Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Age of Aquarius: Revolution

Gerry Colvin: Revolution
[it's a creative commons download]

I am writing/posting once again about The Age of Aquarius at this late time just before we move on to a new theme because I felt we haven’t done justice to the topic: if it weren’t for the hippies and their “peace/love” message, we wouldn’t be where we are. Women’s Lib, a better sense of our stewardship of Earth, respect for diversity… would all be further back in our awareness. The Age of Aquarius was a revolution. As boyhowdy put it in an email to me this week “we’re all hippies”. And he’s right (although he was referring to my long hair in the 70s).

Pre-Aquarius music and culture may have flown in the face of previous standards: Elvis’ pelvis, the irreverence of the jitterbug and all that WWII spawned in terms of societal mores. And while it probably set the stage for us hippies, it took the 60s to bring it to fruition. It could have faded like some other fashions. But it didn’t – because, at heart, it was right.

It’s a matter of historical record that has been well researched and documented, and I am far from being an authority about how it all transpired. From what I know, however, in and around 1967, the Beatles’ music changed from the era’s standard 3 minute “Top 10” pop format (Love Me Do) to something different. That’s the year they released both Sgt. Peppers and Magical Mystery Tour. That is also about the time they began exploring different philosophies (think guru from India). But this was the 60s.

Roger Greenawalt and crew (from where this song comes) do a remarkable job of disseminating Creative Commons versions of Beatles songs that include embedded insightful textual comments detailing the conditions and history of the times. The background research is informative – to say the least. The Beatles Complete on Ukulele has almost 150 freely downloadable Beatles tunes.

The song I choose here should speak for itself.  If you don’t see the embedded textual notes (not visible in the default Yahoo player) download the file and play it in Media Player, where you can. Above all, head to the Beatles Complete on Ukulele project web site and grab all 100+ tunes.

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