Song of the Day, December 24: Compositions for the Young and Old by Bob Mould

MouldWBCompsToday’s song is a wistful bit of nostalgia from Bob Mould. Emerging from the wreckage of Hüsker Dü, the singer and guitarist crafted a powerful solo debut, Workbook. Filled with acoustic touches, it startled fans and critics, deriving its power from its subtlety. Given the circumstances, it’s no surprise that many of the songs are pensive looks at relationships and personal history. Compositions for the Young and Old uses a songbook as a metaphor for memory, with all its powers and flaws.

Things used to be so simple, long time ago
Now everything is so expensive and complicated
I hear you need a license for just about anything

Mould delivers the vocal with quiet passion, setting up the reminiscences with just enough fragility to put them into question. It’s a remarkable tension between memory and reality, one which he refuses to resolve. Thing were never as perfect as they seemed, but they provide our foundation. Sometimes all you can do — as Mould declares at the abrupt end of the song — is “eat peanut butter sandwiches and cry.”

Enjoy this dark meditation today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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