I was walking down the street humming and singing to my self thinking of those happy days not so long ago. And then as I walked, and i hummed, and I sang, I realized that maybe I didn’t have so much to sing about. What was I singing about? The good old days? Or the now days? The good old days were good. The now days are also good. But the good old days were better. If you see just what they done to my songs!
First there was this. This was how I listened to my songs. And I was happy! Yes, I was one happy duck!
The boxes these things were played on were pretty good. And whenever they would break down I would get them fixed and they would be as good as new and play wonderfully well. I was happy. And then one day along came these. They were smaller in size. Easier to carry around. They needed smaller boxes to play them. And they sounded good too.
They would start wearing out after some time. They would also get stuck in the boxes at times and it was quite messy getting all that tape untangled. But it was still good. Fix it and play it again. It was still good.
Then came these. They looked different. They were different. And they sounded different. They sounded very good. And you needed a whole new kind of boxes to play them. But that was still ok and things were still good.
And then one day I was walking down the street and a singing to myself. And walking down the street and walking down the street and I walked so much that after a while I found myself at a crossroads. And there I met the devil.
I looked at him and he looked at me. And he said do you want to make a deal. And I said what deal? He said give me all your music that you have now and I will give you something wonderful in return. I was tempted. So I agreed and I handed over all the music I had till now. All my vinyls, all my cassettes, all my CDs…….
And he gave me this!
And I said – Quack! Quack!! Quack QUACK!!! What the hell do I do with this?? How do I play my music on this?? And he laughed and he said dont worry that has been taken care of. You just go to the store and you get what you want. Store? What store? Where store? And he said you go online and you get to the store. I said online? What line? Where line? He laughed and he said you will figure it out. And one more thing – you cant see this store, you cant see this music, you cant see the people selling this stuff. I said what? what what? Are you crazy? If I cant see anything, touch anything, feel anything, how am I going to know what I am buying? And assuming i do get to find this wonderful store and buy my music, where do I keep something that I cant hold, touch, feel, see?? He pointed to the little box in my hand and with a laugh walked away with a wave of his tail!
In time I figured out how to use this box, where to find the store, how to buy the music, how to listen to it and so on and so forth. It was a lot more convenient this way. I could walk around with pretty much my entire collection in my pocket. In time I got used to this and soon was quite comfortable using this tiny little thing that contained my entire collection and when that filled up I just went out to a store and bought myself another one. At least these things you could walk into a real store and buy! And time went by and some years later I found myself walking towards the crossroads once again. And there I met the devil one more time.
And again he said – I want to make a deal. And I said to myself, it cant be all that bad. So I gave in and made a deal.
And this time I walked home with this.
This was different. You had to talk to it and tell it what you wanted to listen to. So I did. Sometimes it understood. Sometimes it didn’t and i would get mad and call it names. It patiently would tell me that it did not understand. In time I got used to it. And said to myself well this is how things are now. Get used to it. Quack. At least that hasn’t changed. I can still go quack the way I want to and when and wherever I want to.
And so today there is a whole bunch of ways I can listen to my music. Either by talking to that weird long tubular thing or using my phone (which also was given to me in a deal by that devil). So I have that and this and all the other stuff that I can buy at all the invisible stores in the invisible world.
Now there are many times that I miss the records, cassettes, CDs that I could stare at on my shelves. Miss the fact that I could pick out the ones I wanted to listen to, and hold them, and then put them on the record player, or into the cassette player or DVD player and then play them. Today I stare at shelves that are not really shelves. Look at albums that are not really albums, well at least ones that I can hold and feel. And then when I have to play the ones I want to listen to, it is in ways that are totally different to the ways I was used to, and liked. Ways which now, by some magic, I would want to come around again.
And so while I wait for that magic to happen and make the old times come back again, all I can say now is – “Mama – look what they done to my songs!“