There’s something about old songs that makes them beautiful beyond their years. Maybe it’s the way they make us feel nostalgic and sentimental, reminding us of our formative years and shaping who we have become today, or maybe it’s the message they carry with them—one of love and loss, joy and regret—that resonates in our hearts even as the years pass by. Whatever the reason, old songs are timeless, and they can touch us like nothing else in this world can. So read on to learn why we love old songs so much!
What Makes an Old Songs Old?
Old songs have an unmistakable appeal. They transport us to a time before we were born, and give us a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves. Many are centuries old, but they’re sung in our churches and heard on our radios every Sunday morning. How can we explain their timelessness? A few reasons might help.
How to Find Good Old Music
In today’s new world of digital music, old songs are becoming all but forgotten. While there are many artists who have fought to preserve some of our favorite music and encouraged people to buy them (in doing so reviving their careers), most people have stopped looking. One reason for that is that some record stores no longer exist—and even when they do, they’re often hard to find. Another reason is that it can be a real chore to find these songs once you’ve found a store or website. And even then, it might take hours for you to track down just one song on an album. But good news—there are now several easy ways for you to find old music online!
Familiarity, Nostalgia, and Linking to Memories
It’s easy to see why we love old songs. They make us feel nostalgic, they put us in a good mood and they remind us of simpler times. But there are actually a few neurological reasons why we can’t get enough of them. Familiarity, for one, plays a big role. As soon as you hear an old song you recognize or any new song that brings back memories, your brain releases dopamine — which makes you happy. You start to recall things from your past (like when you first heard that specific song) and it activates similar parts of your brain that came alive when those memories were originally formed. These connections spark even more associations — leading to deeper levels of nostalgia and happiness than if you had just listened to any random tune.
Modern vs. Old Music Has Benefits and Downfalls
One reason we love old songs is that we’re familiar with them, but familiarity isn’t everything. It’s not just about hearing something you know—it’s about anticipating when a song will make you feel a certain way. The melody and lyrics of most old songs don’t feel like they have changed much since they were first released, while modern music varies wildly in its style and sound. This means that as listeners, we no longer have as many expectations for what a song will sound like; therefore there are less surprises to enjoy. Some might say that being surprised by music is actually more enjoyable than knowing what to expect every time you hear a song.
What Are the Best Old Songs?
Before you get nostalgic and start singing your favorite old songs, it’s important to acknowledge that old can mean a lot of things. At least in a musical context, it could mean pre-1950, post-1950 or anywhere in between. But most people would probably agree that anything released before 1990 is old at this point, so let’s just stick with songs from before 1990 for simplicity’s sake. The older a song is, the more likely we are to love it because music changes over time and hearing old music gives us an opportunity to see how music evolved and developed over time. Old songs have something great about them (catchy melodies? irresistible beats? simple yet meaningful lyrics?) that compels us to listen again and again.
If it’s been a while since you’ve visited your local record store, now is a great time to head out. Technology has made it easier than ever to listen to music from any device at any time, but there’s something about those old songs that will always tug at our heartstrings. There’s no one answer as to why we love them; instead, there are many reasons why old songs never seem to lose their appeal. And no matter how much technology evolves, some things will always stay (very) simple. So if you haven’t done so already, take a trip down memory lane and enjoy some old favorites with your family. You just might be surprised by what you find!