When I was in elementary school, my dad would play 50s rock and roll records on the weekends. One lazy Sunday afternoon, Dad was listening to Carl Perkins in his study. I heard that rockabilly sound and I felt transformed! At that moment, I could have cared less for Salt-N-Pepa and Lisa Lisa! I wanted more guitar and upright bass!
As a seventh-grader, I knew more about Bo Diddley and Duane Eddy than I did about Poison and White Lion! (Gross!) I had no interest whatsoever in most modern music. If I wasn't listening to 50s rock, I was playing my Depeche Mode, Cure, and Echo and the Bunnymen tapes.
Putting musical taste aside, music is just one of those things that has this exceptional ability to trigger memories. Not only do I love 50s music, I cherish it simply because it reminds me of my dad and being young.
Whenever I hear any Depeche Mode song, I remember the fun moments spent with my best friend, Sunny, when we were in middle school. The very first time I had a sleepover at Sunny's house, we sat on the floor and listened to the entire "Speak and Spell" album. One song in particular, "Boys Say Go," was just totally ridiculous! I do not think the band meant it to be that way but it was funny regardless of the intent. The crazy beat combined with the inane lyrics caused Sunny and I to 'lose it!' She and I were laughing so hard that we woke up her mom and dad! Her mom knocked on the door and told us to "keep it down and go to bed!"
In 1989, my mother and I took a trip to Ireland and the UK to visit family. One of my cousins was totally in love with Robert Smith from the Cure. At this point in my life (14), I heard of the Cure but I was unfamiliar with their work. My cousin took it upon herself to introduce to their music and she lent me "The Singles" album. Again, I had another "transforming life moment." The Cure became an instant favorite.
As we ventured further west towards the Continental Divide, the road became white with snowpack. My father-in-law was driving and he decided to slow his speed. I was already feeling restless so I reached into my bag for my Walkman and I put on my headphones and pressed "Play." "A Forest" by the Cure flooded my ears and I felt like I had my own soundtrack. Together, the foreboding lyrics and the eerie pangs of Robert's Smith's guitar seemed to mirror the somber mood of the darkening crevasse. The once-white snow turned blue as the heavy clouds consumed the last remains of sunlight. There was uneasy feeling of danger mixed with a tranquil serenity. The snow began to fall harder as the car engine groaned in a futile effort to fight the ever-changing tilt of the road.
No matter where I am, if I hear "A Forest," I immediately see the mountains of Colorado in my mind. That song will always remind me of that snowy ride.
There are so many examples of songs that trigger memories. I could "go on and on" but I would never stop writing! Both "Feed the Tree" by Belly and "Linger" by the Cranberries reminds me of bad (stupid!) ex-boyfriends. "Whoomp There It Is!" by Tag Team brings me back to the summer between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. That song was played so much on the radio and MTV! I really liked it at first but after a while, it drove me nuts! Another freshman year overplayed tune was "Funk Dat" by Sagat. "Why is it that bums ask me for money, when I ain't got none?"
As I get older and the years continue to slide by, I keep adding to my 'music and memories' collection. I do not mind. In fact, I love it. Music-inducing memories indicate that I am trying to "take it all in" before it's "my time." I am looking forward to the many memories to come for sure.
So, do you have songs that remind you of special times?