It is amazing how music can bring you back to a place. Let’s go through some of my most vivid musical memories.
Dad and Mom sang to us a lot when going to bed and while we were on road trips. Dad actually had the foresight to record some of his most memorable songs. You can actually hear him singing them! Some of my favorites include “Froggy Went A-Courtin’“, “Little Tom Tinker,” “The Erie Canal,” and “Streets of Laredo.” I hear these songs and I’m transported back into my warm, cozy bed.
Mom also sang to us. The below song is a favorite of ours, and it is not uncommon for one of us as grown-ups to start singing it, then have the entire family join in. What a totally singable song!
Christmastime was ripe with Christmas musical traditions. While we had nothing against traditional Christmas music, but if Dad was in charge of the Hi-Fi, we giggled and laughed at the more raucous music.
As the youngest, I shared the bedroom with up to four other girls (my bed was dad’s old army cot that slipped under one of the bunk beds during the day). With all those older sisters sharing the room, I was exposed to all of their favorite music. #3 (Judy), at one point had a boyfriend named Mickey. When this song comes on, I am sitting on a bottom bunk watching her choreographed dance to this song on repeat.
One of my favorite things to do growing up was to go cruising with #2 (Chuck). We would get some ice cream bonbons, cruise up and down Olympic View Drive, and maybe stop at #1’s house to hang out. He was all about the techno, and during this song I’m singing at the top of my lungs with the windows down, and a bon-bon melting in my mouth.
We fell asleep listening to the radio station (one of my sisters fingers glued to the record button in search of creating the perfect mix tape). I heard this song for the first time half between sleep and wakefulness. It was so memorable to me because after the song was finished, the DJ came on and said there were so many phone calls while it was playing from people asking about it, that he decided to play it again!
As the youngest, my older siblings were often away from home, as well as the parents driving them, so I spent more time than others at home alone. I think of being home alone and music, and this song jumps into my head. I am sweaty and manically dancing between flipping the small record from one side to the other until someone got home.
My first obsession was for myself was New Kids on the Block (of course!). We had the posters, the lunch box, the cassettes… we had even recorded one of their concerts onto VHS and I remember running home from school to watch it for about a month straight. But when this song comes on, I’m in the car explaining to Mom about who this boy band is, and how cool they are.
We finally moved up in the world and moved from record player and cassettes to CD’s. Whoa. We joined Columbia House CD club and previewed their catalog where you pulled off the perforated stamp with a CD cover, licked it, and put it in the box. Someone got Depeche Mode, which I found horribly moody, but I fell in love with Roxette!
Mom and Dad got some 50’s 2-cd set that we listened to a lot. And I mean A LOT. This is the first song on it, and when I hear it, I’m back sitting at the kitchen table playing Pinochle or hearts with them.
As Mom grew older, she started listening to country music (what else could you listen to in podunk Walla Walla, Washington?) And I admit, there were a few songs that we really latched on to. #9 went out and bought this cassette, and I remember her yelling at me because I’d listen to the same song over and over again, and she said I was going to ruin it. I’d wipe my ugly-crying face of its tears and move on to the next song… but it was never as good.
The first airy electronic chords of this song comes on, and my heart is beating faster. I’m in a darkened room eyeing the walls trying to make eye contact with some shy boy so I can smile at him and he’ll get the courage to come over and ask me to dance. Oh, 14 years old is so awkward!!
High School was filled with camps (How did they afford them all?? I’m dying as a parent!), and when this song comes on, I’m in a crowded auditorium watching the boys in my camp group lip sync to this song. And. It. Was. Awesome. Swoon!
I understand that lots of other people used this song during their high school graduations, but it was released the year I graduated. And it was BIG.
Do you have any songs that yank you back to a certain point in your life? Share with us below in the comments!