Science | Music | PSHE

Diana and Macca reign supreme at Glasto

Should we think of age as just a number? That is what the critics said after a triumphant Glastonbury festival was crowned by performances by two artists aged 78 and 80. Paul McCartney had just turned 80, but on Saturday night he sent Glastonbury wild. Playing for nearly three hours, he gave the festival – in the words of critic Neil McCormick – “one of the most thrilling, uplifting, banger-filled, star-studded sets” in its history. Earlier, 78-year-old Diana RossShe found huge success in the 1960s as lead singer of the Supremes. had got even the security guards dancing. “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?” McCartney had written in a jokey song when he was young. But now it was the festival-goers eating out of his hand. As McCormick noted, “You really haven’t heard a singalong until you have heard 200,000 voices bellowing the na-na-nas of Hey Jude into a starry Somerset night sky".  One of McCartney’s special guests was 72-year-old Bruce SpringsteenAn American singer known as “The Boss”. His best-known albums include Born to Run and Born in the USA.. Robert PlantFormerly the lead singer for Led Zeppelin, he appeared at Glastonbury with bluegrass singer Alison Krauss. had sung earlier on the Pyramid StageThe main stage at Glastonbury. Others include Avalon, Wow and the Rabbit Hole., aged 73.  On the night before McCartney, the headliner had been 20-year-old Billie Eilish. But, McCormick wrote: “Age was nothing but a number at Glastonbury.” The festival, he said, “was no battle of the ages". Instead, it showed the power of music to bridge the generation gap. Another journalist, Will Hodgkinson, called Glastonbury “one of the wonders of the modern world”, bringing a huge number of people together safely and smoothly. But if Glastonbury is a model society, the rest of the world has a lot of catching up to do – particularly with regard to age. In Western societies, Kate Kirkpatrick writes in Aeon, the idea of old age terrifies people: “Many attempt to push it as far away as possible, denying that it will ever happen.” In her book Old Age, Simone de BeauvoirA French feminist philosopher best known for her book The Second Sex. argued that this comes between us and those who are already old. They are made fun of and feel lonely and useless. Yet many old people have a great deal to offer the world. They should be helped to go on contributing. Should we think of age as just a number? Generation sensation Yes: As McCartney and Ross's performances show, old people can do amazing things, and a shared passion like music can bring people of all ages together. Some are old for their years, and some young for them.  

Continue Reading

The Day is an independent, online, subscription-based news publication for schools, focusing on the big global issues beneath the headlines. Our dedicated newsroom writes news, features, polls, quizzes, translations… activities to bring the wider world into the classroom. Through the news we help children and teachers develop the thinking, speaking and writing skills to build a better world. Our stories are a proven cross-curricular resource published at five different reading levels for ages 5 to 19. The Day has a loyal and growing membership in over 70 countries and its effectiveness is supported by case studies and teacher endorsements.

Start your free trial Already have an account? Log in / register