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Can songs be timeless?


A topic on an internet forum not too far from here. Various examples were proposed that might be timeless songs – examples from The Beatles, Dylan, Sinatra, et al. All the usual suspects. I opined that perhaps genuine folk songs that had been around for a couple of hundred years, or more, could lay some claim to quasi-timelessness – and maybe some plainsong from the abbeys and monasteries of the dark ages – but that no such claim could be made yet of anything from the genre of popular song.

Maybe, as is sometimes claimed, some contemporary songs may acquire the status of folksong – and hence a sense of timelessness – in a century, or two, hence. But not yet! The best to be reasonably aspired to in the early 21st century is some currency lasting slightly longer than five minutes…