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Everybody has a song, that sticks in their mind as THE track that summed up their youth!

Updated: Sep 27, 2023



Everybody has a song, that sticks in their mind as THE track that summed up some (or all) of their youth.


For me… it’s the SUNSCREEN SONG.

Not because the tune was particularly catchy.


Not because it was sung by a boyband that I had teenage designs on.

Not even, because the lyrics resonated fully…which of course they wouldn’t, at the age of 16.

What it was, instead, was the semblance of fear, almost, that this song stirred up.


A fear that ‘one day’, the words might make more sense than they did at the time.

Alas, true to the ‘in 20 years…’ prophesy, much of the lyrics do have new-found poignancy!


To anyone who isn’t part of the ‘class of 99’, the significance of this talking chart topper is probably somewhat lost.

If, however, you WERE old enough to have have platitudes of ‘the power and beauty of youth’, sounded out from the sub-woofers of your Vauxhall Corsa, then you’ll probably appreciate just how much the advancing years, have brought the wisdom and meanings behind the lyrics, into sharper focus.


Those so-called ‘greatest links to your past’ that didn’t seem so significant at 16, gain new-found appreciation at the age of 39, when reconciling who you were, with who you are, is no longer a one-person job!


Equally, hindsight seems to do to 90s photos, what filters do to todays. It smooths out the flaws that were so all-consuming at the time, and reveals instead the hidden world of possibility, that laid afoot of that awkward girl in the Global Hypercolour t-shirt.


The ‘get to know your parents’ platitude? That one cuts similarly deep.


Although heard with different ears now, I still have many moments of wanting to sound out this track full volume (Corsa-styleee!!) - even in spite of the nerves I know it will touch.


Perhaps it’s for the affirmations, that are still as relevant now as they were when love letters were a thing, and bank statements landed on the door mat!


Perhaps it’s the choral-backing of Everybody’s Free, and the choke-hold that that notorious beat has on a nostalgic Romeo & Juliet fan’s composure….every time?


Or, perhaps it’s just that sometimes, there’s no better voice of reason than the same one that has been helping sense-make life’s ‘unalienable truths’ for the last two decades.


The same voice that opened my eyes to the beauty magazine myth, and whose bubblegum and algebra analogy planted the seed that worrying about worrying… might not be the one.


The same voice that kick-started an unwavering SPF habit, that has lasted two decades.


Most importantly, however, the same voice that’s made me appreciate the value in those precious few friendships that have stood the test of time, and which the Sunscreen Song mandates we should all hold on to…almost as tightly as we do the soundtracks of our youth.



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