Then and Now: In This Case, I Think I Liked Then Better

We were watching the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show earlier this evening and one of the performers was Nelly. I’ve heard the name, but I don’t really know any of his music (fun fact, though: our dog’s name is Nellie – just a coincidence. That was her name when we rescued her).

The song he sang is titled “It’s Hot in Herre” (yes, that is the way “here” is spelled, not really sure why).

A couple of the lines in the song jumped out at me:

It’s gettin’ hot in herre
So take off all your clothes

I guess as many song lyrics go today, that might be considered pretty mild.

But I was thinking to myself, it’s only about 8:00 at night. How many young kids might be watching this?

And then I thought back to music from when I was young, or even before that.

So I decided to check what kind of music was played on New Year’s Eve from way back when, and I came across this clip from Guy Lombardo’s 1957 New Year’s Eve show. The song is called Top Hat, White Tie and Tails:

The contrast, to me, is startling (I am not going to provide a link to the Nelly song, but I am sure it is on YouTube.)

First, there are the different styles of music. I am fine with that; music styles evolve over time. And people have different tastes: rock, jazz, big band, rap, country, etc. No one style is better than the other.

But what really struck me is how different the lyrics are; they are polar opposites of each other.

Back in 1957, they were singing about what types of clothes they were going to be putting on for a night on the town; tonight, Nelly was asking people to take off all their clothes.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll stick with the lyrics from 1957…

39 thoughts on “Then and Now: In This Case, I Think I Liked Then Better

  1. Yes, Jim, the message behind more modern music has changed vastly. It is geared to a generation of ears with a completely different set of standards for acceptability, not only in word but in action. Of course, our parents thought are music was a bit over the top too. I guess that is just the way music is. Have a great 2021, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. More confirmation, as if I needed it, as to why I don’t like (c)rap ‘music.’ But it wasn’t all good many years ago, either. Because Hogmanay is such a big deal in Scotland our main tv channels used to inflict an annual show of Scottish music on us to bring in the new year, which included gems like this:

    There were times when many English people would have voted for Scottish independence 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was not familiar with Hogmanay, but it sounds like quite a celebration; I just read about some of the customs…

      I do like the Scottish brogue. But I can’t imagine wearing a kilt…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s probably different this year in lockdown but the Scots have an extra public holiday for New Year. With 1 Jan being a Friday the holiday is Mon 4th: a four day binge!

        I’d never wear a kilt either, even if I were a Scot! And the music that was forced on us was truly awful!

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  3. You are wrong Jim. Today’s music sucks. No redeeming value whatsoever. Of course, that’s pretty much the exact same thing my father said to me around 1976.

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  4. Let’s see, when I was growing up, Ray Stevens had a hit song called, “The Streak.” Every generation pushes the limits. And what’s wrong with taking off one’s clothes when it’s hot? Seems like the natural thing to do, to me.

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  5. The line you quote is very mild compared to many others in popular songs today. I think lyrics have definitely gone down hill. Of course that is what many in the older generation thought about music and dance in the 50s – 70s that I liked.

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  6. Haha. That song was popular when I was in high school close to 20 years ago; I’m surprised it was chosen for NYE. And to your point Jim, I agree that networks should think twice about the content they post during prime time. I’m all for free speech and using language in creative ways, but we should always remember our audience. Young ears and eyes included.🕊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. somebody else mentioned the song was 20 years old. I looked it up and it was a massive hit. It does seem like a strange choice, both because of its age and the event…

      I’m also a fan of free speech, but I’m also a fan of a sense of decorum 🙂

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  7. I agree with you. Also, I feel like today’s music is only one style (I know those who like it will disagree but it’s what I feel when I hear them) and the contrast of the lyrics reflects how the younger generation acts. When I scroll through Tiktok I think to myself how different they are compared to when I was a teen. Teenagers from 90’s (my childhood) and 2000s (my teen years) are a lot more reserved and a bit awkward as if they are stumbling through life, the teen I see on Tiktok or other social media all look like confident models while marching in next to nothing clothes 😂 The confidence are… wow

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