Monday, November 16, 2009

Where'd that tune take you?

Cheryl's post over at Special Sauce got me thinking about music recently.  Well, her post and the fact that my free subscription to satellite radio expires in a week.  I've been rocking the 80s station (when I can convince the Babies on the Bus to switch from Kids Place Live), and sometimes the 90s station when David Hasselhoff is on the 80s one. 

You know those tunes, the ones you only have to hear the first 3 bars and you are instantly transported to a very specific time, and a very specific place?  Those are the ones I've been thinking about.

I'm not talking about Our Song-type of tunes.  I mean, how played out is 'Brown Eyed Girl' (although still awesome) or Forever Young?

I'm talking about random moments in your history that are immediately evoked when you hear a song:

- to that random day in 8th grade when you sat on your front steps calling WAVA 105.1 and requesting 'Twist and Shout' because you loved it so very much in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

-to the apartment you went to with friends for your very first Senior Beach Week (you were a freshman, but whatever) and you watched MTV all morning until it was time to go out in the bikini and get in the peak tanning hours.  All you have to hear now are the drum beats at the beginning, and Aerosmith's 'Rag Doll' takes you right back to debating which bikini hid your stomach pooch best.

-to a high school Community Service Day one October, when knowing all the lyrics to Violent Femme's "Blister In The Sun" became critically important.

- to a car driving through the wilds of the Lake District in the UK, arguing vigorously that Eric Clapton's "You Look Beautiful Tonight"  was not inspired by his irritation with his partner's insecurities, but rather by an altruistic romantic reflection.

-to a deserted apartment complex on Tenerife, dancing with abandon to The Lemonheads "It's A Shame About Ray."

- Hearing someone sing U2s "All I Want Is You" - and changing my mind about that particular singer, forever. (In a really good way.)

-to my small cottage in Sonning, Berkshire, pacing the floor the entire night holding my squalling newborn girl, with Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me" on Repeat, over and over and over and over.

- to my old Ford Explorer, listening to the same little girl, at 14 months, croon "ooooh oooh, oooooh oooh" along with Norah Jones' "Sunrise."

You will note these are not edited for any factor of coolness, and a few are in fact exceedingly lame.  I make no apologies.  I can't help what my memories are.

Here's the thing, the absolute power of music.  Whether you consider yourself a music geek, a music novice, or someone entirely indifferent to tunes, there is this primal instinct in all of us that takes notes bars and chords and turns them into visceral experience.  You may hate the song, you may love the song, but the song will forever own a part of you.

And now ladies and gentlemen, I will go and tunelessly hum 'Rag Doll' for the rest of the evening.  Excellent.   Now it's your turn.  Go ahead, the comment box is right down there.  Let me know your music memory, even if (especially if!) it is completely uncool.


Cheryl said...

Glad I could inspire! ;)

The only music that would calm Sawyer in the car when he was a baby was Simon & Garfunkle, so I always think of that when I hear them.
Sudio (remember that? Phil Collins?) reminds of the drive-in in high school.
And More than a Feeling by Boston totally reminds me of drinking Bud Kingers before a high school dance!

Ah, memories..

kirsten said...

SO WEIRD - I was just reading your comment and Phil Collins came on T's Pandora station. But not Sudio.

See?!?! Once you start, there is no end to the memories attached to the tunes.

lisa lang cluff said... seems like a bus trip in high school, maybe it was our Senior trip to Florida? It seemed like Erasure seemed to be the tape to have in the walk man. I don't even remember what album, but I think it was yours that you had copied onto one of those clear yellow looking tapes. I can still hear the songs in my head....

Anonymous said...

You took me down a walk on memory lane. Music inspires me and brings back more memories than I sometimes wish to admit.

Songs are my way of time travel.

melissa Wood De Leon

Xander said...

My grandest memory ever is accompanied by Meatloaf's Paradise by the dashboard light. I swear she could have loved me for ever, especially after my moves on James Brown's Sex Machine. That one moment, I was THE silver back male at a high school dance.

kirsten said...

Xander, you ARE the silver back male.

Wendy said...

Queen's "I'm Going Slightly Mad" will forever conjure up images of David, holding a very tiny Genevieve on his forearm, with her head in the palm of his hand, swaying her gently back and forth and crooning softly to get her to sleep. Bless.

kirsten said...

oh that's a lovely memory Wendy. That the song title makes it all vaguely absurd is even better. :) I remember Torbjorn doing that w/ all of ours, but w/out an accompanying soundtrack.

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