23 Songs My Parents' Generation Gave Me
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23 Songs My Parents' Generation Gave Me

"There's a light that never goes out" - The Smiths

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23 Songs My Parents' Generation Gave Me

We inherit a lot of things from our parents. Whether it’s genetics, values, ideas, or in some cases...music. I remember as a child listening to music with my parents. The songs and the lyrics from their generation always seemed to have a iconic meaning or story to them. Whether it was the song my mom danced to at her high school prom, or a song my dad listened to in his Trans Am, they all seemed to hold a special memory. And what I have found even more impressive is the fact that these songs are still iconic and special, but to me. Yes, you heard me. A song from 30-40 years ago can be valuable to a 90s kid. Obviously, I was not born in my parent’s generation, but the music is special and valuable to me. Here are a few songs that my parent’s generation gave me.

"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," Bob Dylan (1963).

To be honest, I was a late fan when it came to Bob Dylan. I remember hearing Tamborine Man in middle school, and I immediately fell in love. I had to buy all of his albums, which eventually turned into collecting all of his vinyls. This song will forever hold it's historical and lyrical value.

"Yesterday," The Beatles (1965).

Even though not all of The Beatles are heard, this is one of my favorite songs from my parent's generation. Whether you are going through a rough time, or just want to listen to a sappy love song, this song always does the trick.

"I Got You Babe," Sonny and Cher (1965).

This song is so classic. The names Sonny and Cher are always associated with each other. Such a groovy duo of their time.


"Daydream Believer," The Monkees (1968)

Whether you are a believer or a homecoming queen, this song will always stay catchy.

"Bridge Over Troubled Water," Simon and Garfunkel (1970).

Lyrical masterpiece is just an understatement for the power of this song. Even though this song won three Grammys, it sadly one of their last songs.

"We've Only Just Begun," The Carpenters (1970).

There's just something about the sound of this sibling-duo. I have always loved the lyrics to this song. It reminds us that we are young and still have room to grow.

"Lookin' Out My Backdoor," Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970).

Whether it's listening to Buck Owens and watching the happy creatures dancing on the lawn, you cannot go wrong with this classic CCR hit.


"Me and Bobby McGee," Janis Joplin (1971).

Even though this song was not originally performed by Janis, it is still one of her most famous. As time moves on, Me and Bobby McGee will always hold it's place in history.

"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," Elton John (1973)

I remember when I was 10, my dad gave me this album for Christmas. I was always fascinated with the album cover because it was Oz themed. There's something about this song. It always gives me the feeling that no matter where you are, you can always follow the yellow brick road back home.


"Dream On," Aerosmith (1973).

Steven Tyler. Just yes.

"You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," Bachman Turner Overdrive (1974).

Following this song's release, it went straight to #1 on the BillBoard Top 100. Bachman Turner Overdrive definitely was 'Takin' Care of Business' on the charts.


"Telephone Line," Electric Light Orchestra (1976).

I remember the first album my dad ever gave me was "Eldorado." Ever since, I have loved ELO. This song always brings back childhood memories of listening to records with my dad.

"Somebody to Love," Queen (1976).

Pretty sure I was listening to Queen when I was in the crib. When your dad is a huge Freddie Mercury fan, it is kind of impossible to avoid Queen. You gotta love Freddie.


"Vienna," Billy Joel (1977).

I feel like this song speaks to all of the juveniles. As kids, we tend to spend so much time worrying, stressing, or speeding through our lives. Sometimes, we need to just slow down and not rush our lives away.

"Heroes," David Bowie (1977).

The name David Bowie. During his time he set such high standards in the music and social world. He always did what was on his mind and didn't care what anyone else thought. His music is so original that it isn't funny. Whether it was about space or dancing, Bowie will always be an influential musician of my parent's generation.


"Come Sail Away," Styx (1977).

This song was definitely one of Styx's biggest hits. This song and "Boat on a River," are two of my faves.

"Cool Change," Little River Band (1979).

I remember buying a Little River Band CD a few years ago. Honestly, I had never heard much of their music. But I remember hearing this song on the "First Under the Wire" album. It has such a sweet and poised theme. Definitely one of my favorite Little River Band songs.


"You Make My Dream," Hall and Oates (1980).

Before Joseph Gordon-Levitt danced to it, this song was a famous hit for Hall and Oates. Definitely up-beat and played at many high school proms.

"In the Air Tonight," Phil Collins (1981).

Obviously, the first time I ever heard Phil Collins was when I watched "Tarzan," but I remember this was the first Phil Collins, song I heard. The percussion always set it apart. Plus, the music video was pretty catchy.


"Every Breath You Take," The Police (1983).

I've never heard a song that shares such a beautiful, yet "stalky" quality.

"You're the Inspiration," Chicago (1984).

I was introduced to Peter Cetera and Chicago at a very young age. Dad actually passed down all of his Chicago box sets and records to me. When I first heard this song, I really didn't understand the song. However, once I found a special person in my life, I finally understood the song. They became my inspiration.


"Sun Always Shines on T.V.," A-Ha (1985).

"Take on Me," was not their only song. I always found A-Ha to be an interesting and iconic group of their time. The song begins as a sappy ballad, but then explodes into techno-80s hit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TfV92vVINY

"There's A Light That Never Goes Out," The Smiths (1986).

The Smiths. Even when they didn't make sense at times, their lyrics were still quick-witted.


These are just a few of the songs that my parent's generation has passed down to me. And in the generations to come, they will continue to hold their worth and value.

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