“The Beat Goes On” by Sonny & Cher
“The Beat Goes On” uses “beat” as a metaphor to represent life in general. The main message it carries is that life, just like a rhythm keeps moving along with all its challenges, and does not necessarily stop for anyone.
Both Sonny and Cher express that life is always in motion, in the sense that at one point a place or trend could be the craze, but this could eventually change as time goes. They make references to the different events that happened during the period of the song’s release such as the Vietnam War, electrical baseball scores, and teenyboppers. At the same time however, the singers also seek to establish the concept that there are certain phenomena that never seem to get lost in time. For instance, they make mention of Bums still begging for food, to imply that bad economies and inadequacy remain a constant problem. The beat, or better still life, continues just like the rhythm of a drum, and does not cease to move even when someone dies, losses something or gains something.
The song was performed at Sonny Bono’s funeral, while the phrase “The Beat Goes On” was engraved on his tombstone.