If you're over 40, you like the old songs. A lot. That's why there's so many oldies stations.
I noticed that this morning. I don't listen to the radio, and I do run with the windows down, so I hear a lot of stations over a month. I recognize the music rolling out of the windows of people my age. The Boomers are redefining the layout of the radio band as much as they are anything else, and I like it when they drive by because I get an instant warm feeling from whatever song they're currently ignoring.
And it makes me wonder stuff.
Are we hardwired to learn and like music in our teens, and after that everything we like requires extra concentration? I learned to like classical in my early 20's, and it still doesn't give me a warm fuzzy.
And I learned Camptown Races and She'll be Coming Around the Mountain (with variations) and others as a child, and they're still a part of my repertoire. There's hardly any cause to sing such songs any more, but they used to be a common language across generations according to popular American myth.
Amazing Grace is like that, or it was before it fell into complete disuse. These days you hardly hear it except on the bagpipes in movies that want to create instant grief. Just as I Am used to be one of those. I still wish it were around. It's probably my favorite sentiment, and statement of grace upon which I most rely. I chose it for my wedding 20+ years ago, and still love it.
It seems to me our churches are making a profound mistake by not perpetuating the common language of song. There should be (let's say) 8 songs that are sung at least 4 times a year, and everyone should be required to learn them. Anyone who is a member of the church should be able to sing these 8 songs, at least the 1st and last verses, without an overhead, hymnal, or karoake prompter.
Simple reality teaches me that the older folk ain't going to learn the new songs easily, so if we want the barrier to entry to be low for them, we should give the benefit of the doubt to an older hymn over a newer alternative.
What would your 8 songs be?
(Over the next week, I'll be at a conference in Wash DC, so I might actually be able to comment on this thread! WooHoo! Vacation!)