Rock ‘n’ Roll is Here to Stay

Rock And Roll is Here to Stay
Danny and the Juniors (ABC-Paramount Records, 1958)

Rock and roll is here to stay,
it will never die,
It was meant to be that way,
though I don’t know why,

I don’t care what people say,

rock and roll is here to stay

I’ve always enjoyed the cheerful naivety of this song when listened to from the vantage point of the 21st century. Danny, and his friends the Juniors, are utterly emphatic about the durability of (historically short-lived musical movement) rock ‘n’ roll, little knowing that it would be all but dead within 6 years, thanks largely to the brand new sounds bursting over the Atlantic from Britain. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty of course, but even in the lyrics there are clues that Danny and his gang of Juniors are kidding themselves just a little bit in their refusal to envision an endpoint for their musical modus operandi…

Rock and roll will always be,
I’ll dig it to the end,

It’ll go down in history,

just you wait, my friend

I shouldn’t need to point out to anybody who’s gone to school, or watched Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, that history is something that’s only ever happened in the past (so far anyway), and the end typically comes when something is finishing (several times in the case of Return of the King). The glaring contradictions in this verse seem almost sweet in their naivety, until one remembers that Danny and the Juniors were actually a bunch of teenagers, and as such its highly probably that their lack of imagination is due entirely to childish stubbornness. In fact, when you start looking for it, all the signs of a belligerent youthful mind are right there in the lyrics: the refusal to accept the wisdom of others (‘I don’t care what people say‘); the aggressive lust for vindication (‘just you wait my friend‘); and the insistence that everyone yield to their own narrow worldview…

So come on,
everybody rock,

everybody rock,

everybody
rock,

everybody
rock…

Even if we are to be generous and ascribe the best intentions to Danny, and his mob of obstinate Juniors, one has to admit that the song is tempting fate a little bit. If that’s the case, I’m still waiting for someone to release “Shitty auto-tuned R&B is here to stay”…