IDEMA: All those years ago: Why have the Beatles endured?

Friday, January 19, 2018

For Christmas I gave my two grandchildren (ages 3 and 5) a set of DVDs of the Beatles singing 40 of their top hits. I asked my daughter how the kids liked them, and she said, "It is amazing, they know all the lyrics!"

Which gave me the idea for this article.

The obvious answer as to why the music of the Beatles has endured is that the group wrote fabulous songs and sang them well. They were also together for a relatively short time as compared to groups like the Rolling Stones, so they have not been subjected to the oldies circuit. Their body of work is all the more precious for that. The group in a sense never aged and will forever be associated with youth, including our own youths if you are a baby boomer. The Beatles' songs provided us with the soundtrack for our years of idealism and disillusionment.

When I was in Prague a few years ago , I asked our woman guide, who was about my own age (then 66), whether she and her friends knew about western music during the repressive Communist years. She said, "We had some smuggled albums, and we had secret listening parties, and, of course, the Beatles' records were especially prized." She said the music gave them a sense of freedom and hope in midst of Communist oppression, especially after the Soviet Union crushed the Prague Spring in 1968.



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