Monday, August 10, 2009

Music and Memory

Melissa from Book Nut here. Thanks, Kailana for convincing me to do this; I enjoyed writing this!

Memory is a fickle thing. Many people's memories are tied up in sights, or smells, or tastes. Things that bring back vivid pictures of the past. For me, the thing that triggers the most memories is music. I can be driving in the car, listening to the radio, and then a song comes on and a memory -- of a person or place -- hits me so powerfully, I'll have to pull the car over (well, maybe not. But I do get wistful...).

So, for my Music Monday, I thought I'd give you five bits of my memories.

I grew up in a 70s house -- Neil Diamond, The Carpenters, Captain and Tenille, John Denver, Barry Manilow, and, yes, ABBA. I liked them all, but the memory I have of this one is being nine or 10 years old, and singing loudly, with a hairbrush, using the fireplace hearth as my stage. For years, it was my favorite ABBA song, and it all boils down to that one summer afternoon. (Well, it was probably more than one.)

High school biology, talking to my table-mate (don't remember who that was), about how cool this group was (or was that Mr. Mister's Kyrie?), instead of listening to the lesson for the day. Yes, this really dates me.

This one is college -- going to the dance clubs my sophmore and junior year, hanging out with my wacky roommates and their friends playing Tetris until 3 a.m. And -- perhaps espeically -- Ren and Stimpy and Bevis and Butthead. Ah, the early 90s.

Sting's songs have many memories for me: in the bus on the way to a marching band competition (Fortress Around Your Heart); driving around Ann Arbor in my new (to me) car after high school graduation (Fragile); watching him on Saturday Night Life with my husband when we were dating (Love Is Stronger Than Justice). But this particular one is me, 8 and 3/4 months pregnant with my first child (didn't know it was a girl yet), on a hot Virginia July evening, rocking out at a Sting concert. This song had to have gone on for 10 minutes, at least. And yes, those around me did stare.

And because my 16th wedding anniversary is on Thursday:

This one is driving from Spokane to Portland with my husband in his dad's souped-up VW Golf , speeding on the freeway (he drives fast) by the Columbia River. Away from the kids for two days to celebrate our 15th anniversary, staying in a bed and breakfast, enjoying good company, having good conversation and eating good food. And sharing it all with a wonderful man.

There you have it: bits and pieces of my life, in music. How about you? Do you have a song that brings back vivid memories?


  1. All are quite fantastic and bring back some great memories for me. I grew up listening to Abba and quite frankly still love them. The Glass Tiger song was one of our senior theme songs when I was in high school. Such a great song. I loved that whole, cassette tape I believe it was at the time. :)

    And Ren and Stimpy? What could be better. I was just watching clips of the show on You Tube last week. I need to own these episodes!

  2. Happy Anniversary, Kailana. You're younger than me. I was having babies and raising toddlers during the the mid to late 70's. I was still listening to Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond. My kids still mention memories of me house cleaning to Neil Diamond.

  3. I didn't realize this was posted by Melissa instead of Kailana. So I should have wished Melissa happy anniversary. And I also realize that you are talking about a past anniversary. I'm a bit slow on the uptake. But, oh well!


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