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"Mandy" Wasn't Sucky; It Was About Depression

Monday, February 4, 2019 7:12 AM

Not so many days ago, it was “Bell Let’s Talk” day. It’s a pretty good idea actually. Spreading awareness about depression. The whole other part about raising money, and where exactly it goes, is something I can’t speak to. But suffice to say, the way we view depression has come a long way since I grew up in the 70’s.

Back then, if you were down, or “depressed," people would just say you were a downer, a bummer, or that were being (in the negative sense) depressing. The idea of supporting someone through tough times is new, strangely enough.

But recently, it occurred to me that there were loads of songs about depression back then. People reaching out through music - and this wasn’t even the Blues - in an effort to express their feelings and maybe feel a bit better.

I remember distinctly hearing Barry Manilow’s 1973 song “Mandy” first spill out of my clock radio. Let’s put it this way. You’d never want to admit to your friends that you actually listened to that song. We were all into Rock and Roll. Rock songs are tough. Listening to that tune now, I think, poor Barry, he was really dealing with a lot.

I went onto Pinterest and got this list of “Depressing Songs from the 70’s.” See, it was a “thing” back then. We just didn’t know it.