Wisdom in Nostalgia – The Teen Commandments

Over the weekend, I heard an “Oldie-But-Goodie” that I had entirely forgotten about. Paul Anka spoke the lyrics along with Johnny Nash and George Hamilton IV, and hearing them again brought a smile to my face as I thought about the wisdom in those words.

Paul Anka is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actor with a very impressive list of accomplishments. He first became famous as a teen idol in the late 1950s and 1960s with hit songs like “Diana,” “Lonely Boy,” and “Put Your Head on My Shoulder.” He went on to write such well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones’s biggest hits, “She’s a Lady,” and the lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s signature song, “My Way.”

However, Paul also wrote another song in 1958 that you may not be aware of. It was only 1:45 in length, but it packed a very powerful message for teenagers everywhere.It never really reached the “big hit status” of his other classics, but it was an anthem for teens at that time. Today, 52 years later, we look at the lyrics and are somewhat surprised that this advice still holds true today. Much of yesteryear’s wisdom should be revisited.

  1. Stop and think before you drink.
  2. Don’t let your parents down; they brought you up.
  3. Be humble enough to obey. You will be giving orders yourself someday.
  4. At the first moment, turn away from unclean thinking—at the first moment.
  5. Don’t show off driving. If you want to race, go to Indianapolis.
  6. Choose a date who would make a good mate.
  7. Go to church faithfully. The Creator gives you the week; give Him back an hour.
  8. Choose your companions carefully. You are what they are.
  9. Avoid following the crowd. Be an engine, not a caboose.
  10. Or even better—keep the original Ten Commandments.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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