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.