Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The Last Song
I begin every lecture with a song from the era we're about to discuss. Sometimes the song has a story associated with it. "Solidarity Forever" has its moment, "Sweet Home Alabama" is a good reflection of the Southernization of American culture in the 1970s, "Born in the USA" gets at the bifurcated nature of American society during the Reagan Revolution.
Others are just fun topical songs: "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition," "Over There," and "There's A Cold War Between Us" fit this category.
For the last lecture of the semester I usually play "The Final Countdown," the silly 1986 sythesized rock song from "Europe" that takes the Korg Polysix keyboard to new heights. The song is fun in that it fits the bill, but this semester I asked my students what song they though fit the times, which song best symbolized the past 10 years. Answers varied: Lady Gaga's "Born this Way" got some votes, as did a song I didn't know by Rage Against the Machine got a vote too.
I'm going to ask for a point of extra credit on the final what song they'd nominate and why. We'll see what turns up. What would you choose?