Wow! This guy can sing. He may be old, but what a voice! And the way he can stretch his notes, making them quiver with emotion.
Even the Righteous Brothers would have been impressed with this grandfather’s version of Unchained Melody. That’s what this video is called: Grandfather Sings. (See the full video.)
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it on popurls.
Heaven knows all things are possible with technology and the video isn’t giving away anything except the url (http://www.dump.com/grandfathersings/) and that it’s from Malaysia.
If that’s you singing indeed, Paps, what a full-throated testimony this is of talent not fading away with age.
We hear so much concern about an ageing population and the need to replenish the pool with young blood.
True, but are we making best use of the oldies? Are we writing them off a little too soon?
There’s almost an unshakeable conviction that only the young have the smarts to handle new technology. Lord love a duck! The gadgets are getting smarter, sleeker, more intuitive. One need no longer painfully tap out an SMS letter by letter on a cell phone. Use SwiftKey instead, which will find whole words for you. You just have to select the ones you need.
It’s not as if everyone has to be a geek with a degree in computer science or engineering. The whole point of innovation is to make the user experience better and easier.
And the technology is changing so fast the feature phone you used five years ago has become as outdated as the old rotary phones. Everyone has to adapt, the young and the old.
Of course, the young are more resilient, more adaptable. But don’t write off the oldies, please. They may not have outlived their usefulness.
One can understand the economic rationale for putting old fogeys out to pasture when there are young hopefuls waiting for jobs, promotions, marriage, parenthood — the whole shebang the old fogeys went through — and carry the nation forward.
That makes sense as advance planning, too. The oldies will eventually kick the bucket and have to replaced with young ones who will keep the business running.
But let’s not rationalize this economic imperative with assumptions about age and ability.
Rupert Murdoch still runs a media empire. John Updike was still at the peak of his power as a writer when he died at the age of 76 in January 2009. And we just heard Grandfather sing. Talent and ability have no specific expiry dates.
Taking a leaf from the Ecclesiastes, the Byrds sang in Turn! Turn! Turn! about
A time to be born, a time to die,
A time to plant, a time to reap…
Yes, we have to come to terms with the transience of life for our own peace of mind. But it does not come easy. It is only human to dream, to strive, to long for more.
Ulysses by Lord Tennyson is one of my favourite poems. It ends with the old Homeric hero, home after long adventures, restless to set sail again.
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are—
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
There’s something heroic in this refusal to bow down to age. For what is heroism but battling against the odds?
Ulysses expresses the indomitable spirit eloquently. But we see it around us every day in the old men and women working past their retirement age. They may be driven by necessity, but they have not succumbed to age. Carry on.