“Mom, have you ever heard of a band called The Beatles?”
That was Kiddo#3, nine years old, while I was driving. I had a momentary disconnect, because at his age, I’m certain I had their entire discography memorized (well, the ones my mother played) and I’d heard about them so often that the Day The Music Died was not when Buddy Holly died, but the day the Beatles broke up.
It wasn’t only me. My entire grade school class could hold discussions about Beatles music, discuss the history of the Beatles, talk about their movies, and recite their lyrics. My 5th grade strings concert was all music by the Beatles.
But for all that, I guess Kiddo#3 didn’t get that kind of indoctrination. There aren’t huge album covers to prop in front of the stereo anymore, just the itty-bitty iPod screen. So instead of choking with laughter, I replied, “Yeah, I’ve heard of them.”
His teachers had played Octopus’s Garden for music class. He wanted to hear it again. I said, “Would you like to hear any other songs they wrote?” Yes. Yes, he would.
For the past year, I’ve had to play through an endless Weird Al Yankovic playlist whenever we take a long drive, which happens about once a week. I like Weird Al. He’s a brilliant guy, and what he does guarantees an endless variety of musical genres. But still, you know. I seized opportunity by the throat and created a 62-song playlist of Beatles favorites, and then on the next car trip, I plugged it in, leading off with Octopus’s Garden, and then the songs I thought would appeal more to younger kids. Yellow Submarine. When I’m Sixty-Four. With A Little Help From My Friends.
They sing in the back of the car. “O-da-blee, o-ba-da…” It’s cute. I don’t really want to correct them.
And Kiddo#3 hates Twist And Shout. “Why are they all singing like they have sore throats?”
We drove to New York. We listened the whole way.
While looking at my star ratings, I discovered I haven’t given many of their songs five stars. There are a lot of 4s and 3s, but I can only figure that when I did the ratings, I wasn’t comparing their songs to everyone’s songs, but rather to their own songs. PS I Love You would be the pinnacle song if any other group produced it, but the Beatles did it and I gave it four stars because it’s not quite Eleanor Rigby.
And my Patient Husband and I discovered once again that when we like the same groups, we don’t like the same songs. He five-starred “Get Back,” whereas I think of that as three, maximum. He’s not sure why I’d give five stars to We Can Work It Out.
Regardless, now I have small boys wandering the house half-reciting Beatles songs and telling each other “that’s a three-star,” as if they have iPods of their own (they don’t.) And it’s very cute.