How I came to love a Sheryl Crow song

My dad is often to be found listening to Sounds of the 60s. As far as I can tell, the programme is often filled with complete drivel.

But I can easily see the appeal. Even the biggest pile of crap can take on greater significance when viewed through those special rose-tinted nostalgia-spectacles. Anything that reminds us of our youth is a good thing.

But the strangest things can attach themselves to these youthful nostalgic feelings. Recently I was listening to the radio when ‘If it Makes You Happy’ by Sheryl Crow came on.

(Unfortunately, the video is still pretty bad — I guess her image hadn’t settled down yet — so I have removed the video bit from the YouTube embed code.)

It’s not a song I ever particularly enjoyed before. But for some reason, it brought me warm memories of the mid-1990s. All of a sudden I liked the vibe of the song — rather carefree-sounding. Somehow I visualised talking a car journey late on a sunny summer’s evening.

How can a song I never liked before suddenly create strong feelings? I guess this is the first hint of what is to come. As I become older, everything from my youth will start to seem better.


  1. Actually, it may be that, as we get older, our youthful prejudices fade. Like your father, my heyday was the sixties and I find now that many of the songs that I scorned then are much better than I’d thought. If it was not “underground” and did too well on the hit parade, it was worthy of our distaste. Being superior was so much more important back then and preferring only the more obscure and avant garde music was a part of that.

    Yes, nostalgia has an effect on how we hear a song but it is not everything. Often it is more a matter of older and broader minds that can listen without influence from concern for social status.

  2. Thanks for the comment Clive — an interesting point.

    Good to see you commenting again. Is there any reason why we don’t see you writing about F1 any more?

  3. Yes, most of the stuff is complete drivel. But there are a few gems among the dross.
    Nostalgia is not what it was, though.
    Clive’s point is good. Over the past year or so – since I saw a TV programme about Matt Monro – I’ve come to appreciate his craft more. Because he was a crooner he was beneath contempt when I was a lad. He’s way better than Sinatra – another purveyor of old man’s music – ever was.
    But don’t forget the world is full of complete drivel.
    Sturgeon’s Law says that 90% of anything is crap.

  4. I think Clive is correct and with age I’ve certainly become more catholic in terms of tastes in music.

    When I was a teenager it was the Clash’s dismissive “No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones” line that essentially summed things up. It was all a bit like politics – you stuck with your own stuff, be it punk, pop, rock, heavy metal or whatever – and everything else was crap. And even if you secretly liked something outside your chosen genre you’d be too embarassed to let it be known.

    Political and moral issues were also very black and white for me back then, but now it’s not nearly so clear cut.

    I suspect everyone goes through a similar process, to a greater or lesser extent.

    Just think, Duncan. In ten year’s time you’ll be buying up Muse’s back catalogue!!

  5. I find Sounds of the 60s quite painful to listen to, maybe I’m just a bit too young.
    I can’t see myself getting nostalgic over the Bay City Rollers though. Permission to shoot me if I do.

  6. Fancy having another listen to Appetite For Destruction by Guns N’ Roses Duncman? 🙂

  7. I’m a regular SoTS listener I must confess, even though I was only born in late 1964. I completely get Jack’s conversion to Matt Monro, who to my 70s self was a naff old cabaret turn in a safari suit & cravat who would turn up on the old-fashioned TV variety shows we no longer have. But now I think he’s one of this county’s best ever singers, alongside Dusty. It took me until the 90s to fully turn on to this genre, sparked by the semi-ironic emergence of acts like The Mike Flowers Pops, and never looked back.