Daily Song Study

Ben Folds – Still Fighting It

In songs on August 26, 2011 at 8:11 am

The word “zeitgeist” is a good one. The dictionary defines it as “The taste, outlook, and spirit characteristic of a period or generation.” Every generation has a few artists who, for better or worse, are speaking from a point of view that crosses more common denominators than others. I believe that for a significant number of those who fall within my age group, Ben Folds possesses our zeitgeist.

Take for example today’s track, wherein he becomes a father, simultaneously lamenting the necessity to grow up and being surprised at the attachment he feels to his new son. This is very GenX, being forcibly dragged into responsibility, and finding that some of the things we swore we’d never do are actually good for us. The tone is ironic, one of the signature attitudes of this generation, but not in the self-destructive Kurt Cobain way. Folds is self-aware of his mental predicament, and takes every opportunity to poke fun at himself.

In an era where dads play video games and wear jeans to the office, we are definitely still fighting it. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, so long as you know what’s going on in your own head.

  1. […] good deal of the credit can of course be given to Ben Folds, who was Shatner’s chief collaborator. But the former starship captain didn’t just get […]

  2. […] prominently featured in the ’80s-’50s collision of Back to the Future. They had the zeitgeist, and they had it […]

  3. […] we talk about zeitgeist, there may be no better example than today’s […]

  4. […] the game in the 1980s, and during the ’90s the beast sprouted many heads including those of Ben Folds, Barenaked Ladies, Ween, and to an extent, […]

  5. […] that the album is based on England during the Industrial Revolution gives it a certain amount of zeitgeist in this time of globalization and widening gaps between classes. And while finding her inspiration […]

  6. […] spoken here about the value of collaboration, and lately one of the best examples has been Ben Folds‘ unorthodox partnerships with non-musicians. We covered his work with William Shatner […]

  7. […] is a solid hook, delivered with authority, which instead of simply pandering to its era’s zeitgeist, added something distinctive. Well played. Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

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