My best friend Kelly and I were talking recently about music, and a significant difference in our listening habits – she has to constantly switch up the music she’s listening to so she doesn’t get bored with it, yet I’ll pick a new CD up and not stop listening to it for three weeks at a time. This is preposterous to Kelly, because if she listened to something for that long she would be so sick of if that she could never listen to it again.
I disagree. For me, this act is what turns music into nostalgia.
I remember eras of my life by songs. For instance, the song “To Be With You” by Mr. Big reminds me of being 10 years old and riding around with my cool-as-hell 18 year-old sister in her push-button hatchback and swaying in time with the windshield wipers. The song “Life is a Highway” reminds me of driving her car for the first time. Cute story until you think about the fact that I was probably 11 or 12.
“Stay” by Lisa Loeb reminds me of the beginning of 9th grade. The album Sticks and Stones by the 77s reminds me of the crush I had on Charley Stephens at the end of 9th grade. Any number of Kilo songs remind me of the end of Senior year and the summer right after graduation. “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground reminds me of being in New York in 1998. “Got You Where I Want You” by the Flys reminds me of my first semester of college.
I remember the songs that were in my head during nearly all life-changing moments in my life. Some of these moments were good – others I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies. Either way, when I hear those songs I’m instantly transported back to that time. Aside from our sense of smell, I believe music is the strongest link to our memories that we possess.
I actually started compiling play lists on iTunes for each month so I can look back and say, hey, what was I listening to in June of 2000? Oh, right – Make Yourself by Incubus. My music is organized autobiographically.
Rob Gordon, you’re my hero.
So, here is my formal apology to anyone who has ever been or ever will be annoyed by my playing the same damn song over and over and over again. I have my methods. I’ll get sick of the song and won’t listen to it again for years, but later on it will bring back all of the memories of that particular time. All the stories, all the crushes, all the warm fuzzy feelings.
I’m a sap. I know this. But that’s part of what makes me so lovable. 🙂