I have been thinking a lot about music lately. It all started when I discovered that I could create a Harry Potter station in Pandora. I turn it on in the mornings and listen to it while I read email, scan Twitter, check online for what’s happened overnight. I listen to it while I scrap.
I like it because the music has no words. I can read without distraction, or I should be able to. I found though, that even wordless music offers its own kind of distraction. How Hedwig’s Theme can drag me right back Hogwarts, or music from Teh Goblet of Fire drags me into the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Lord of the Rings features heavily on the same channel, so mental visits to the Shire and Rivendell and Mordor. Star Wars themes take me to Tatooine, the Death Star, and the Ewok Village. I can close my eyes and picture the movie playing to the music.
I have been paying a little closer attention to the music in the car as well. Listening for key parts of the soundtrack to my life, if you will.
“Friday I’m in Love” by The Cure – This song sparked a brief friendship in a middle school spanish class. Takes me right back to the smell of textbooks and simple spanish phrases.
“Vogue” by Madonna – We were packed into the cafetorium at the Middle School watching a program by the 8th Grade cheerleaders in which they danced to this song. It was spring and the room smelled of sweaty students and cafeteria food.
“Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O;Connor – Unrequited love, crying from heartbreak.
“Jeremy” by Pearl Jam – Standing in the parking lot of WIlliams Stadium listening to this song playing in the car of an upper classman while we wait for marching band practice to start. Its hot. We discuss the tragic message of the song and video. He drove a small pickup. It was gold.
“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day – My cousin’s high school graduation. Their senior choir sang this. Beautiful.
“Two Princes” by The Spin Doctors – The short drive from the school to the stadium in the back of an un-air-conditioned vehicle with the windows down in August.
“California Love” by 2Pac – Being told loudly and repeatedly that I had no rythym by my brother who was watching this video on MTV (back when they showed videos and not Jersey Shore).
“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion – Surprisingly, this does not conjure memories of the movie. It brings up the faces of the babies I took care of at KinderCare. It was in heavy rotation on the local pop station – playing once every hour or so. We weren’t supposed to listen to pop music, they preferred that we play nursery songs, but Itsy Bitsy Spider gets old too. I can smell the disinfectant and hear the cries, squeals and giggles as clearly as if I was still in the room every time I hear this song.
There’s so many more. So many songs that transport me to another time, another place, bringing forth feelings and images and faces of those long forgotten. I’d love to hear if you have the same experience. What songs have strong meaning for you?