Tuesday, July 23, 2013

soundtrack of my memories

I'm pretty sure that if you are a living, breathing human being with ears you can say that music has played a role in your life. I'm not here today to make any monumental declarations. Sorry bout that.

But there are certain songs... you know the ones... when they come on, you are immediately transported back to the first time you heard them, or at least the first time they ever held meaning to you, and no matter what else happens, you can't shake that first time. They give you chills and for a split second take you to another moment, a moment beyond just thinking about how much you used to love that song. I mean, I am loving "Blurred Lines" like every other person listening to pop music this summer, but will it stand the test of time in my memory? Probably not. But these will.

"Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band / Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man / Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand" - Elton John, Tiny Dancer

I was in 8th or 9th grade and my dad came to pick me up from my mom's. He had his laptop in his car (which seemed SO high tech at the time) and pressed play on a slideshow of photos of him and his brothers and sisters as kids as the song played. I'm sure I had heard it before, but I never listened. Every time I've heard the song since, I think of my aunt in a tutu as a little girl.

And yes, seeing Almost Famous a few years later helped to cement my love. Let's not talk about the Penny Lane suede coat I had, kay?

"Something in the way she knows / 
And all I have to do is think of her / 
Something in the things she shows me / 
Don't want to leave her now / 
You know I believe and how" - The Beatles, Something

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was my favorite book in high school. I was re-zoned from a school where I had friends who got me to a school where I never quite fit in. I read this book and basically wanted it to be my high school life. The main character, Charlie, hears the song "Something" and vows that he will give his record to the first girl he finds that's as beautiful as the song and I always thought that was a wonderful sentiment. (I haven't seen the movie; I worry that it will affect my affection for the novel). It has always stuck with me and I think of it each time I hear the song.

 I saw Paul McCartney in concert last year and he played this song on ukelele and dedicated it to George Harrison and it was beautiful, but I still prefer the original.

"If I knew all the words I would write myself out of here / If I was all the colors I would paint you pretty in gold in a picture" - Jason Mraz, Zero Percent Interest

If you've read my how we met story, you know that Andrew and I were largely introduced via Instant Messenger. The year was 2006 and he was a huge Jason Mraz fan and I loved Matt Nathanson. We were having a "Who's a better songwriter?" competition and he IMed me these lyrics, which I had never heard before and said something along the lines of "How can you argue with a song like that?" I couldn't. I think he sent me more of the verse but these are the lines I remember and every time I hear this song on a Spotify playlist, I feel fuzzy inside. Seriously, if you were a Jason Mraz fan pre-"I'm Yours," you need to hear this song!

A lesser-known song.

"Am I more than you bargained for yet / I've been dying to tell you anything you want to hear / Cause that's just who I am this week" -  Fall Out Boy, Sugar We're Goin' Down

Oh, College. Growing up and being out on my own with no curfew and access to alcohol. Driving around with no real destination, waiting for a friend with their own place to invite a group over. That's what this song reminds me of. Blaring it in a friend's car where at least four of us sang it at the top of our lungs but it didn't matter because the speakers were turned up as loud as they could go anyway. To me, this song is the carefree part of growing up: old enough to be on my own, but young enough to not yet realize the stress of full-time employment and real bills. 

This song definitely hasn't stood the test of time but I still like it.

Those are just a few songs that make me happy and remind me of one certain moment. What songs make up your soundtrack?


  1. I love the memories attached to certain songs. Mine for Sugar We're Goin' Down is also of driving around, but as an adult!

  2. i grew up with 80s pop (culture club, thompson twins, madonna when her music was good, OMD, GnR etc) and 90s RnB (MJB, Blackstreet, Foxy Brown, BBD etc). it's too bad the don't make music like they used to!!

  3. love all these songs! and it's so true. there will always be songs that remind me of people, places, things, etc! ps. how great is almost famous?!

  4. Tiny dancer seems to evoke some kind of emotion every time I hear it.
    The song that comes to mind for me is runaway train by soul asylum. Me and my friend (that I've known since the 4th grade) seemed to think we had rough rough lives and this song made us feel better.
    No matter where I am or what time it is I text her when I hear it! :)

  5. Aw, Lauren I love this blog post! I really enjoyed reading your memory attached to each song.

    I'm having trouble thinking what my soundtrack would be... my husband is so much better at remembering songs... give him a moment and he can tell you the song that was playing! lol

    blink 182 "All the Small Things" reminds me of my Best Friend in highschool.

    Jack Johnson "Better Together" reminds me of my brother's wedding and their first dance.

    Weezer - "The Sweater Song" reminds me of random college days.

    Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." reminds me of one morning that my husband blasted this from a speaker over my head to wake me up. It was awful. He still threatens to play that when I don't get up right away. (I have trouble waking up, lol) So yes I always think of it as my wake up song... I still like the song though.

  6. I just LOVE "Tiny Dancer." That is all. :)

  7. Ah, so true, "ain't it funny how a melody can bring back a memory" remember that song by Clint Black?


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