Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Boney M Revisited

Posted: March 8, 2008 in Music
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Like many of my generation, I grew up with Boney M. They belonged to the music of my aunt’s youth that was also bequeathed to me. The group never moved me in the way that Bob Dylan or Joan Baez did. Yet, I was drawn to their spirit and could always hum their tunes.

So last evening was special, as we attended a live performance by Marcia Barret of the original Boney M foursome. I was amazed at the energy and vitality of a voice that turns 60 this year. I guess that’s why they say “once a star, always a star”.

For the first time I also saw their music as resistance songs, closely connected to the Jamaican movement. Till, then I’d just seen it as being pop or disco, and not concentrated too much on the lyrics. I also saw the influence of Jamaican rhythm that was such an integral part of their work.

The crowd was a mix of the young and the old. But, the highlight was watching rows of people over sixty, mouthing each word, swaying to the beat, clapping their hands in the air. These were after all the songs of their youth. The songs over which they discovered love and perhaps even lost love.

The moment brought tears to my eyes.

I made a discovery last evening as well. There was a twenty something, right out of college who was accompanying us to the concert. He asked whether we enjoyed this kind of music. When we replied vehemently in the affirmative, he very helpfully informed of us Maya. It’s apparently the only pub in Bangalore that plays good ‘retro’.

That’s when it occurred to me… All the songs that I perceive as being resistance music, folk-music and anti-establisment (read Dylan, Joan Baez, Denver, Simon & Garfunkel) have been very dismissively clubbed under this ‘retro’ tag. Does that make you feel like an ‘aunty’ or what 🙂

In the 80’s popular music made a shift from social movements to the individual journey. That shift is now complete. Generation next is here.