Script - Friday 9th May - Andrea Rea
We live in a culture rather obsessed by youth and fame – a heady mix and one that has to some extent always been part of human nature. Those of us not in the springtime of our lives probably ascribe more readily to the notion that “youth is wasted on the young” and are also more apt to mumble things about old fiddles playing sweeter tunes. 50 years ago today, something along the lines of exactly that happened in America. In February of 1964, the Beatles stormed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 pop charts with the song “I wanna hold your hand” and for more than three solid months, they stayed in the number one spot. They had four consecutive number one singles, and in early April, their songs occupied the top five spots in the Billboard charts. The oldest Beatle in early 1964 was Ringo Starr, 23. George Harrison was barely 21. They, and their songs, were youth personified and as such, seemed unstoppable.
And yet, on May 9th, their reign at the top of the charts came to an abrupt end when Louis Armstrong became the American equivalent of ‘Top of the Pops’ with the title song from the musical ‘Hello Dolly’. He was 63. The question posed in Beatles song lyric “will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64” seems more than a little redundant, under the circumstances. Louis Armstrong’s song “We have all the time in the world” is far more appropriate
These days, 64 is not considered old anymore – but 50 years ago, I imagine it was a different story. How wonderful then, that Hello Dolly and Louis Armstrong won through and made it to the top.
Lord of all time, help us to remember that age is nothing more than a number, and youth a state of mind. Amen.