I was listening to the local oldies station today and Donna Summer’s Dim All The Lights came on, with its line “Turn on the old Victrola”, which refers to an old school phonograph.  I started thinking about obsolete references in songs, and realized there is probably a whole spectrum of such things (I am not well versed in current top 40 tunes so I cannot attempt any sort of off the top of my head blog post on this but I am going somewhere here).  The disco one given above is obsolete on purpose – it is clearly a nostalgic reference to the old days.  The obvious example of a dated reference from a song that sprang to my mind was “jump like a Willys in four wheel drive” from Sugar Magnolia, a Grateful Dead tune with music by Bobby and lyrics by Hunter.  There are several obscurities here; we now use Jeep to mean a different vehicle, Willys has been forgotten, and the lyric refers to a trick you could do with the old Willys.  I remember playing with a Matchbox  toy Jeep Willys depicting it in WWII action when I was a young boy and even then noticing that it was strange that a Jeep was called a Willys, so I imagine few people younger than me who listen to classic rock get the reference.

And yet…just when you form an opinion about something, your worldview is turned upside down.  While catching up on sports news I read this post (warning – very grim language) which has a reference to a watch fob (or watch and fob – a pocket watch with a chain).  The article got me thinking – a watch fob is one of those things that is very outdated.  Most people wear wristwatches – how silly to have a whole get-up where you pull something out of your pocket to check the time.  But…we are now, and have been for a while,  in the cell phone era.  And I (a person who never wears a watch and doesn’t even own one, as a point of pride) pull my cell out a dozen times a day or so to check the time.  For me, and I imagine for others with a similar bent, the cell phone has become a watch fob without the chain.  Funny how things come around again…

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