I’m really good at identifying the year a song came out. Doing such guessing games with friends–I always associate music with a tie from my life.
“It only takes one song to bring back a thousand memories.”
I remember Peter Paul & Mary playing on my parent’s beige alarm clock radio. I was laying on their bed and watching my mom getting ready to go out. Her hair was fixed fancy and she was in a dress and was wearing perfume. I thought, “Why does the good music always come on when I’m asleep in bed?”
Our family trip was through the Ozark hills of Missouri and Arkansas. We drove around and over green hills in the family’s cream-colored Mercury sedan with the windows down. We drank Mr. Pib, at chips, and belted out every word on every song of Debbie Boon’s 8-track tape titled “You Light Up My Life“.
In High School, I always felt like an outsider who didn’t know much about music. I listened to the pop station Z104 and liked almost everything. But I didn’t know or pay attention to individual singers or groups. Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” played on the car ride from the doctor’s office in 1980 when I broke my leg. “Jack and Diane” by John Mellencamp spoke of the heartbreak “two American kids, in the heartland” experienced (which directly paralleled my love life and my friends’ love experiences).
Then there is a bit of a gap–my blackout period during college when I only listened to Christian music.
In the nineties, my ex-husband, Tom, began to exhibit signs of mental illness. The most dramatic indicator of his mood was music. If he was practicing, playing his guitar, taking lessons…well, all was pretty good. It not, well, not so much. The song that exemplifies this time is the song “She Talks to Angels” by the Black Crows. He worked on that beginning riff for weeks and then the song for months. It spoke of addiction and loss…really foretelling the future.
Now my daughter, Aubrey, can hear a song on the radio and she says, “Remember when Jessica danced to this song when she wore that drapey red dress for her solo?”
There is a tradition here.
The memories of music connect us.