For my 9th grade English class... I'll probably scare my teacher. Our assigment was to write our feelings about some kind of quote, which we could get from anywhere. Naturally, I chose Jefferson AIrplane lyrics.
What do you guys think?
The flower-children of the late 1960s have many connotations, both good and bad, and one that is often overlooked is the political activism that powered much of the younger generation. The 1960s marked the first time that this happened in any major way, and it unfortunately marked the last time as well. This sudden political involvement was reflected in much of the music of the time. Aside from in the folk scene, where it can be argued that the political influence in music was the strongest, San Francisco-based bands like Jefferson Airplane soundtracked the anti-war movement. In 1970, Jefferson Airplane’s song “We Can Be Together” was released on a single, far overshadowed by “Volunteers”, its iconic A-side. It is unfortunate that it has been so forgotten, especially since one lyric, “We are all outlaws in the eyes of America” beautifully sums up not only the anti-war movement in the 1960s, but the isolation that the younger generation still feels today; that they will never be what the older generation wants them to be.
“Outlaws” is a very interesting way of referring to this generational divide. It seems that other words, like “outcasts”, “outsiders”, or even “aliens” would come to mind at first thought, but at second glance, one will realize that the word is incredibly appropriate for the generational divide. It seems as though shocking the older generation is encoded into the human DNA. We simply can’t be well-behaved and obedient, perfectly filling our parents’ footsteps, partly because if we did, there could be no change. Everything would stagnate, and our culture could never expand, transform, or grow. We need revolution badly, for it is the only way to improve. It is definitely true that sometimes it goes the other way, plunging a country into a depression, a corrupt government, or sometimes worse, but we need to take that risk, or else we will never taste the benefits of revolution either.
“We Can Be Together” suggests what many people already know; that the generational divide in our society is one that can never really be reconciled, mainly because the ideals of every generation are different. The generations can never really please each other because their principles can never match up. The older generation often interprets this as “teen rebelliousness”, but in truth, it is just an effect of the natural passage of time. Maybe we are all outlaws when our generation is young, but as time goes on, our “crimes” will just become our entire country’s new way of life.
Trouble in mind, lord I'm blue
But I won't be blue always
The sun's gonna shine in my door,
Shine in my back door someday