The Financial Express

Old Songs’ timeless allure in youth’s playlists

| Updated: September 01, 2021 11:48:49

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From Que sera, sera to Hai Bhalobashi, and from ‘the Tambourine man to taare bole diyo, the songs that still reign the players and soothe the hearts are simply timeless.

These masterpieces, like thousands of them, have been at the top of our song playlist agelessly, as their melodies continue to mesmerise us. In the era of finely tuned studio-recorded pieces, the raw and old melodies have lived to compete, and the result is right there in the youth’s playlist.

Songs might have a charm of timelessness, but their times of creation are not independent of the general traits of making. This phenomenon, however, doesn’t lessen the charms of older songs. Rather they’re found more attractive than most of the comparatively ‘new’ songs.

Songs date back to ancient times, and as records were invented, a new era of songs ensued turning things around the world. Dating back to the 1860s, Au Clair de la Lun was the first-ever song recorded, though it couldn’t be played till 2008 when it was finally reversed.

But recorder songs started to become popular by the mid-20th century. Not just in the West, song albums for silver screen and records were getting immense popularity in the Bengal region too.

The last-century songs might be called ‘old,’ but hardly ‘dated’ by the youth today. The popularity of the old songs is still fresh enough to compete with the latest albums.

The originality of the songs that were written, composed, and sung in a bygone era when poetry and melody were supreme, still sends millions to nostalgia. The youth may not be nostalgic just yet, but they constitute the largest listeners of the old melodies.

Social media has the power of luring people into its trend trap, marking a victory of manipulating the users’ choices and tastes. The young generation is being introduced to new songs and getting to know the older songs through social media.

Trends to listen to older songs and get newer versions might be familiar, but the discernment of the golden songs is nothing short of a boon as well. So, older songs might feel dated in the teenage, but most of the youth lean towards the golden era of songs and melodies all the time.

Sashoto Seeam, a graduate in Computer Science and Engineering from North South University, mostly listens to old songs. He narrates his thoughts on the old melodies in a way that goes, “Somehow old songs connect better with me. Be it Bangla folk songs, English Radio Hits or classical ones. They are probably more authentic. Most songs these days somehow feels generic to me.”

But this fondness is not blindfolded by the old age, he adds. “I think people who like older songs like me, do not listen to songs because they are old. There were music or songs that do not go with my taste in the old era. Out of millions of songs, only a few are near and dear to me.”

Seasons in the Rain, Piano Man, Annie’s Song, Ghum Ghum Chaad, Neela and the list goes on.

Young people, in their early twenties, are not out of the old-song-lovers-club as well. Muzakkir Rifat, a freshman in mass communication and journalism at Dhaka University, clarifies the mist covering the preferences being unbiased.

“I think listening to older songs is instinctive, not trend-based. The covers of famous golden-era songs surely play a big role in enticing me to listen more, but the love for them comes naturally. To me, Manna Dey, Hemanta Mukherjee for Bengali masterpieces, Bob Dylan, Mohammad Rafi and Golam Ali for other languages are very special.”

Noushin Salsabil, a final-year BBA student at BRAC University, feels older songs have more connectivity and it works as a bridge between generations. “Listening to old songs is not only being ears to the music and words, but it is also more like living in that era and feeling the singers’ emotions for a while.

“For instance, anyone listening to Manna Dey’s timeless masterpiece ‘Coffee House’ will be automatically imagining the characters and feeling the emotion of the story narrated with melodies.”

Old songs remind Noushin of the Friday mornings when she’d wake up to the songs playing on the radio and her mother humming along.

“Also, reminds me of the family outings where elders would sing along the older melodies and share anecdotes related to different songs. Those experiences led me to love the beautiful old songs naturally.”

Old songs have secured a different place of warmth in both the playlist and the hearts of today’s youth.

The intoxicating charm of the Beatles, the Rembrandts, Queen, the Velvet Underground, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin in English, Moheener Ghoraguli in Bangla, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Aroti Mukharjee, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar and many other musicians created masterpieces for today’s youth to cherish and nourish in their hearts forever.

The golden era has embellished the world of music with such gems that spread their charm in the form of melody and rhythms till the present day.

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