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What Music Defines You?

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Contributor:
Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

If your life had a soundtrack, what songs would you include? 

Some morbidly organized people like to fantasize about which songs they’d have played at their funeral (maybe something by Aerosmith). But it’s generally more fun to listen to music when everyone’s alive and well. 
 
I watched “Across the Universe” in the weekend - a musical, based in the 1960s, which follows the lives and loves of a circle of friends as they become adults. Despite my terrible introduction to the storyline, it’s pretty brilliant - not at all like High School Musical, which I doubt I could bring myself to watch even if I was really hungover, or terribly ill and confined to the couch. (If you’re reading this Zac Efron, I’m sorry, but I just can’t handle those films.) 
 
“Across the Universe” is like the Forrest Gump of Musicals. The Soundtrack is pretty much 100% The Beatles, which isn’t surprising when the main characters are named Lucy and Jude. Evan Rachel Wood plays the role of Lucy - I didn’t realize she could sing, but I guess she had to have something in common with Marilyn Manson apart from hormones and drama. And she’s a great singer. As I watched this coming of age story, played out against the exquisite dreaminess of the 1960s, the Vietnam War, drugs and innocence, rising legends like Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix, and the idea that love was all you ever really needed, I wondered… could our era ever be remembered with such love and poignancy? Probably not. 
 
What has happened to us in the last decade - the last two decades even - to really define us, to make or break us? Global Warming? Paris Hilton? 9/11? I’m not feeling it. When television brought the Vietnam War into peoples living rooms during the 1960s, everyone was so hopeful that this would be a great step towards peace. Television would bring the truth about the horror of the world home and we would stand up to make a difference when we saw all that pain and suffering and hate in other countries - or even in our own neighbourhoods. But what happened instead? We learned how to change the channel. Reality was lost to Reality T.V. Along came MTV and music videos - great, until genuine musicians were slowly weeded out over time and were replaced by people on the strength of their looks, rather than their talent. Now people get famous first and figure the rest out later. Our icons are superficial and meaningless. We have no great musical or soundtrack of our time - just some pre-fabricated pop single, here today, forgotten tomorrow. 
 
I want to know what music defines you and what music defines us as a generation. I’m praying it’s not Britney Spears and the Pussy Cat Dolls. 

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