Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Song Remembers When

It's been said that the scent most linked to memory is our sense of smell. I definitely find this to be true. Sometimes I walk by the cologne counter of a department store or ride in an elevator with a man and catch a whiff of a cologne that was worn by a past boyfriend - it totally brings back memories of him.

However, I will say that it's more common for memories of the past to be triggered by my sense of sound - namely, when I hear a certain song. It can completely bring me back to a different part of my life. I will hear just a few lines and will be hit by a wave of emotion. Sometimes I put my beloved iPod on shuffle and see where the music will take me.

Here are some songs/albums that carry me back to a different point of my life:

  • The album, "How to Save a Life" by The Fray reminds me of the summer of 2006 when I was training for my first marathon. It is by no means upbeat music so probably seems like an odd selection for pounding out the miles. I could relate to a lot of the lyrics, though - so it made the miles fly by as my mind would be occupied with how the lyrics related to my life and past relationships.
  • Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill makes me think of the fall semester of my Freshman year of college at UND. It was quite popular with my suite mates - we would all crank it up while getting ready for the night.
  • Why Georgia by John Mayer reminds me of my spring break trip to Chicago during my senior year of college. Oh how I used to love John Mayer. Now I think he is a classless fool that needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.
  • Overkill by Colin Hay brings me back to a subway ride in Paris. There was a guy singing this song in the subway, which was incredibly random. He was so good, though - I almost thought it was Colin Hay himself!!
  • All My Life by KC and JoJo brings me back to my junior prom. I was dating the class president so we were the first couple during the grand march promenade, and that was the theme song for his junior prom. I vividly remember walking out in front of the crowd to this song. I was stupidly in love with this boy - for many years! Ahh, young love.
What songs bring you back to a different time in your life?


qwerkyqook said...

I just listened to soul decision-faded the other day and distinctly remember singing that song over and over while suntanning on the deck. My dad used to give me a funny look, I guess I never really listened to the lyrics when I was younger!!

Lisa-you should do a running songs post! I'd love to know what songs motivate you on your long runs:)

Nicole said...

Oh wow, there are so many songs that bring back memories for me. Anything by Moby, Everclear, or Lifehouse will remind me of one of my best friends from high school that I've lost contact with. I can't think of this too much or I might get sad.

I'maNolaGirl said...

When I hear Ben Folds Five it reminds me of my senior year of high school. We'd take my friends dad's convertible down to The Fly (this park along the Mississippi River) to meet our friends, and we'd spend all day there. The good ole days!

Mandy said...

I love it when music or a scent triggers a memory. Music is pretty much vital to my existence and I love the places it takes me.

"Strawberry Wine" by Dena Carter always reminds me of the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. I did a lot of growing up that summer.

"Me and My Gang" by Rascal Flatts always makes me think of how much fun my friends and I have in the summer going to outdoor concerts and dinners sitting on the back deck of resturaunts overlooking the river.

There are just so many songs that bring back so many emotions.

Carolina John said...

bob marley always brings back my stoner days. and the fugees no woman no cry was a theme song in college. still love that one.

Emily Jane said...

Oh, I'm totally with you - songs evoke more memories than smells for me! Hearing old Blur and Oasis and Will Smith's "Men in Black" remind me of being back home in England, before we had a computer or mp3s and just sitting by the radio on a Sunday afternoon, finger held firmly over the Play and Record buttons simultaneously, ready to record my favourite songs in the top 40 onto cassette tape :)

Abby and Ryan said...

I am the same about music!!

The song that I relate to marathon training was "Bitter Sweet Symphony"...I think by the Verve Pipe? Haha! Talk about cheesey! I liked the beat. I always used it towards the end of long runs to keep me pounding!

Whenever I am missing family -- I listen to Neil Diamond. It makes me think of spending time out on the dock or on the pontoon because we always used to listen to that!

Marlys said...

"It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all!" I don't remember where that phrase came from but I do think it's true! And I agree - music is the breath of our soul!

Amber from Girl with the Red Hair said...

Oh I totally find that songs remind me of certain times. The one that stands out most in my mind is "Time of my Life" by I dunno who! Lol.

That song reminds me of a big hockey tournament I went to when I was 16 with girls from all across the province. We'd always play it in the dressing room! And Brooks n Dunn songs remind me of when me and Eric first started dating!

Leigh said...

Great post! I totally agree that a song has the power to bring you back to time in your life or relating to a person.

When I hear any Billy Talent songs, they remind me of my ex boyfriend as that is all I basically listened to while he was in Afghanistan.

Benny Benassi's "put your hands up" reminds me of driving in my fiances old truck. Strange, but that's what it reminds me of

Hope you have a great day!

Nora said...

Pretty much an DMB song can take me back to a specific moment; it's either really pathetic or really awesome that he's pretty much the soundtrack to my life.

Why Georgia... reminds me of freshman year in college.

The Way You Look Tonight, by Eric Clapton... senior prom.

Hanging by a Moment, by Lifehouse... high school graduation day as one of our speakers played that song during his speech.

I don't have any recent songs that take me back to anywhere in particular. It's amazing how powerful music can be to transport us back in time!

Kyla Roma said...

So cool- Mister and I dated over exchanging mix CDs so there are whole sequences of tracks that bring things back to me, but Brightest by Copeland was one of the first songs he gave me on a CD, it still makes me teary =)

Becky said...

Haha, love this list! All of those songs means different things to me too! (Oh and I COMPLETELY agree with you about John Mayer. I'm okay with him fading out of a spotlight forever).

Jess said...

Seriously! What happened to John Mayer??!

Ashley Gerner said...

Lisa, it's so funny that you should write about this today, I happen to be sitting in a coffee shop in Grand Forks at the moment (killing time before my next meeting) and like the last 4-5 songs I've had to stop what i was doing because they brought back such strong memories for me...then I read your blog and I just had to laugh! Too weird...
The one with the "strongest memory" just came on, and for the life of me i never remember what it's called or who sings it, but it starts out " is gonna be the day that back to you, by now you should have somehow realized what you got to do...i don't believe that anybody feels the way i do, about you now..." It takes me back to England when we were visiting Julie and all the British guys singing it in the pub...great times! :)

Lo said...

WOW! I love how music has influenced my life. I was in choir for years and year..some of my best memories include music. Especially concerning books - my favorite books have great soundtracks!

pinkflipflops said...

Angels Among Us = is the song they played at my friends funeral who passed away 11 years ago today. We even had this song as our class song.
Darius Rucker = of the guy before my husband
Simple Plan = freshman year of college
and there are others.. but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

pinkflipflops said...

Angels Among Us = is the song they played at my friends funeral who passed away 11 years ago today. We even had this song as our class song.
Darius Rucker = of the guy before my husband
Simple Plan = freshman year of college
and there are others.. but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Anais said...

Woah, so true! For me it's both smells and sounds. Smells will be of a person (like that time I was out running and smelled my grand-mother's perfume out of nowhere a few weeks after she passed), whereas songs will remind me of a certain time. I can't think of songs on the spot though, it's more when they're playing on the radio and THEN I'll remember :)

J said...

LIfehouse pretty much ruled my entire second year of college. its hard for me to even listen to it now because it was such an emotional time in my life that I don't like to think of the exact details that many of the songs remind me of. John mayer has been a constant stream through my college years. Then country came into my life 2 years ago...pretty much my boyfriends fault cause I started dating him and now I listen to it.

Oh and Rascal Flatts - He Ain't the leaving kind - I can still remember the first time I heard that song and also the first time the song made sense to me. i can be slow sometimes! lol

Kelly said...

For me songs are way more of a memory than smells. Have you ever heard the song by Kenny Chesney called "I Go Back"? It's all about how songs take you back to different places in life. For me I have a bunch:

Spices Girls- Wanna Be reminds me of middle school haha. Third Eye Blind basically everything they sing reminds me of freshman soccer. Maroon 5- She will be loved reminds me of studying abroad in Australia. I could go on forever haha.