The songs of your life

I got this idea while writing a comment on a post by Dee, so if the first part of these seems familiar you know why.

Whether you are totally into music, a musician yourself, a songwriter, or someone with no special connection to music other than you simply listen to it – I know you can relate to this. Just as scents can spark memories, so can songs. Certain songs, no matter when/where you hear them, can bring you back to a particular time and place they were playing in the background of your life that carries significance. For whatever reason, some days and events stick in our mind more clearly than others. These are the ones that stick out for me as I sit to type this:

Milli Vanilli – Blame It On The Rain –  This is the one I wrote about to Dee. Hearing this song takes me back to the house in Pacific Beach that was shared by some Swedish guys, one of them being Sportsboys’ dad. One of his roommates somehow left this song on an endless loop on his cd player one Sunday. A typical Saturday night there consisted of people wandering in and out with food and drinks while music blared and the living room became a dance floor. Ever mindful of drinking and driving, people either walked home or simply crashed out in various parts of the house inside and out. When you woke up you never quite knew who you might see or if they were fully dressed 🙂 But it was such a simple time compared to now of course. The sounds of that song, the clink clank of the bottles in the alley as the neighborhood homeless scrounged for recycling (and that house was a PRIME source!), sleeping in because there was no where you really had to go other than maybe wander down to the beach later on. Ahhhhh.

Journey – Don’t Stop Believing –  Summer of 1983. I know, everyone else now thinks of the Sopranos finale, but not me! This was The Band for me in high school and Steve Perry was a god to me (Still is. Have I mentioned that he lives in Del Mar and I am dying to just, you know, run into him?!) I saved money from my summer job at the Wild Animal Park and went with my high school friend to see Journey in concert. 5th row center seats on the floor. $90 each back then. Big Money. We were so thrilled. Planned it out so that we would get there in time to see the opening act (Bryan Adams). Good thing too. Because while stuck in traffic on the offramp, I turned to her and said “where are the tickets?” Yep. Not there. Why? Because she drove up to my house and hopped out of her car into mine and…left the tickets in the center console of her car. AUUUUUGH!!!! I pushed that Toyota Corolla to maximum speed back to my house 20 miles away and then *back* into that off ramp traffic and finally into the arena where we found our seats and…lights out…music on..Don’t Stop Believing. Neil Schon playing the guitar right in front of us. Super tight jeans. The opening piano sounds. Steve Perry wearing the same yellow shirt as in this video singing the opening line “Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world, she took the midnight train going anywhere.” Then Neil does his little crescendo solo…..pure heaven. We made it!!!! I am back in the Sports Arena when I hear that song every single time.

Alanis Morisette – There R The Thoughts –  You knew there would be Alanis! Picking one would seem impossible, but it was actually not hard. This one spoke to me so so perfectly at a time when I really was sorting through a lot in my head. My marriage to Sportsboy’s dad was clearly over and I was facing the second failure on that front, yet was strangely feeling more alive and exhilarated and inspired than I ever had. I would go on walks at night playing this song and breathing in the ocean air and look at the moon through pine trees and somehow knew I was doing the right thing and it would be OK no matter what. I was awake and aware and not afraid.

The Beatles – Day Tripper – It was 1982. The Bishop’s School Performing Arts group was on a tour. Traveling in buses up the coast performing in private high schools from LA to San Fransisco. I was int he dance group. On the way back down, we stopped to stay at a house in an area of the LA hillsides where houses are far apart – like ranchos – spread out along winding roads. The road leading to this house was essentially private and this being the last night until we returned to school, we were ready to party. The group included a three piece band. Guitar, base and drums. The band setup in the driveway as we wandered up the road after dinner talking and rehashing the tour. All of a sudden that oh so distinct beginning of this song echoed across the canyon…and we all rushed back to the house and danced in that driveway as our band played.

I am sure more will hit me later, but this was off the top of my head. So, what about you? What songs take you back to a specific place and time no matter when and where you hear them? Reply in the comments or post on your blog (permission to steal this meme IOW) with a link back to this.

One thought on “The songs of your life

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  1. Thanks. Just when I had finally gotten “Blame It On The Rain” out of my head, you wedge it back in there. Plus, it was raining here last night which really had me going. Everyone in this house now hates me. 🙂

    I will give this more thought and work up a post. (and, yes, i’d call this a meme…congrats, you’re the originator of the songs of your life meme!)

    (and i’m still singing about the rain that was fallin’ fallin’…ahhhhhh)


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