The Songs We Will Sing.

# 25: If You’re Going to San Francisco: Scott McKenzie:1967

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At the beginning of 2022 when I decided to write about the songs we will sing, I scribbled dozens of song titles into my little purple book. There is little rhyme or reason to the order in which they appear in the blog; it is usually because of a conversation I have had, something on the news, an article I have read or a current life event which makes me think of a particular song.

San Francisco has been on my mind lately. It keeps popping up in the news and in articles I read. This week, in San Fran, the police pulled over a car which was driving in the dark without the headlights switched on. Upon pulling the car over it was found to be a driverless car, so a small problem there; who do you book? While the coppers seemed to be working this out, the car just took off. There is no doubt that electric driverless cars are a part of our future; a computer on wheels, but apparently when it is dark enough to turn the lights on still needs to be fine tuned.

The Economist
Can a new mayor fix San Francisco’s housing and homelessness problems? | The Economist

More sobering was an editorial written by Peter Gleeson and published in the Courier Mail on March 19th 2022 which highlighted the crime, homelessness, drug abuse and hopelessness which now plagues the beautiful city of San Francisco. A quick google search will bring up articles such as “Can San Francisco be Saved?” as it grapples with homelessness, housing affordability, and deteriorating living standards.Can San Francisco be saved? | Fortune

So all this brings me to my song for today. Scott McKenzie’s best known hit single of 1967, San Francisco – Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair which was a celebration of the hippie culture of the time as well as the beautiful city of San Francisco. McKenzie passed away in August of 2012 and so it seems has the San Francisco he sang about.

Nevertheless, hope springs eternal and there are those who believe San Francisco can most definitely be saved. I have never been to San Francisco but I can promise you if I ever do, I will be sure to wear some flowers in my hair.

Scott McKenzie – San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) – YouTube

It is a beautiful song accompanied by a lively video clip which celebrates colour, flowers, love and freedom. I do wonder though if the lyrics of, “there’s a whole generation with a new explanation” some 55 years later has brought a lot of answers to the world. It reminds me of a very old saying which goes something like, your best quality taken too far becomes your weakness. There is a lot of truth in those old sayings.


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