a pay phone and if they did, it sure wasn’t a dime; and what the heck is an operator and why was he talking to her?  What did she do?

Well, this got me thinking about some songs and what lyrics don’t make sense today.  Here is what I came up with so far:

  • If you are under the age of 40, Sammy Hagar’s I Can’t Drive 55 probably is confusing.  Does his car not go that fast?
  • The drive-in mentioned where Jimmy Buffett “committed a little mortal sin” in Grapefruit Juicy Fruit might as well be on Mars.  The kids are probably thinking “they drove in where?”
  • A deep cut of Jimmy Buffett’s called This Hotel Room talks about “…puttin’ a quarter in the magic fingers to make you feel alright”.  Don’t even want to go there.
  • For the country fan, Ronnie Milsap sang about calling someone “…from a phone booth in the rain” on Smoky Mountain Rain.  Are folks wondering if the Verizon kiosk at the mall got flooded.
  • Finally, while the Georgia Satellites talk about having a “little change in my pocket going jingalang alang” and using that to “call you on the telephone” on Keep Your Hands to Yourself, once again the younger generation is wondering why you need change to make a call.  Why not just text her?

I am sure there are more out-of-date references, but I will let you comment on the ones you know.  While not musically related, the kids don’t understand what it means to roll the windows down.  Will the kids today be looking back 30 years from now reminiscing about twerking?

I doubt it.

About Zach Clayton

Zach Clayton started Music Musings in 2013, but isn’t a stranger to music. While he may be a mild mannered accountant by day, he always has tunes going and forces his staff at work to play music trivia when they enter his office. He is a self-proclaimed lover of all music genres with over 3,500 songs in his iPod. Zach’s first concert was Eddie Money in Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym in 1979 and claims to have seen Van Halen (all three incarnations) over 25 times. There have only been one or two years since 1979 that Zach hasn’t been to a concert. He also has the uncanny knack of getting to know several folks in the music scene – both out front and behind the scenes. Zach is in the process of indoctrinating his two boys into the rock and roll way by exposing them to concerts and various music while holding them hostage in his truck screaming the mantra – “rap is crap!”

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