Those Were The Days. Not.

“Boy, the way Glenn Miller played…”

I’ve had the theme song from All In The Family trapped in my head for the last few days.  Most unpleasant.  I’m not entirely sure how the song got there.  I haven’t been watching much TV besides reruns of The Big Bang Theory— which are on a hip channel that is the antithesis of a nostalgic channel that’d be showing Archie & Edith.

So I don’t think that I’ve seen any commercials that would have put that song into my head.  Wonder where it came from?

“Guys like us, we had it made…”

I never really liked All In The Family when I first saw it on TV.  I understood that Archie was a reactionary, selfish male.  I got that Edith was a doormat who never stood up for herself due to some misguided sense of duty toward Archie.  And I realized that Gloria, in her attempts to help her mother, was locked in an never-ending battle with her father.

“Didn’t need no welfare state…”

But the satire of the show was lost on me.  In fact it wasn’t until a few years ago that it dawned on me that some people weren’t laughing at Archie.  That instead, some people were laughing with Archie.  I have my FIL to thank for that revelation.

“Gee, our old LaSalle ran great…”

I couldn’t tell you when I last saw an episode of All In The Family.  I imagine that if I saw it now, I’d probably get the two-sided humor and enjoy it.  I’m older, wiser, and much more open to different points of view– as happens when you mature and are comfortable with who you are.  So the satire might appeal to me now.

“And you knew who you were then…”

But, quite frankly, with all the political nonsense that is going on in the USA now, I don’t think that I’m up to watching yet another old white male pontificate on things that he knows nothing about.  My patience for such rhetoric, humorous as it can sometimes be, is all used up.

“Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again…”

Which, now that I think about it, might explain why this theme song has infiltrated my brain.  Discourse during these last few weeks, to put it politely, has involved way too much looking backward and not enough going forward.  Reminding me, and any woman who can think for herself, that trapped in the past is no way to live.

Don’t fool yourself, those weren’t the days.

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“Those Were The Days”
by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse

Boy, the way Glen Miller played. Songs that made the hit parade.
Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days.
Didn’t need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days.
And you know who you were then, girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
People seemed to be content. Fifty dollars paid the rent.
Freaks were in a circus tent. Those were the days.
Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day that cost you under a fin.
Hair was short and skirts were long. Kate Smith really sold a song.
I don’t know just what went wrong. Those Were The Days.

[source]

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Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

14 thoughts on “Those Were The Days. Not.”

  1. Amen. They weren’t good old days for many of us – black/whte/brown/yellow – male/female – what have you. Today isn’t perfect but I will take it over yesterday.

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    1. Z-D, I really don’t understand why anyone would want to go back to the ways things were. Now is where we are, so deal with it. Seems so commonsensical, doesn’t it?

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  2. Oh my word! Where do I start with this? First of all, thank you for including links to things you are talking about, it really helps me, who has never come across these things before. Great insight for me. I looked up the song on YouTube and have to sympathise if that is what you have running through your head at the moment! It’s not what I was expecting at all. I have the Gummy Bear song running through mine at the moment because my 4 year old loves it. Also Bob The Builder’s Big Fish Little Fish. Either of those might get rid of your earworm! 🙂 Interesting insight into American politics too, I found that really interesting. Loved the clip of the women’s health “experts”, very funny! For some reason your post reminds me of something I read on Twitter this morning about a shop on London’s Oxford Street selling jeans with the washing instructions saying “get your woman to do it”. I’m sure that would have fitted right in with the ethos of All In The Family. I agree with you both, let’s not go back there. Bit of a disjointed comment, but it made me think of so many different things, all at once.

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    1. Polly, I’m glad that you followed the links. As I was writing this post I realized that not everyone who reads this blog would remember or know about All In The Family. It was a huge hit here in the US in the 1970s.

      Having worm of the ear with that show’s theme music has been weird. I really think that my subconscious has been talking to me via this song. Which, of course, is why I decided to write about it here.

      Love your example of the jean’s washing instructions. That is a perfect glimpse into the mindset that still thinks of women in a limited way. In reality we’ve come a long way from the “Edith” days, but there are always those individuals, often male, who want to scurry back in time and take all women along with them. Pitiful, really.

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      1. I often find myself humming a song that, when I pay more attention to the lyrics, is pertinent to something going on at the time. Odd feeling, but quite useful sometimes. Shame it has to be that one for you, just now!

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  3. Blargh, I hope this song doesn’t stick in my head. I agree with Polly, sometimes a song popping up out of nowhere has a message for me. Sometimes, though, I’m pretty sure it’s just my brain trying to torture me.

    My dad was a big fan of All in the Family. It had it’s moments. The episode with Sammy Davis Junior was a classic. I’ve seen a few episodes, or parts of episodes, in reruns and I still don’t appreciate the “humor” in Archie. In my little part of the world there are far too many people who agree with him. To some degree, it looked a lot like my family. Edith and Archie were caricatures of my parents, certainly, but not that far from reality. Dad always claimed that his racist/sexist/homophobic/bigoted/intolerant “jokes” were to somehow point out the foolishness of racism, etc. Or, alternately, he has told me that he acted like that because he knew it pissed me off. Nope, I don’t appreciate the satire at all.

    I try to be tolerant of others’ opinions. Sometimes I wonder why because those same others are not at all tolerant of mine. No, I don’t want to go back in time. There’s still work for us to do and backwards is not the direction we need to be headed.

    By the way, do you read Margaret and Helen? You totally need another blog to follow.

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    1. Zazzy, the Archie/Edith paradigm is alive and well around here to this day. It’s weird because it never dawned on me that ppl actually thought Archie was right about things. I mean, how could they? But they do, of course.

      I try to be tolerant of others’ opinions. Sometimes I wonder why because those same others are not at all tolerant of mine.

      Same here. I’m always open to whatever someone tells me [if it is based in facts], but find that sort of courtesy is not extended in my direction. If I want respect, I must call out the individual on his or her rude behavior– which makes me look like the heavy. It is very exasperating and tiring.

      And yes, I know about Margaret and Helen. I haven’t been there in quite a while so thanks for reminding me of them. Must check in with them soon.

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  4. I suppose we did know who we were back then. But we didn’t necessarily like it. Love how you’ve used the song as catalyst to further thought that is definitively timely 🙂

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    1. winsomebella, you make a good point. We all knew exactly who we were supposed to be, even if it did not reflect who we really were. Today things are better, yet there is always some person trying to drag us back in time. Mystifies me, it does.

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