Sometimes a snatch of a tune will infiltrate the muzak of everyday life and bring you to a halt, listening intently. It isn't the quality of the song that matters, it is the memory. It used to be an occasional, fleeting moment, but now there is You Tube. You can find the song and scrub the patina off your nostalgia, making it new again.
However, there is a drawback. Many videos capture the moment you first heard a song, but old stagers keep on playing and there are contemporary performances as well. At that moment you remember that you have grown old, a fact that never ceases to surprise.
So here is Janis Ian as I recognise her in 1976.
And here is an older woman, singing the same song about the awkwardness of youth in the same way, with a touch less angst. I believe that this too is Janis Ian. Can it be true?
Youth feels so permanent. Now when I venture into town on a weekend I see the troupes of invincibles, the North Sea wind assaulting their micro skirts and thin silk shirts, not knowing that they are creating their own past. And one day, years from now, a snatch of a tune will infiltrate the muzak of their everyday lives.