Getting older doesn't necessarily mean you stop enjoying listening to new music. It's just that, the older you get, the more it feels like the latest sounds aren't for you. Because, well... they aren't! They are made by and for young people, usually. And while that doesn't mean older people can't enjoy what artists of today are putting out, I can imagine it's a lot harder to connect with than music their peers put out decades ago.
Most of the artists that resonate with senior citizens aren't putting out new tunes, though. So Alan R. Tripp, 102, and Marvin Weisbord, 88 decided to put out an album of all new songs with a throwback sound but super modern lyrics that speak to issues they face today. "So we're writing songs that are recognizable, in genres that are recognizable, with lyrics telling stories about what our lives are like now," Marvin tells Hannah Batanson of the Washington Post.
Neither of the men had written or produced music before, according to the Washington Post, but they didn't let that stop them from undertaking the ambitious project. Together, they penned the Senior Song Book, a collection of eight new songs (and two remixes). Alan wrote the lyrics and Marvin set them to music.
Both men reside in the same Pennsylvania retirement community, which is how their collaboration blossomed. Alan wrote a poem about getting old and losing friends, and Mavin was so inspired by the words, he set them to music and presented the song as a gift on Alan's 100th birthday.
The duo write about love, which is of course a universal topic, but their lyrics definitely speak specifically to romance in one's twilight years. For example, their song "I Just Can't Remember Your Name" highlights a problem younger lovers might not grapple with:
I know I’m mad about you,
And all but lost without you,
And great affection for you I proclaim.
I’m ready now to kiss you,
But, baby, there’s an issue –
I just can’t remember your name.
Though new to songwriting, Marvin is a talented jazz pianist and performs on the album along with his band, the Wynlyn Jazz Ensemble, and several singers he recruited from their retirement community. They have a fun jazzy 1940s sound.
The songwriters put up their own money to record and press the album, but they've already sold out of the first pressing of the CD version of the Senior Song Book. People who want to purchase the album can either add their names to a waiting list for a physical copy or purchase a downloadable version for $9.99 on CDBaby.com.
But turning a profit (or even recouping their losses on the recording sessions) was never the Marvin and Alan's goal. They just wanted to give their peers the chance to once again experience what it's like to fall in love with a song for the first time.
"So now we're giving people who are 64 years old a chance to be 14 again and get new songs in their heads," said Alan. Having given a listen to "I Just Can't Remember Your Name," I'd say they definitely have an earworm on their hands.
As the kids these day would say, it's a bop and totally slaps.