Music has always been a huge part of my life. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t sing along with the radio or attach a particular significance to a song or album. If I shared every musical memory I have with Spotify they would have to set up a new Web site just for me, so instead I’ll celebrate the weekend with my own little flashback playlist.
A few songs for my life
“As If We Never Said Goodbye” from Sunset Boulevard
Our choir director assigned us this song during one of the performances senior year – maybe, if I remember correctly, even for my high school graduation. I’ve never seen Sunset Boulevard but I fell for this song quickly and it has been my go-to nostalgia soundtrack for the last ten years. Whenever I go back – to my high school, to old stomping grounds, or to other places that trigger fond memories – this song is one of the first to spring to mind. That’s why I cried unashamedly when Glee used it for Kurt’s return to McKinley, because I have felt that before and certainly will again.
“Stadium Arcadium” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers/Fischerspooner’s Odyssey album/”Warning” by Incubus
Late spring, summer, and fall of 2006 can’t be defined by one song, one album or even one artist. It was another transition period, when I was getting ready to leave home for school and spending all of my time with the friends I was afraid to miss. I started dating someone new – actually, our first outing was to buy the Stadium Arcadium album the day it released – and it was a time of late nights and learning a new way to look at the world. “Warning” was the song of the fall, for no other reason than it reminded me of the boyfriend I left at home while I was away at school. Maybe it was a warning, though, as we broke up for good just after winter break.
All of these songs still have a place in my playlists, and even if everything else fell apart I could appreciate what that summer gave to me in terms of new music.
“Pachelbel Rant” by Rob Paravonian
I know, this isn’t exactly a song. But have you heard it? Rob Paravonian’s brilliant and hilarious deconstruction of just about every other song according to its aural resemblance to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” is both educational and uproarious. Give it a listen and then see if it doesn’t completely change the way you listen to songs from any era. To me, this video reminds me of some of the best – and last – times I had volunteering with LEIMUN. The 2010-2011 year was filled with great people and awesome inside jokes, and whenever I watch the rant it makes me snicker.
I don’t even go to Taco Bell anymore!
Two very special songs…
The last two songs on my list had to be separated, because they represent two of the most important people in my life.
“When God Made You” by Newsong
I first heard this song on the radio in 2005, when Brian and I had been dating for just shy of six months. We had already gone through some things that would have sent me running away from the relationship if I experienced them as a dating adult, but even I already knew that there was something more between us. I listened to this song in the fog of young and overly optimistic love, and I believed with everything in me that this was our song. To mark six months together I made him a playlist (on CD, remember those days?) of sappy love songs, and this was the first because it was the most special.
When we broke up, I couldn’t listen to it anymore.
But God has His own plans for us, and nearly four years later we were back together. And I made him another playlist for Valentine’s Day. The other songs changed, but this one was still there. It was a favorite again.
It remained a favorite through everything, and when we walked out for our first dance as husband and wife we danced to this song.
“You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins
Okay guys, confession time: I’ve never seen Tarzan.
There, I’m glad that’s out of the way. I found this song while hunting for other Disney songs to add to my Spotify “Disney” playlist. I am an unashamed fan of Disney movie songs, and of Phil Collins.
And this song is just so much more to me, because it is the song I played on repeat while I was pregnant with Arthur. I sang it to him, hand on my belly, and made it a promise to him to always be there for him. Even now it makes me cry when I hear it.
There are so many more songs – I kid you not, I could write an entire book just narrating my life through song. But these are some of the nearest, dearest, and most recent. (The most recent is “Stranger” by Skrillex, in case you wondered.)
Share what #thatsongwhen is for you in the comments!