When I first came up with the idea to blog about music-related memories, I asked friends and family on Facebook to send me some of their memories. I got a few short blurbs that can’t stand alone as posts. But they still offer some insight into the way music impacts our memories and emotions.
Some of these memories are happy, and some of them are a little sad. A couple of them are vague, while others are very vivid. One thing they pretty much all had and common: friends or family were all part of the memory.
For me, there are several pieces of music that trigger strong memories, but they usually only involve music that I don’t hear regularly.
For example, Pink Floyd doesn’t give me much because I’m always listening to it, and I think that waters down the specific memories.
Jethro Tull, on the other hand (especially “Locomotive Breath”), takes me back to a very ultra-clear memory of hanging out in an apartment with two particular friends. I have an image of the facial expressions people are making and the clothes we are all wearing while we play a game of Halo.
“Dramamine” by Modest Mouse exclusively puts me in an old car, driving at night in the summer with the windows down. Specifically on the less-traveled back roads of Catawba County. The humidity streaming in with my hair blowing around and maybe a quiet passenger or two.
When I asked her if this was one individual memory or more of memory about a general period of time, she replied:
Sorta both. Like I have a distinct memory of riding down the Oxford Dam road in my old Volvo but I don’t remember who was with me. I could guess but can’t be sure. It’s also a song I know I listened to in this setting more than once.
I used to sing “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor to my babies. Every time I hear it I can smell their sweet baby scent and feel their soft hair against my cheek. I cry every time. I saw him in concert last year and sat in the audience bawling as he sang it.
My most powerful music memory is when I sang “Be Still My Soul” at my grandfather’s funeral. I think of that memory every time I hear the song. I would definitely say it’s a little sad and happy at the same time. Bittersweet because I’m sad that my grandpa passed away, but I’m happy that I was able to honor him and his memory with such a beautiful song.
They played “Party Rock Anthem” at my friend Jon’s wedding reception, which was easily the most fun wedding I’ve been to. I’d heard that song a million times before, and they only played it once. But for some reason anytime I hear it, it triggers the memories of everyone dancing and having a fun time at the reception.
Never thought I’d be putting LMFAO and MoTab back to back. But I’m definitely not mad about it!