I recently created a Facebook post about meaningful songs that remind me of a particular time in my life. My friend, Marissa, of the always-kickin' Wildhair blog, took the exercise a step further and explained the who-what-why-where-why of each song's memory. I loved it and was completely and immediately drawn into each sensory vignette. I, of course, felt compelled to copy the always trendy Miss Riss and expound upon my list as well. There are so many of these memorable songs, so this will be the first installment of many. Now take my hand...don't worry, I've washed it since scooping the litter box... and journey with me with through 40ish years of musical memories.
Philadelphia Freedom (Elton John): This songs always takes me back to the summer when I was 4 years old. We had a swimming pool in the courtyard of our apartment complex and there was always a radio playing very loudly while I was floating around in my inflatable tube. This song never fails to remind me of being at the pool during that time period. In fact, here's a pic of us at that pool. Here's my mom and sister... and can you see me in the background, groovin' to some EJ?
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac): Summer of 1977 or 1978, blazin' hot Atlanta summer, my mom (slathered in baby oil) is laying out on a woven, fold-up chaise lounge on the patio, the chirps of cicadas fill the air (a sound that used to frighten me), and I am running around the yard with my sister, every once in a while jumping into the tiny plastic turtle-shaped pool. I also remember this being the summer that I was fascinated by an old pack of Vantage cigarettes I found on the side of our apartment building. Oh, and I fed my annoying neighbor a spoonful of baby oil and was grounded from the turtle pool for an afternoon. "Thunder only happens when it's rainin'..." Yeah, that's it.
Come on Eileen (Dexy's Midnight Runners): 1982 was a year that I received a simple tape recorder for my birthday. Every weekend, I would press "record" and awkwardly hold the clunky machine up to the radio and tape "American Top 40." The sound quality on the tape was terrible, but I could replay all my favorite songs! This song was one of my favorites at the time and I played that wonky recording over and over and over until it was so worn out that it sounded like the sound was way-slowed-down. And now a long distance dedication...
Paul Revere (Beastie Boys): My friend, Andrea, used to drive us to high school in her blue Chevette. We would listen to this song over and over again until we could memorize all the words. I also remember playing air drums to "The Cure's Boys Don't Cry" on those early morning car rides. Here's me and Andrea working at Carvel Ice Cream, right around this time.
Mandinka (Sinead O'Connor): From the time I was 16 until around 19, my friends an I frequented an all-ages dance club in Jacksonville, called Einstein-a-Go-Go. This place was fantastic. You could see great concerts, buy record albums, play pinball, hang with friends, and bounce around on the dance floor to the latest and greatest alternative music of the time. In 1988, Mandinka was the song for me. Every time I heard the telltale opening of the song, I couldn't dash onto the dance floor fast enough. Here's me and my friend, Nico during that time period.
Closer to Fine (Indigo Girls): My friend Nicky introduced me to what became my favorite musical group of all time. In college, we'd drive around the streets of Palatka in her Nissan and sing this song (and really, the whole album) at the top of our lungs. IG are also special to me because this is the album I played into my belly, through headphones, for my daughter Katie when I was pregnant. Coincidentally, IG were Katie's first concert. Interestingly, Katie now likes metal music. Here's a pic of me and Nicky in college.