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Readers recommend: songs about ages | Peter Kimpton

Terrible twos to sapient centenarians, fabulous 40s to tearaway teens, name your songs that make reference to being any age – real, perceived or imagined

“But I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now,” intones Bob Dylan on My Back Pages, inverting a perspective on age. But what does it mean to get older, or indeed, younger? “Adults are obsolete children,” said the perky, mischievous rhymer Dr Seuss. “A man growing old becomes a child again,” countered the beard-tugging Sophocles. “Forty is the old age of youth; 50 the youth of old age,” chipped in Victor Hugo. “Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you,” added Ogden Nash, in the rocking chair. “Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read,” said a sagely Francis Bacon. Can anyone do better than that? Reaching for the last word, Theodore Roosevelt remarked that “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” Oops. Indeed. Better get on with it then.

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