If you lived with a four year old obsessed with George Ezra’s Shotgun song, who pestered you non stop all day asking “Mam can we listen to ‘underneath the hocksun‘ now?”, what would you do? Well, if you were me you’d start off by saying every time, “it’s not ‘hocksun’ Rian it’s HOT SUN, and NO we’ve listened to it ten times in a row already, please stop asking me!”

But then you’d get a genius idea. Buy the kid some headphones so to contain the torture. Why didn’t I think of it sooner?!

I admit it took me a few minutes to wonder about what sort of device to play the song on. I’m not about to spend a fortune on a fancy thing that would probably end up covered in peanut butter and swimming in the toilet after about 10 minutes. Growing up of course I started off my love of listening to music with my trusty Sony walkman, I still remember it. It was bright yellow, and it came with over the head style 80s headphones with the sponge surround… as I was typing this I wondered if Google would find it for me and low and behold, here it is! How I loved it!

My first music player circa 1989

So after a nice little trip down memory lane remembering how much I loved that walkman, it got me thinking some more. One massive difference between my childhood, and my children’s, is that for them everything is just instant. They will grow up having instant access to everything – movies, not watching ads, not having to fast forward or rewind… not having to wait for anything. It sounds great, and of course it lots of ways it is. But in other ways, it must result in them not really learning to appreciate things sometimes too. Surely getting instant access to whatever you need would teach you that that’s how life works all the time?

Maybe I’m way overthinking things here… at the end of the day it’s a kid wanting to listen to the same song on repeat, and I’m just looking for a way for me to not have to listen to it on repeat too. But it was in my head by now so I decided, retro is the way forward.

Growing up with tapes and CDs meant that you inevitably knew every single song on an album whether you liked it or not. Instead of making mixtapes they’ll make Spotify playlists…. instead of the agony of deciding which song got the chop because there simply wasn’t enough room on a tape or CD, they can just add thousands of songs to an endless playlist, and would they really listen to them all?

The way they listen to music will be totally different. Artists putting together albums will completely change.. it probably already has. As is probably normal for this stage I’m at in life, I couldn’t tell you now what song is at number 1.. are there even still normal charts or is all based on downloads? Who still buys CDs?

We do. First, we went to Argos to see if Discmans (discmen?!) were still a thing.. turns out they are, and at the grand old price of €17.99! Paired with a set of Batman headphones to balance the complete un-coolness of it all, we were almost set.

We then found ourselves in the CD aisle in Tesco for the first time in about ten years. Most of the CDs hadn’t changed either by the look of it. Eventually locating George Ezra (after having to Google to see what the album looked like) and making sure that Shotgun was in fact on it… I noticed the security tags that used to be attached to CDs didn’t seem to be a thing now, apparently people don’t even want to shoplift them anymore. Nevertheless into the trolley it went as Rian looked at it confused and said, what’s that square thing Mam?

I’m sticking to my guns on this one. The more I think about it, the happier I am. It’s inevitable that technology will catch up naturally with Rian and Alex, they’ll know more about it than I will as is the norm with kids and their parents, I’m sure. I don’t intend to apply this logic with everything, of course I’ll be encouraging it too. But for now, while he still thinks anything I do is the coolest thing ever regardless, I can at least have a chance at teaching them the fun of listening to albums… I’ll introduce some classics…or at least who we consider to be classics.

And job done. No more ‘underneath the hocksun’ for me, one happy retro four year old!

Rian examines ‘the weird square thing’
Posted by:Jen Ryan

I'm Jen, 30-something, married, Mam of two little Munchkins, 2 dogs, Irish, red-haired and actual genius. (May not be true). I love Photography, cheesy stuff (including the music), fond of a cup of tea or two, although since the Munchkins arrived and taught me that sleep is for the weak, coffee is currently in top position.

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