Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

With graduation time soon to be upon us, it dawned on me that the lyrics to the now "retro" and "old-school" Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen are just as meaningful today as they were when the song was originally released . . . in the 1990's.


As a refresher for those of you who are struggling to recall this gem, the Sunscreen Song as it came to be known was concocted by Baz Luhrmann and features the text of an essay written by Mary Schmich. That same text is often erroneously attributed to Kurt Vonnegut. (Just ask Ryan Barrett Walkush who wrote the lyrics to the Sunscreen Song!)


So, if you have an soon to be graduate in your life, perhaps you should consider hooking him or her up with this advice straight 1990's style or maybe even dust off the YouTube video (linked below). It's still solid advice today (just look at all the Harris Sisters posts I was able to link to the lyrics!):

Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99:

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be 
it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by 
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable 
than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh never mind; you will not 
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. 
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and 
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before 
you and how fabulous you really looked….You are not as fat as you 
imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as 
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing 
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that 
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm 
on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts; don’t put up with 
people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes 
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with 
yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive; forget the insults. If you 
succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your 
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they 
wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 40-year-olds
I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.


you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky 
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…whatever you do, don’t 
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your 
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. 

Enjoy your body; use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people 
think of it; it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the 
people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you 
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and 
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you 
knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live 
in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: prices will rise, politicians will 
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize 
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were 
noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, 
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one 
might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will 
look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who 
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of 
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the 
ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen…
♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪



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