17 songs your great-grandparents loved that are still relevant today.

I never quite understood why anyone would long for the "good ol' days."

I suppose if you're a well-to-do white guy, going back in time would probably be pretty fun. The three-piece suits, carriage rides, frequent fires, duels — you know, the stuff dreams are made of. 

But for the rest of us, there's not much to write home about. 


Though I will readily admit penny-farthing bikes are kind of cool. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

That is, until I discovered a treasure trove of old music. 

"The Tattooed Man," 1897. Music by Victor Herbert. Lyrics by Harry B. Smith. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

The good people at the New York Public Library recently digitized thousands of documents including more than 4,000 pieces of popular American sheet music from the 19th and 20th century. And if you're willing to sift through the frequent racism of the period, there are some real gems, many of which are very apropos today. 

In fact, here are 17 popular songs from the 1800s that are perfect for any contemporary situation. 

1. When your #TBT is really on point.

"One Year Ago To-Day," 1898. Music by Jos. P. Ramsdell. Lyrics by Nat Aschner. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

2. When you really want an electric car, then see how much they cost.

"If I Only Had a Job," 1898. Music by James B. Mullen. Lyrics by W.E. Browning. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Fear not! A recent analysis predicts electric cars will be cheaper to own than conventional models by 2022. So keep saving your pennies and get ready to fight for that clutch EV parking space at the grocery store. 

3. When anyone over 50 tells you how easy it was for them to graduate without student loan debt.

"I'm Not Old Enough to Know," 1890. Music by Frank David. Lyrics by William Jerome. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

They know the cost of a college degree has increased more than 1,000% since 1982, right?

4. When you make the mistake of teaching your mom how to use her emoji keyboard.

"Have Pity Judge, She's My Mother," 1898. Music and lyrics by Gussie L. Davis. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

How do you tell your mom this situation does not call for a smiley face with sunglasses? Hint: You don't. 

5. When you are fed up with explaining why intersectional feminism is important, but you do it anyway.

"I'm Tired," 1901. Music by by Jean Schwartz. Lyrics by William Jerome. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Because no one should get left behind when we're talking about equality, that's why. 

6. When you see someone throw a plastic bottle in the trash.

"The Day Will Come When You'll Be Sorry," 1894. Music and lyrics by Kurt P. Hirsekorn. Performed by James McGowan. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

The recycling bin is RIGHT THERE. Do I have to show you a picture of a turtle trapped in a set of plastic rings? Or all the plastic floating in the ocean? Because I will. 

7. When you need to tell someone they're not a special snowflake, but it's super hot outside.

"You're Not the Only Pebble on the Beach," 1896. Music by Stanley Carter. Lyrics by Harry Braisted. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

8. When you find out just how difficult it is to turn back the clock on climate change.

"Is Life Worth Living," 1896. Music and lyrics by Chas K. Harris. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

There's no going back, but we can do everything we can to protect the future. And some of the steps we're taking are actually working. Don't give up hope! 

9. When you like Kevin Bacon but you hate "Footloose."

"Summer Girl Song," 1894. Music and lyrics by Safford Waters. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

10. When you're still super pumped about marriage equality.

"I'll Marry the Man I Love," 1897. Music and lyrics by Monroe H. Rosenfeld. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

11. (Even if your family's not quite on board.)

"My Mamma Won't Let Me Come Out," 1895. Music by Alice Cady. Lyrics by George Cooper. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

12. When you realize kids born in 1998 can buy cigarettes.

"To Me You're A Baby, Dear," Music and lyrics by Edward Abeles. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

But not for long if they're in California, where the state assembly just broke a political logjam to raise the legal smoking age to 21.

13. When it's 3:30 on a Friday.

"I Trust the Happy Hour Will Come," 1893. Music by A. Templar. Lyrics by Julian Pauncefote.Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

14. When you find out someone close to you is voting for Trump.

"I Love You in Spite of All," 1893. Music by Chas K. Harris. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

And yes, it's OK to grieve the loss of common sense. 

15. When you decide to go #nofilter on your latest selfie.

"Take Me as I Am," 1899. Music by Andy Lewis. Lyrics by Joe Hurtig. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

16. When you can't find any Amur leopards or South China tigers.

"Has Anybody Seen Our Cat," 1899. Music by T.W. Conner. Lyrics by James T. Powers. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

But then you remember they're critically endangered and you feel bad, but instead of feeling bad, you decide to do something about it.

17. When you find out your special someone finished "House of Cards" without you.

"Those Wedding Bells Shall Not Ring Out," 1896. Music and lyrics by Monroe H. Rosenfeld. Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

So the next time you're looking for the right song for an ordinary (or extraordinary) occasion, ditch Spotify and try some music from days of yore.

While the haircuts, casual racism, and frequent fires should be relegated to the past, this music deserves to live on a little while longer. 

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Sometimes it seems like social media is too full of trolls and misinformation to justify its continued existence, but then something comes along that makes it all worth it.

Apparently, a song many of us have never heard of shot to the top of the charts in Italy in 1972 for the most intriguing reason. The song, written and performed by Adriano Celentano and is called "Prisencolinensinainciusol" which means...well, nothing. It's gibberish. In fact, the entire song is nonsense lyrics made to sound like English, and oddly, it does.

Occasionally, you can hear what sounds like a real word or phrase here and there—"eyes" and "color balls died" and "alright" a few times, for example—but it mostly just sounds like English without actually being English. It's like an auditory illusion and it does some super trippy things to your brain to listen to it.

Plus the video someone shared to go with it is fantastic. It's gone crazy viral because how could it not.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
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