Memory Songs

It’s funny how a certain song can come on the radio and suddenly take you back to a specific memory. I have a lot of songs that I associate with certain events or people. Some songs are good, some are bad, and some were bad but now feel nostalgic.

Some songs will remind you of specific things that will only have meaning for yourself. Other songs might remind you of certain events and others have the same memories. A good example of this is certain songs from CCR (Creedance Clearwater Revival). Their songs were used a lot in movies that depicted Vietnam. When you hear the song, you suddenly flashback to that time period or thoughts of that specific movie. A lot of us over the age of fifty have this memory.

Most of the songs that were performed at Woodstock give us memories of the hippies and free love and VW vans and so on. Even though our memories vary somewhat, many of us have similar flashbacks to that time period even if we didn’t attend Woodstock.

I have a lot of specific songs that take me back to my youth. For example, “Crocodile Rock,” by Elton John makes me think of my very first girlfriend in grade school. Her name was Susie. We never did more than hold hands, but the timing of that song and the name of the girl always takes me back.

“Second Hand News” by Fleetwood Mac always reminds me of a second-hand story by one of my friends in my preteen years who said a certain girl sang the verse, “Why don’t you lay me down in the tall grass and let me do my stuff,” before making out with him. I don’t know if this is true or not, but the flashback is always the same.

Some songs will change the memory on you because they get associated with something different later. For me, a good example is the song, “I’m a Believer.” I know it was written by Neil Diamond, but it’s The Monkees that made it big and my memory used to flashback to Saturday mornings when I would watch The Monkees. Then as an adult with kids, Shrek came out. The band Smashmouth re-recorded it for the movie and now when I hear the song, I think of my kids.

Other songs or bands set your mood. Whenever I hear the band Boston, I want to go play frisbee at the park by the lake. When I hear the album “Joe’s Garage” by Frank Zappa, I want to return to Boy Scout Camp and play Sheepshead above the Quartermaster Building. For those of you who don’t know, Sheepshead is a card game widely played in Wisconsin. You learn it as a kid and play it until you die. Great card game.

I could easily go on and on about this subject, but there’s too many songs and memories and not enough blog to fit it all in. I will definitely revisit this in future blogs because if you are anything like me, flashbacks to simpler times is comforting. I think that’s why we pick certain music to listen to. We all need that comfort once in a while.


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