Why do boomers listen to old songs? You Don't Know Me.


Suppose you had one moment, only a few seconds, when a chance meeting with the person you had loved secretly  all your life.

You meet her in the mall where she is shopping for her family, her husband, the children you never had together.

She is nonchalant, as always.

You are reserved, as always.

“So good to see you after all these years,” she says.

You nod.

She leaves.

I wonder if that was the sort of scene that possessed Eddy Arnold and Cindy Walker to write the song.  You know the song I’m talking about.

Okay, so maybe you don’t know the song.

We’ve been talking recently about baby boomers and the things that define them.  Perhaps nothing speaks as loudly as the music they grew up in, the sound of their generation.

The sound of a song like You Don’t Know Me.

Cindy Walker, co-writer of You Don’t Know Me

In its few simple verses, a whole life time passes before these two human beings.  All that might have been, but never was.

Boomers are beyond that sort of stuff in this stage of their lives.  I can imagine the title of the song they would write about that situation now.

Screw You and the Horse You Rode In On.

Be that as it may, writers can learn a great lesson from that song.  It takes one defining moment in a person’s life and makes it the centerpiece.  Everything else is just window dressing.

For my money, Elvis had the best version.


(Stephen Woodfin is an attorney, author and boomer.  He still loves Elvis’s cover of the song.)


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