Each Memory Has A Soundtrack Of It’s Own
Music can transcend time. When I listen to specific songs and albums, memories come flooding back. I reminisce about spending time with a first boyfriend, vacations, and fun times with friends.
Other songs bring back feelings of nostalgia, with a sad twist, as they remind me of people who are no longer in my life.
I like to listen to punk rock. Doing so reminds me of the first boyfriend I had, while attending college in Virginia. Doug was a big fan of The Clash. He hung their posters in his bedroom, and played their songs with his hardcore band.
Doug and I both liked the punk/rockabilly band Social Distortion. When we spent time together, we often listened to their self-titled album, released in 1990, over and over again. Hearing this album now reminds me of my affection for Doug, 25 years later. In particular, the song “Story of My Life” elicits fond memories of us kissing and listening to that album in his basement bedroom.
Doug now lives on the West Coast, is married and has a child. While I remember our relationship with fondness, those memories are now tinged with sadness for a friendship that was lost.
These new feelings seem to be expressed in songs from that same album that we listened to so much. Now, when I hear “It Coulda Been Me,” “A Place in My Heart,” and “Let It Be Me,” I feel that Social Distortion’s singer, Mike Ness, is speaking directly to me, in an attempt to soothe my broken heart.
After spending my formative years in Virginia, I moved to North Carolina in search of a writing and editing career. I have made many friends and explored my new home state, which ranges from the mountains to the sea.
As a member of a travel group, I attended the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain, near Linville, NC, one summer. After the festival was over, the campers sat around a fire and drank cheap beer, while LL Cool J’s greatest hits CD blared from a portable boombox.
Tracks such as “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” and “Rock the Bells” actually reminded me of rap’s early days, when I was in high school. But now, when I hear LL Cool J’s songs, I think back to that mountain exploration trip. And his song “Going Back To Cali” brings to mind the times that I have visited my sister, who moved to California the same year that I moved to North Carolina.
A few years after my adventure at Grandfather Mountain, a group of friends and I traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC, to celebrate my friend Chloe’s 30th birthday. We dressed in skirts and sandals and headed out to a popular nightclub. After sipping on cocktails, we made it onto the dance floor. To this day, one song in particular, “Turn Me On” by Kevin Lyttle, awakens pleasant memories of my best friends grooving to high-energy dance and reggae songs at the club.
I continue to learn about new bands and styles of music. I know that someday, my love of music will spark new memories of events in my life that are still to come. I may get married or move to a new city. Whatever happens, I am thankful that songs serve as the soundtrack to my life.
What songs define your life?