Jamie Cullum is one of my favorite musicians. He sings and plays jazz piano with a lighted-hearted, likable style. If you’ve never heard him, his Twentysomething album is a great place to start. In it, Cullum covers everyone from Cole Porter to Jimi Hendrix. But it’s an original track written by Cullum–“I’m a Twentysomething”–that perceptively expresses the quandary in which so many young people find themselves. The song reveals the thoughts of a young man fresh out of college and his contemplations about what he should do with his life. Maybe I’ll go traveling for a year Finding myself, or start a career Could work for the poor, though I’m hungry for fame, We all seem so different but we’re just the same. With a reference to his student loans, Cullum makes a wry observation about what his degree has done for his employment prospects: I’m an expert on Shakespeare and that’s a h— of a lot, but the world doesn’t need scholars as much as I thought. I suspect that more than one recent college graduate can relate. Then Cullum confesses that he doesn’t have a clue about how to proceed: Who knows the answers? Who do you trust? I can’t even separate love from lust. He observes how so many cope with the grind of the workweek. He hopes for something different but fears a similar fate: But don’t make me live for Friday nights Drinking eight pints and getting in fights Cullum mulls over love, marriage, career–and concludes none of these things can truly satisfy: There surely must be more Love ain’t the answer, nor is work The truth eludes me so much it hurts.
“I’m a Twentysomething” is a witty and catchy tune that expresses the dilemma of the human condition, particularly the condition of postmodern, western young people. The truth that he laments as “eluding” him is, of course, the Truth. We know the truth and can answer Jamie’s questions. So when the twenty-somethings in our lives question what life is all about, let’s be ready with a winsome presentation of the Gospel. This blog is cross posted at www.betweenthetimes.com
Date of original post: 2014-09-23