Blue Denim Love
I’m not exactly sure when I fell in love with blue denim jeans. I’ve looked back through the childhood pictures I saved from my Dad’s house and I don’t seem to be wearing jeans in any of them. According to Wikipedia, blue jeans became identified with youth rebellion when James Dean wore them in Rebel Without a Cause, which is probably why I didn’t wear them. I’m sure Mom wasn’t going to have any youth rebellion going on … with or without a cause … in the Reed house. I don’t remember wearing jeans in high school, either. Something called chinos had just come into style and jeans still weren’t allowed at school. What did I wear to work? I was a lifeguard, so it wasn’t jeans. By the time my sophomore year rolled around, though, I lived in jeans. Blue jeans and T-shirts to hang around in and sweaters with white jeans (which really were off white) for going out. When everyone wanted genuine Levi’s and the prices rose, I was perfectly happy to wear off brands and, although I eventually succumbed to pre-washed jeans, I’ve always liked a pair of jeans that I’ve broken in myself, a few small tears and a fray or two. They’re friendlier that way. I skipped the designer jeans fad entirely and it’s always been straight-legged please, no skinny jeans for me (I can’t fit in them). OK, I wore a few outrageous bell-bottoms in the seventies. And here we are, over forty years later and given a choice, I will put on a pair of blue jeans. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get to rebel with James Dean … I’m making up for lost time. Or maybe it’s because they remind me of those precious years in college or the rock groups I loved in the seventies. But really? I’m just more comfortable in blue jeans. I feel more like me in blue jeans.
According to Wikipedia, denim is a serge fabric originally made in Nîmes, France, by the Andre family. It was originally called serge de Nîmes which was shortened to denim in popular use. CNN tells me that Jacob Davis, a tailor in Reno, Nevada, came up with the idea of riveted pants in response to a customer whose pockets kept ripping. He feared someone might steal his idea and recruited Levi Strauss, owner of dry goods wholesaler Levi Strauss & Co., as a business partner. They obtained a patent on May 20, 1873. Maybe that’s why I love jeans … that’s my birthday (May 20, not 1873). Years ago, prewashed and pre-worn jeans were an environmental nightmare because of the huge amounts of water and bleach used in the process, but newer jeans are made using greener techniques like lasers. That’s good, because U.S. consumers buy 450 million pairs of jeans a year. So, I’m not alone in my Blue Denim Love. Of course, in the good old U.S.A. where there’s love, there’s music, and if you are a regular here on Older Eyes, you won’t be surprised that that’s where I’m headed … songs about blue jeans.
The oldest song I can remember about jeans is My Venus in Blue Jeans by Jimmy Clanton, which was a hit in 1962, the year I graduated from high school. It’s not the greatest of songs, but it’s kinda fun to listen to him singing it live a few years ago with his famous head of hair intact but gray. Man, am I jealous.
While hunting for songs about blue jeans I found this fun country song, Them Jeans, by Ray Scott. Perhaps he hit on the secret of why men love blue jeans … that women look so good in them.
My personal favorite is a bit more romantic, Neil Diamond’s 1979 hit, Forever in Blue Jeans.
How about you? Are you in Blue Denim Love? Do you have any favorite Blue Denim Songs? And have a great weekend.