"The old days were better" argument was better in the olden daysI overheard a conversation, the likes of which are very routine. Essentially, someone will crib about the (admittedly) atrocious nature of most film songs. Then they will introduce a comparison to a 'guzaraa huaa zamaanaa' (sometimes so ancient that even the Archaeological Survey of India will be scared to swear any affidavits on its vintage and existence). They will say something generically disparaging about "hallii cha kaaLaat", mainly based on the evidence of radio shows that play the "good old songs".
O' eavesdroppee: do you honestly expect the radio shows to play equally appalling songs from the past, especially if no one pays them to do so? Will not the best songs of a generation find repeated resonance, in minds and media, in future years? Do you think we shall still be listening to hara-kiri invitations in 2 years time, let alone after 25 years?
The point, in a less smart-ass way, is this: surely every period of film music had its share of great output mixed with the dumplings of fly-by-night-release-by-day operators who just wanted to have a song you could take a break to. I'm willing to bet the proportions would have been the same. I can present anecdotal evidence of bad lyrics ("appalam-chappalam") and surely we can dig up a few hum-miyaas from before.
We'll see whose right when I overhear your conversations again in 10 years time.