‘Today’s Sound’ – learning from rock music (1970)

From Tony Jasper's Today's Sound (Galliard, Great Yarmouth, England 1970) a Christian teaching book. The teacher is encouraged to use rock songs and their lyrics to discuss contemporary morals, behaviour and ways of being. Thus we get some of the lyrics of  Martha and the Vandella's Dancing in the Street, transcribed thus, and followed with topics for discussion:

Cryin out in the world,
Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer's here and the time is right
For dancin' in the street.
They'e dancin' in Chicago, down in New Orleans
In New York City
All we need is music, sweet music,
There'll be music everywhere
There'll be swinging and swaying and records playing
Dancing in the street

Oh -- it doesn't matter what you wear,
Just as long as you are there.
So come on every guy, grab a girl,
Everywhere, around the world

Dancing in the street….

Describe the aspects of the present youth culture bought out in this song. Live out the song through movement, reduce the world, sing to it, love it, touch it, it's yours.

Take out a tape recorder, a camera, film camera and capture life as it's happening now. Think of ways and communicating the spirit of this song, your experiencings to the Other  generation.

For Eleanor Rigby the class is encouraged to draw pictures of  Eleanor Rigby and Father McKenzie and ask if our society is hard on those who never marry - "Do you find labels such as 'Old Maid' offensive?"

With Simon and Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence he suggests reading Waiting for Godot and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner for a greater depth of understanding . The Doors Light my Fire prompts a discussion of today's clothes 'do we wear them just for colour or so-called fashion or do we feel different in certain types of gear and find our personalities revealed through them? Are young people less inhibited than those of yesterday regarding sex?'

The Delaney and Bonnie Song (We've Got to) Get Ourselves Together leads to a discussion of the Christian religion. 'Has the Christian religion with its Universalist gospel a big part to play in a growing awareness by all people of their part in one big family called mankind? How can we ourselves take positive steps to enable all people to get together?' With The Beatles You've Got to Hide Your Love Away he suggests 'through mime and sketch act out situations which to the group seem likely to lead to misunderstanding and isolation...'

An interesting and slightly rare book - well meaning and very open to new ideas.  44 years ago - a vanished world.

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