Letters and Diary Non-Fiction posted October 16, 2016


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Prose Potlatch Challenge: 10-16

For What It's Worth

by michaelcahill

 


 photo lovenotwar11_zpschbzphbe.jpg


For What It’s Worth
 
I don’t normally use other people’s words in my work. But I thought it appropriate here. The title is either a rather trite phrase, or the title of a song familiar to my generation. Well, it’s more than familiar. The opening two notes take us back to a time and a feeling we had when we were young. I’m guessing those my age, or near it, see that title and the song of the same name comes to mind. Maybe it’s just me. I’ve become aware recently that I’m NOT the norm. Why it didn’t occur to me before, I can’t say. It should be an obvious assumption considering my upbringing and the circumstances of my childhood.
 
In any case, I won’t dwell on that here. I imagine that’s true for a great many of us.
 
“There’s a man with a gun over there, telling me I got to beware.”
 
A line that stands out and hits home to this day. It stirs emotion in me. The war in Vietnam was going on full tilt and I looked forward to being an unwilling participant in the near future at the time. A man or “The Man” as we liked to call “Him”--that faceless entity determining our fate and dictating the course of our lives.
 
“Young people speakin’ their minds. Getting’ so much resistance from behind”.
 
Yeah. That was me. They were singing about me specifically. I was a young person speaking my mind, no doubt about it. Resistance? Yes, from all sides, even peers. It wasn’t the whole of youth against the war. Only some of the youth had the same notions I did. Many were gung-ho for the war and supported the government. Lots of young people my age couldn’t wait to get into the fray and kill some commies.
 
“Think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound. Everybody look what’s goin’ down”.
 
They say age fourteen is a critical age in human development. It’s when individual points of view and convictions are formed and solidified. The claim is that music from that age is the most significant of any one will ever encounter. Perhaps. I know this song and many others from that year trigger deep feeling within me.
 
Homeward Bound always touches a chord of angst that speaks to the loneliness I always feel and the solitude I seem to seek so often.
 
When a Man Loves a Woman makes me laugh almost. I imagine some gals will tell you I don’t fall in love a little bit, I’m kind of extreme on occasion or every occasion I’m sure it would be alleged.
 
But then, I’ve been introduced to songs just recently that affected me just as strongly. There is music all throughout my life that upon hearing it, I am transported to that time and those emotions well up just as they do for the songs I listened to when I was fourteen.
 
I was forty-six when I heard the song that moves me the most. It doesn’t even sound like something I’d listen to if anyone who knows me listens to it. And the very reason it moves me so deeply has changed recently. So, it’s still the most moving but now for a different reason.
 
I’m thinking, as with all things psychological, to try and analyze something as complex as a human being is best looked at as a theory to begin a discussion with. The moment one considers it a guideline is the moment it becomes worthless.
 
“Singin’ songs and carryin’ signs, mostly say hurray for our side.”
 
Nothing really changes I expect.
 


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I can't seem to download an image. :))

The topic for this week is MUSIC.

Write a memoir about the music you listened to when you were fourteen years old and the memories that went with it.

Approach this any way you see fit. One song and what it meant to you. Several songs and how they shaped your thinking or how your thinking made you especially in tune with them, whatever.


It is said that fourteen is the age when we begin to establish our own identity and the music we listen has the greatest significance to us compared to any other music we hear in our lifetime. I don't know if that is true. Perhaps as a musician my viewpoint is different. I don't know. I must admit, listening to the music of that time DOES stir something powerful in me.

I realize that many may wish to keep their age a secret. So, you MAY write about your friend or cousin who is twenty years older. LOL





Lyrics--For What It's Worth
Buffalo Springfield

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

It's s time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

Songwriter: STEPHEN STILLS


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