The Godfathers “Birth, School, Work, Death” (1988)

godfathers

The Coronavirus era – I believe it’s now existed long enough to be considered as such – has pushed many of us to do some deep introspection, to reevaluate how we spend our time, live our lives, what to prioritize, what to let go of. Perhaps, in short, to seek the meaning of life (and not in the Monty Python way).

The Godfathers, an ‘80’s English punk/new wave band, seemed to have it boiled down to a pretty tight outline. There it is, on their biggest U.S. hit, a philosophy in four words: ‘Birth, School, Work, Death.’ That’s it, that’s the four stages (and it seems they didn’t exactly hold out much hope for retirement’s golden years). Maybe they were right. In the long run, maybe we should simply forgo our yearning, our exploration, our quest for some kind of a better world, and just accept the nihilistic sense that that’s all it is, all that life’s about. On the other hand, to cite a complementary view from a bumper sticker I once got a pretty big kick out of, what if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about? Besides, this song seriously wails; I feel like that’s got to mean something.


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