Oh my friend we’re older but no wiser

Having regularly posted pictures online for a few years now, while seeing others do the same, it has often amazed me how readily the subjects in the pictures can travel back and forth through time.  One minute they’re one age and the next they’ve either grown older or (miraculously) younger.

With a blog that begs for a different picture each day (which somehow is meant to tie-in with a line from the featured song), this has certainly been the case with me, and of course it’s part of the fun.  But after posting yesterday’s Paul McCartney song that focused on the topic of…well…”yesterday” and the subsequent process of aging, another Paul McCartney-related song came to mind, as did the niggling question: What or when is a person’s actual Optimal Age?

Never mind the “peak this, or maximum that” of your teenaged years.  On the face of it (and barring any misadventure) it’s hard to argue with the mid-20s, an enchanted time when those cognitive pistons are finally firing in unison, and one is fully able to celebrate the cocksure “Body Electric.” …And yet argue I will.

Because when it comes to judgment, emotional intelligence and if not wisdom at least decades of perspective, and despite a noticeably depreciating mortal coil (and since having the body of a 25 year old isn’t an option) I’ll take the mid-50s anytime. How about you?

By this age one has pretty much proven what one is going to prove (although not totally) and although confidence in the “Body” (electric or otherwise) may not be what it was, confidence in the “Self” more than makes up for it. What’s more and genetics willing, optimism prevails about the future as well.

Research (and personal observation) shows that even waaaay late in life, and fully in the face of the havocs of age, the potential exists for physical, mental and social growth if the proverbial “woof,” in the form of an active appreciation of the wonders-of-this-life, is willfully aligned with a genetic and cultural “warp” that enables one to do so.

Although it fatalistically veers from my point (and I suppose I can’t blame it), “Those Were the Days” was originally written in Russian by poet, Konstantin Podrevskii, with music by Boris Fomin, and later translated by Folk musician, Gene Raskin. It was none other than Paul McCartney (of course) who heard Raskin perform it at a club in London and with Mary Hopkin in mind, duly had his agent purchase the song rights.

The 18 year-old Welsh singer had recently signed with Apple Records and with McCartney serving as producer this, her debut single, topped the UK charts, while reaching Number 2 in the US.  With studio time remaining , it’s interesting to note that the 26 year-old McCartney (whose Optimal Age seems to have been between the ages of 20 and now) also had Hopkins record alternate versions of “Those Were the Days” in Spanish (“Que Tiempo Tan Feliz”), German (“An jenem Tag”), French (“Le temps des fleurs”) and finally in Italian (“Quelli Erano Giorni”).

 LISTEN TO THIS SONG – Wednesday 20 March 

Those Were The Days

 Once upon a time there was a tavern

Where we used to raise a glass or two

Remember how we laughed away the hours

And dreamed of all the great things we would do

 Those were the days my friend

We thought they’d never end

We’d sing and dance forever and a day

We’d live the life we choose

We’d fight and never lose

For we were young and sure to have our way

La la la la…

 Then the busy years went rushing by us

We lost our starry notions on the way

If by chance I’d see you in the tavern

We’d smile at one another and we’d say

 Those were the days my friend

We thought they’d never end

We’d sing and dance forever and a day

We’d live the life we choose

We’d fight and never lose

Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

La la la la…

 Just tonight I stood before the tavern

Nothing seemed the way it used to be

In the glass I saw a strange reflection

Was that lonely woman really me

 Those were the days my friend

We thought they’d never end

We’d sing and dance forever and a day

We’d live the life we choose

We’d fight and never lose

Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

La la la la…

Through the door there came familiar laughter

I saw your face and heard you call my name

Oh my friend we’re older but no wiser

For in our hearts the dreams are still the same

 Those were the days my friend

We thought they’d never end

We’d sing and dance forever and a day

We’d live the life we choose

We’d fight and never lose

Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

La la la la…

 

 

 

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