Every time I hear the the song, "WE ARE YOUNG" by Fun. on the radio, I think that my mom would love this song's youth anthem and the sheer optimism of the music.

How many of you "belly sing" this song in the car?

"Tonight, we are young
so I set the world on fire
we can grow brighter than the sun"

I know the lyrics have a darkness and the mandatory hint of pain that all of the best youth anthems must have in them, but overall, you know no matter how much you hurt, you're going to get home OK in the morning. You may "feel like falling down" but he'll carry you home tonight.

Are you completely in love with this guy by the end of the song or what? He definitely has holes in his apology, but as Katy Perry says, "damn!" in "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)."

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My mom's favorite song was "Runaway" by Del Shannon. At her funeral, the audio system at the memorial service was new and untested and skipped back to "Runaway" over and over. Coincidence?


In college, I heard that Fabian was performing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa so I called the Five Seasons Center and spoke with an events manager and told him my mom was in Fabian's fan club back in the 1950s and he set up a backstage meeting between my mom, Fabian and me.
My mom was smiling like a twelve year old and couldn't think of a single thing to say to him, but Fabian shook her hand, hugged her and thanked her for being a fan and she squeaked out a "thanks."

Fabian's still rocking: Fabian's Website

Songs my mom used to sing were all from the late 50s/early 60s and I still know the lyrics. I'm sure the stories, rhythms and heart of those songs are what drive me to write.

This would be my mom's playlist in 1976 (oldies with a youthful bent or '70s country music):

▪Everything by Buddy Holly. EVERYTHING.

▪Del Shannon "Runaway," "Hats off to Larry," and "Little Town Flirt"

▪Dion and the Belmonts (she named my brother after Dion) "I Wonder Why," "In the Still of the Night" and of course, "A Teenager in Love"

▪Shangri-La "Leader of the Pack"

▪Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn "The Letter" (everything by Conway Twitty, but I remember this song the most)

Everything by Elvis Presley

▪Everything by Frankie Valli

▪Everything by Jan and Dean
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▪Beach Boys "Surfer Girl" (I swear she sang that to me when I was a baby!)

▪(and she had a soft spot for Pat Boone, although she thought he was a nerd)
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(Being nerdy wasn't necessarily a
bad thing to my mom. I think she wished she'd married the nerdy guys she dated instead of my handsome, but good-for-nothing dad.)

For women singers: she liked Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Crystal Gayle and Patsy Cline.

She sang Doris Day to me, too, "Que sera, sera." I associate that song with my Mrs. Beasley doll from the TV show, "A Family Affair."


Favorite TV shows with music: Ed Sullivan, Hee Haw, Sonny & Cher and she let us watch "Saturday Night Live" (which came on at 10:30 in Iowa) and "The Midnight Special" after she went to bed.

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I don't know how many nights I fell asleep on the floor in the living room and woke up with the TV station's white noise buzzing and a very stiff neck. No one carried me home, but heck, my room was just down the hall anyway.

Why is Fun.'s song inspirational to me? (besides making me think of my mom and remember all those other youthful anthems?):

Fun. facts:
▪just LOOK at how the band dresses - my mom would have dated any of those guys!
[image error]Billboard Article link

FUN.,'s website www.ournameisfun.com (tough band name to google!!!) They made it in spite on an "ungoogle-able" name!

▪Check out all the "how to get in" opps on their website and twitter - this band wants you to come see them!

Now this is what I love about Fun.:

As famous as they are, you can still listen to their music for free on myspace.com my link text

In 2009, the band released a free version of its song, "Not as Sad as I Used to Be" on myspace.com Link to Fun.'s music (free):

Letter from Nate (Nate Ruess):

"Yeah, I know..."its about time"...but really...it took forever to make
this record...and I honestly couldn't be more proud of the job that
Andrew, Jack, and I did...this is most certainly the best record I've
ever been a part of...and i hope when its released this summer that you
guys will still be around to listen and enjoy.

It has really been an amazing year of moving up, out, and forward...and
as a band we really feel like all this hard work (and silence) is going
to pay off for all of the listeners..."


I love to hear about artists who live their dream! Back in 2009, only a handful of people commented on Nate's letter, but take a look at the number of downloads on the band's myspace page now:

We Are Young 949,292 plays
Walking the Dog 384,299 plays
Stitch Me Up 62,397 plays

I'm impressed and inspired by Fun.!

Hope Fun. enjoys Chicago and LOLLAPALOOZA in August 2012!

Let's get out our blue suede shoes, put some has in the little deuce coupe, and run away faster than a roller coaster!

Fun. knew they'd made it three years ago. Believe in yourself. It's happening.

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Published on April 15, 2012 07:43 • 809 views • Tags: fun, inspiration, my-mom, success
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message 1: by T.D. (new)

T.D. McKinnon Hello Shawna,

Well, I'm old enough to remember all the above bands, or groups as we used to call them, and around that time, in the UK, I was also listening to Cliff Richard & the Shadows, Billy Fury, Adam Faith, The Tornados, Johnny Kidd & the Pirates and screaming Lord Such. I was very young I admit; nevertheless I do remember them and the feeling they generated.

I really came into my element a little later with what you your mum might have called the British invasion, with the likes of the Beatles, Manfred Mann, The Spencer Davis Group, The Troggs, The Who, The Alan Price Set, Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, The Animals et cetera.

I was sufficiently moved by your latest masterpiece of a blog to check out ‘We Are Young’ by ‘Fun’, something I must admit I wouldn’t have done had I not been following you. You’re quite right, they do have something there that is reminiscent of being young, reckless and bulletproof no matter your age.

Keep it up Shawna, I love your stuff.

message 2: by Shawna (new)

Shawna Hansen Great music, T.D.! What do you listen to when you write?

I think music is the best writing teacher on the planet.

Thanks very much for your kind words!

message 3: by T.D. (new)

T.D. McKinnon Depends what kind of mood I want to set, but Dire Straits takes me to a lot of ‘out-there’ places.

And you're very welcome; complements where they are due.

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