Friday, May 24, 2013

Defining a Generation Through Music

Hello everyone, TGIF!!  I did it again today... I put off the planned post in favor of my latest LOAD 513 layout.  This layout was so thought provoking and fun that I ended up actually turning it into a four page layout.  The first two pages are featured here today and I plan to only tell you about pages three and four.

Thursday's LOAD 513 was a weapon from the Clue game - the candlestick.  In an effort to come up with an idea, I was typing my stream of consciousness - Candlestick, menorah, burning the candle at both ends, burning out, jack jumped over the candlestick.... You get the idea.  When I reached "Jack jumped over the candlestick" I thought of Don's McLean's song, "American Pie" and the reference to JFK in "Jack jumped over the candlestick" lines.

American Pie took me to the thought of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" - a list of historical and cultural events in Joel's lifetime - all but 11 years, also my lifetime.  And then, because I couldn't just pick an idea and go with it, I started thinking of about music that defines different eras or events in my life time.  The sixties and seventies were full of anti-war and peace songs, one of my favorites being P.F. Sloan's "Eve of Destruction", released in 1965.  In May 1970 four student protester's were killed by National Guard at Kent State University in Ohio.  That fall Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young released Stephen Still's epic "Ohio" - better known by the name "Four Dead in Ohio".

In 1971 Don McLean released "American Pie", a musical poem that details music history of the 50's and 60's, with cultural and political references included.  McLean never really calls anyone by name, but the Music that died was Buddy Holly, The King was Elvis, the Marching Band that took the field was the Beatles, etc.  Jack Flash jumping over the candlestick - where this all started - was the assignation of President Kennedy.  When asked what the song meant, McLean once replied, "It means I will never have to work again!"  He was probably right!!

Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" is a highly percussive song from 1989.  The song was written because a student told Joel that his generation was inheriting a world that was a mess.  Joel thought about it and realized that the world has always been a mess - We didn't start the fire - and that it would continue to be so.  Good point.

These four songs - and yes, there could be others, I feel define my generation socially and historically.  I grew up in the 60's and 70's, watching in wonder the Civil Rights movement, the anti war protests, the British Invasion, the cold war, soldiers coming home, the POW's coming home, the American Bicentennial, Watergate and the Nixon administration which robbed us of our innocent belief in government (though truthfully that trust has been sold out LONG before).  I sang along with John Lennon as he Imagined... and with Elton John as he Crocodile Rocked!  We as a Nation protested the Olympic Games hosted by Russia, and we protested Apartheid.  So yes, these four songs do come close to defining my generation....

I used Studio J to digitally scrap these pages.  This was necessary because of the photos I chose to use.  I found era specific photos as well as the candlestick and fire images.  After selecting specific phrases from each of the four songs, I began writing my journaling.  I must say it is very difficult to cover this topic in one journaling block!

I enlarged the journaling for you so that you can understand the difficulty of fitting this information onto the pages.

I truly enjoyed researching and scrapping these pages.  Page three and four feature the same "papers" and colors, but no photos.  Just a title, a couple of embellishments, and the lyrics to the four songs.  Do you know HOW LONG American Pie is?  Two full columns in very small font!

If you would like to see this entire layout larger, just click on the photo below and it will open in a new window.

One last note, one of the funny things about my LOAD 513 experience?  I am sort of missing the boat.  It is supposed to inspire quick layouts from the prompt.  Well, clearly this was not a quick layout... And even though I am doing LOAD my way, I am having a great time with this!

I hope some of you might consider joining me in the next LOAD adventure - because I WILL do this again!


  1. You're right, Susan. This was anything but quick. But this one is fantastic. Very thought provoking.

  2. Holy Cow this is an amazing layout Susan!!! I grew up in the same era and you have hit the nail on the head! I can't even tell you how much memories you have brought back just by looking at this layout! Amazing!!!! Hugs!