Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Pop Culture Numerology Desk: Seventeen

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Seventeen is an interesting year, especially for youths in these United States. Generally speaking, you're old enough to be mobile and independent, with your driver's license and your mom's car, but you're still legally a child. Despite plenty of typical anxiety and roadblocks, it was a pretty cool year for me: I got my first four-track cassette deck and graduated high school. But it's still a weird limbo time, boiling down and bottling all of the angst and frustration at the root of some of our best pop music. This has inspired quite a few memorable songs, in one way or another.

Some folks, like Ol' Blue Eyes, remember 17 as a very good year (at least for his lady friends):

William Shatner shares that sentiment:

Others, like Janis Ian, found it to be a really shitty time. Hey Janis, bet you weren't as short and funny-looking as I was. At least I had the option to grow a beard.

The age of consent changes from place to place, a fact celebrated obliquely in this Beatles classic:

And to a somewhat lesser extent by Martyn Ware and company, freshly out of The Human League:

But perhaps most of all by Ghostfinger:

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