My Generation is a song written and performed by the British rock group The Who. This song defined rock music for youth in the sixties but ended up defining all music for generations to come. The rebellious, angry, misunderstood youth could hear themselves in this face paced aggressive song.
Pete Townshend, the guitarist for the group said, “My Generation was very much about trying to find a place in society.” For this reason, many generations of youth have taken this song as their anthem. Townsend wrote the lyrics to the song as twenty-year-old rock musicians for the rebellious British youth. One of the most famous versus states, “I hope I die before I get old” Which shows the contempt that most misunderstood youth feel for the ones that are oppressing them.
The song has made many “greatest of all time” lists. For example, it was number eleven on Rolling Stone magazines 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and number thirteen on VH1’s 100 greatest songs of Rock & Roll. In 2009 it was named the 37th Greatest Hard Rock Song. The song itself was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical significance”. Although the song only reached number 74 on the billboard charts, it’s true staying power has been it’s ability to bridge generational gaps and continue to speak to the youth of multiple generations.
This song is a piece of music art because of the cultural significance that it has had for so many years. Generations of youth have listened to and sung along with this significant piece. You can go to any college town and look through a college students mp3 player and find My Generation by The Who.
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