Monday, August 5, 2013

Ten songs and their memories

Songs trigger such vivid memories for me. So often I find that when a song comes on the radio or my Pandora I am instantly transported somewhere else. Some times its a time when the song was playing in the background, sometimes its me singing the song with someone I love, sometimes its the lyrics that make me think of a similar emotion or story. I am grateful for having grown up in a home where the music was ALWAYS playing. 

Here are a few songs and their memories. 

1. I am four years old and this is the first song I remember memorizing, beyond the small kid tunes and the sunday school choruses. This is when I learn that people call those they love 'baby' and when I realize that my parents like music that isn't Raffi or Tickle Toon Typhoon. 

2. I am five, six years old when my Uncle Will comes to visit. He plays this song for us because he thinks its hilarious. This is the first time I remember my mom telling me that I wasn't allowed to listen to a song, that is wasn't appropriate. I just wanted to shake my tush on the catwalk.

3. I am ten years old when my mom celebrates a milestone birthday and throws herself a giant blowout birthday party in a barn out in the county. My sister and I are only allowed to attend the first hour or so until our babysitter comes to get us. This is the song playing when we had to leave the adults, and this was about the time I realized I was not an adult, and that my parents had friends and a need to have a life beyond us.

4. I am any age. My mom doesn't let us get out of the car until we finish every last chord of this classic on the radio. My mom drums on the steering wheel and shouts "all right" and I see her reliving some memory of her own. This is one a handful of songs with this requirement, we must pay the classics the respect they deserve.

5. I am in eighth grade and at the eighth grade tea. On a date of eighth grade proportion. This is the first time I remember slow dancing, arms straight out, his hands on my waist, neither too far up or too far down. We rock back and forth and avoid eye contact as best we can. A teacher comes around with a ruler to make sure there is twelve inches of space between us. We have fourteen.

6. I am sixteen and riding in a car on the way home from high school with my girl Betsy. We start singing the words a couple seconds before the band does, try to get as far as we can. I reach for the dial to pump the jams. She stops me and says I'll blow the speakers out on her brother's car.

7. I am seventeen and having a tough day. I really want to take a trip with my youth group to China and my parents are very very hesitant. My sister and I jump around to this song and it cheers me up. This is one of my favorite memories of being teenage girls together.

8. I am 18 and just started dating this great guy, even though very strangely he knows very little about music. I am incredulous. This is the first band I remember introducing him to, and I remember driving around in my parent's minivan listening to this song. I steal glances at him to make sure he is soaking in a love for good music.

9. I am any age. The Boss is always playing. This particular memory is one time during college when this album came out. My Dad and I dance around the living room to this song on repeat. I remember thinking that I hope I don't ever get too old to dance with my Dad.

10. It is my wedding day and I am dancing with Marty for our first dance. He is more nervous about this moment than any other. Feeling the eyes on him, he says "Am I doing okay?"  I just laugh and tell him of course. He shuts up, realizes this moment is just ours, and we soak all the love in that room in. I feel profoundly lucky.

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