Trisha Yearwood hit the proverbial nail on the head with her song, “The Song Remembers When”:
I was standing at the counter/I was waiting for the change/When I heard that old familiar music start/It was like a lighted match/Had been tossed into my soul/It was like a dam had broken in my heart. After taking every detour/Getting lost and losing track/So that even if I wanted/I could not find my way back/After driving out the memory/Of the way things might have been/After I’d forgotten all about us/The song remembers when. We were rolling through the Rockies/We were up above the clouds/When a station out of Jackson played that song/And it seemed to fit the moment/And the moment seemed to freeze/When we turned the music up and sang along. And there was a God in Heaven/And the world made perfect sense/We were young and were in love/And we were easy to convince/We were headed straight for Eden/It was just around the bend/And though I have forgotten all about it/The song remembers when. I guess something must have happened/And we must have said goodbye/And my heart must have been broken/Though I can’t recall just why/The song remembers when. Well, for all the miles between us/And for all the time that’s passed/You would think I haven’t gotten very far/And I hope my hasty heart/Will forgive me just this once/If I stop to wonder how on Earth you are. But that’s just a lot of water/Underneath a bridge I burned/And there’s no use in backtracking/Around corners I have turned/Still I guess some things we bury/Are just bound to rise again/For even if the whole world has forgotten/The song remembers when/Yeah, and even if the whole world has forgotten/The song remembers when.
If reading and the written word are the two great loves of my life, so far as enjoyable activities go, then music is a very close second in the race to claim my heart. You might not know this, especially if you’re new in my life, but about a million years ago, music was one of the sole focuses of my life: I was a student of piano, voice, and yes, trombone for years. I even have several blue ribbons and awards for state competitions for my piano playing.
Being the emotionally driven being that I am, naturally, certain songs can drive me to certain emotions: The Ave Maria? CanNOT listen to it without sobbing in memory of my grandmother and several aunts and uncles who have passed on. Beethoven’s Ode to Joy? I’d call it “classic”, but, really, isn’t it already? The feel of granduer and expansiveness and just sheer explosive force behind it. I can practicially feel my the ivory under my fingers from the countless times I practiced that particular piece again and again. I could go on and on. But I won’t. Because its time for me to list the songs I used to hear on the radio so much I’d think to myself, “Oh god! Not AGAIN!” But now I miss them and wish like hell they’d come on more often.
The Lightning Seeds, “Pure”. Released on 26 June, 1989, it’s just one of those songs I hear and remember my tight rolled pants, three pairs of alternating colored socks, and big hair that required a bottle of hair spray to keep in place. When I mentioned this song to a friend of mine recently, she told me she still had the actual cassette tape of the song (if you don’t know what a cassette tape is? I’m thinking you’re probably too young to be reading my blog… and isn’t it past your cerfew?).
Level 42, “Lessons in Love”. Released in 1986, back when I was a mere 9 years old. I can remember laying across the floor boards of my Mom’s car and hearing it on the radio while we drove around the city we were living in at the time (yes, that’s right. Back in the 80’s? Your kids had free reign of the car. I can even remember an uncle who cut the seat belts out of his car because, well, he could.)
Def Leppard , “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. Released September 8, 1987 in the UK. I’m not going to explain why this song is on this list.
Sir Mix-a-Lot, “Baby got back”. Released May 7, 1992. Okay, so maybe 2%, if that, of women in the world are painfully thin with no curves. The other 98% of us? Not so much. I myself am curvy, and damn proud of it. Even on the rare occassions in my life when I’ve been a size 4? I’ve still got an ass and the boobs to go with it. Sir Mix-a-Lot said what needed to be said, and that’s that his “anaconda don’t want none unless you’ve got curves hun”. Plus, its just a damn catchy tune. Try to not hear it on the mental stereo you have; I guarantee you’ll probably be consdiering a hit man for me, if only to make it stop playing again and again in your head.
Ty Herndon, “What mattered most”. Released in 1995, I can remember first hearing this song and wishing like hell my then boyfriend would listen to it and take the words to heart. I don’t care if you abhor country music, the lyrics alone are worth it. You simply cannot get around a man passionately singing the words, “Oh my god, what did I do?” in regards to the loss of a relationship, in full recognition of how he totally fucked it up. This song is a song for anyone, man or woman, that has looked back and thought, “Jesus Christ, I am a total fucking moron!” after a relationship has ended.
Anngun, “Snow on the Sahara”. Released in 1997, for me, “Snow on the Sahara”, just reminds me of my early twenties. If there was a soundtrack for my tumultuous early twenties and heartbreaking first marriage? That song would make it each and every time.
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, “Zoot Suit Riot”. Released in 1997, it was one of many songs in the late 1990’s that broke out huge with the re-occurance of the swing-dance craze. Swing dancing is a huge, huge part of my childhood: Everyone in my family can do it, benefitting from some very talented aunts and uncles passing the bad ass dancing torch on to their children and siblings’ children. It is without a doubt, one trait you do not mind passing on to your children in our Catholic-sized family.
KC and the Sunshine Band, “Keep it comin’ love”. Released 1977. lDo I really need to explain why I dig this song? Okay fine, I’ll explain it: You can shake your ass to this song, end of story.
The Village People, “YMCA”. Released 1978. Okay, I explained “Keep it comin’ love”. If I have to explain this one to you? Just go ahead and remove yourself from my life.
Buzzcocks, “Ever fallen in love”. If you’ve ever been in a relationship where the fighting was as good as the sex? This is a song that sums it up perfectly. No other way around it.
Seals and Crofts, “Summer Breeze”. Released 1972. Try to not think about sitting in a comfy chair in your backyard with some nicely iced lemonade (or if you’re me, vodka), in 80 degree weather during the gloaming, while listening to this song. It quite simply screams relaxation and vacation time with nothing to do but just simply, be.
Don Henley, “The End of the Innocence”. Released 1989. The title of this song says it all. We all have a moment when looking back over our youth, we remember as being the one that our own childhood began fading.
John Cougar Mellencamp, “Jack and Diane”. Released 1982. There is absolutely no way around it, JCM knows how to write damn good music. For me this song is remnicent of Chanute, Kansas, the very small town my father grew up in. My all time favorite line? “Hold on to sixteen as long as you can/Changes come around real soon make us women and men”.
What song do you miss hearing way too much?