I can hear music

I love the Beach Boys' song, I Can Hear Music. The ardour of young love and the sweet harmony capture all that is beautiful in life. Yes, it's just a teenage love song, but listen to the jangling guitars, insistent beat and plaintive voices. Isn't that what life is all about: wishing and hoping and, if you are lucky, getting what you want?

Popular music perhaps most faithfully articulates our feelings, for it changes with every generation, and no two generations have ever seen eye to eye. I can't stand rap music any more than the rappers have time for the Beach Boys and the Beatles. This evanescence is what makes popular music so appealing, for it mirrors our own lives. We know it's going to fade away, just as we will, but that's why it's all the more dear to us, because we can identify with it.

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Rabbit’s last songs: Love Me Tender

These songs are for John Updike fans. It’s one of the last songs Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom hears on the radio driving from his old home in Brewer, Pennsylvania, to the condo in Florida, where he and Janice have retired — only Janice is not with him, not on this drive almost at the very end of Rabbit at Rest, the fourth Rabbit book, set in the twilight of his life. Elvis Presley sings Love Me Tender.

Updike writes:

“knock him all you want, before he got fat and druggy and spooky in the end he had a real voice, a beautiful voice, not like foghorn Sinatra…”

Well, Sinatra was good — memorably so in Something Stupid and Strangers in the Night — but Elvis was and is the King, right up there with the Beatles and Bob Dylan.