Oh, Woodstock, how I long for thee. 1977 seems like a simpler time, in retrospect, I suppose. Perhaps I’m merely comforted by the thought of bands like Kansas existing, even if it just a distant, technicolor dream for poor ol’ millennial me. “Dust In The Wind” by old school rock band Kansas is somehow nostalgic for me, despite the fact that I was still almost twenty years from being born when the track was released. It’s a song that makes you feel, well, feelings. The melancholic soft rock melody serves as a foundation for the lyrics, questioning our existence and the inevitability of death, “Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.” We will all live and die, separately and simultaneously, but the earth that supports us will continue to grow despite us. It’s both a comforting and disturbing thought, staggering on the balance act of life and death.
The soft, plucky strums on the guitar and the harmonized vocals
transition seamlessly into an ethereal mix of viola and violin. The
song anchors an almost celestial, ghostly feel, mixed with an essence of the sublime – contrasting the somber, contemplative musings of the lyrics.
This track isn’t necessarily representative of Kansas stylistically,
but it does showcase the diversity of a talented group of musicians.
Do yourself a favour and listen to it – either for the first time, or
for the hundredth time. It’s a timeless ballad, and it stands out as
an emblematic track of 1977 specifically for this reason. People
change, bands change, music changes, but beautiful melodies and
meaningful lyrics will always mean something.
Listen to this track because it means something. And it probably always will.