The ‘70s were kind to the Irish, that is to lovers of ballads. There was If You Could Read My Mind, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, Lukenbach Texas, Witchita Lineman, Three Times a Lady, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, You Light Up My Life, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head and much of the Carpenter’s oeuvre, to name a few. Songs seemed slow in the ‘70s, ballad-slow. There was more of a reflectiveness and a inner-directedness, for good and ill.
Since time varies, moving faster (perception-wise) earlier in life than later, I’m never quite sure if those balladeer days were slow of their own accord or aided and abetted by a culture that was reeling from Vietnam and was ready for some “downtime”. Perhaps both.
Rock philosopher John Cougar Mellancamp counselled “hold onto 16 as long as you can”. It sounded like good advice at the time, though my credo was to hold on to 10 as long I could. (At 16, I was working at McDonald's and lacked a girlfriend.)
“A good age,” I recall my mom saying, or maybe grandma, at my tenth birthday party. Perhaps a throwaway line for whoever said it but there are no throwaway lines to someone receiving it for the first time. It never occurred to me at the age of ten that some ages could be "better" than others. When young we think we're immortal and immutable.