Monday, July 07, 2008


I love music. A lot. I think good music combined with good lyrics just can't be beat. Being at the 4th of July celebration on the military base gave me the opportunity to hear some really good songs. And some not so good ones. So I've been doing some thinking. Mostly about old songs and what they remind me of. So here is my list. Songs that bring back memories...

The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band. My dad had this 8-track, and we listened to it all the time. We also heard a lot of Statler Brothers, Merle Haggard, and Charlie Pride.

Babe by Styx. When I was in junior high choir Adam Levowitz sang this song at a choir concert. He was moving away at the end of the year so it was like an anthem of sorts. It was the first time I remember hearing the song, and I have loved it ever since. I also had a sneaking suspicion that Adam liked Tina Schwettman, but I ended up running into Tina in college and when I asked her about that she denied it.

Working for the Weekend by Loverboy. This song reminds me of my friend Julie Cravey. She had their Get Lucky album, and I felt a combination of intrigue and shock by the cover. Tight red leather pants would never have been allowed in my house.

Mickey by Tony Basil. When I was in junior high there was a radio station in town called 79Q. Later it became 93Q and they played top 40 music. They handed out what they called cheat sheets at the malls. Mickey was one of those. It had the lyrics to the song and other info on it. I thought it was so cool to collect those things!

The Search is Over by Survivor. When I was in 10th grade our school won a contest on 93Q so they sent a DJ to one of our dances. The week before the dance they asked us to call in with song requests for that night. I called in this song and dedicated it to the guy I liked at the time. I went to the dance, and he didn't. Mortifying!

Amy Grant. Pretty much anything by Amy reminds me of my senior year of high school. My best friend, Mentanna, loved Amy and vowed to meet her one day. She worked at a Christian book store after college for awhile and ended up having lunch with Amy.

Don't You Wanna Rap? by Bryan Duncan. One semester in college Mentanna dj'ed for the college radio station on Sunday mornings. We would call her up and request this song every time.

I look back on that random sampling of songs and while they didn't really have lasting influence they still gave me memories. I could list a dozen more that did the same. Now I think so much deeper when it comes to music. I stop what I am doing when certain songs come on. I want to really listen. I play parts of songs over and over to really hear what is being said. I look up lyrics online so that I can be sure to know the words. I can't imagine what I will feel down the road when I hear songs that have meaning to me today. What emotions will they evoke? Will I just smile and make a list to post on my future blog or will I stop what I am doing and feel the words? Get lost in the memories? Since my love of music has just gotten stronger over the years I have a feeling I will not be able to do anything but stop and listen. And remember.

Which songs bring back memories for you? Do you have a current favorite? I would love to know!


Kevin McKeever said...

Walking on Sunshine makes me think of the time me and a guy lip synched it on stage during a high school dance. My skin is still crawling from the shame.

Anything by the Refreshments takes me back to the CT bar when I first heard a band covering them. I miss going to bar to see bands. I've got to get the kids fake IDs.

Lost In Splendor said...

I'm so glad you did this entry. I had been reading your comments to Kasey about it while I was gone and I was interested. Amy Grant always reminds me of my mom and sister. They love her.

Brittany said...

Sweet Home Alabama...I think I lost something important to that song...

Real Houseplants said...

"Round Here" by Counting Crows-first time I went to Jazz Fest in New Orleans we went to a club to see the Crows but the place was so packed people were sitting outside on the sidewalk and the grassy median in the street. We sat all night in the median under the stars and listened to concert and when they finished they came out and gave an encore in the street. It was awesome. It was 1994. I was young.....those were good times.

Anonymous said...

I love good lyrics and find my favourite songs tell a story.
Harry Chapin and "Taxi", Gordon Lightfoot "If You Could Read my Mind" and my all time best Dan Fogelberg's "Leader of the Band". So glad his father got to hear the song before his death.

But I must admit, I was and am still a huge fan of Karen Carpenter. What a voice.
Gosh, I'm OLD!!!

Gina said...

Open Arms by Journey - this song was in the top 10 when Billy & I got married, so of course I think about him when I hear this song. (I also think about him when I hear the song "I'm Too Sexy"....but that's another story!!)

Anonymous said...

I refuse to tell you that all I listened to was Top 40.
I also refuse to say that I listend to the Rick Dee's Weekly Top 40 Countdown and that I just COULDN'T BELIEVE it when REO Speedwagon's I Can't Fight This Feeling was number one for, like, EIGHT WEEKS straight.

Mamadallama said...

Rock Lobster by the B52's reminds me of riding down A1A in Ft. Lauderdale in my then boyfriend's (now hubby) MG midget. Of course, the top was down. That's what's great about music. Even if it didn't actually 'mean' anything at the time, it marks that moment in time. Everytime I hear Rock Lobster, I'm back cruising the strip with my love!

HeyJoe said...

Aside from “Don’t you wanna Rap”, I know and remember every one of these songs. And while I was never into (wink, wink) Amy Grant, my sister went through an A.G. phase in high school.

Wow, I could think about this for days. To this day there are certain songs that, as soon as they come on the radio make me sort of stop in my tracks as the memories flood back.

What’s interesting is that there are a lot of songs/bands I was into back in the day that don’t necessarily invoke any particular memories, but then there are very specific songs (even if I wasn’t into the band or even like the song at the time) that for whatever reason really bring back specific FEELINGS of say high school or something. To wit:

“True,” by Spandau Ballet always reminds me of high school; the hallways, people, etc.

“Do You Believe in Love” by Huey Lewis & the News also reminds me of my late HS, early Jr. College days. There was a group of kids from our church that all hung out together for several years around 83-85, and this song reminds me of those times and those people.

“My Ever Changing Moods,” by The Style Council. My best friend from high school and I ended up rooming together in the college dorms after we both spent a few years at a JC. He was into The Jam and The Style Council during our dorm days and this song forever makes me think of our days at SF State.

Someone above mentioned “Walking on Sunshine.” My friend John and I were running the music at my younger sister’s HS graduation (1985). When they were processing out to Pomp & Circumstance we rigged it so that it would segue into “Walking on Sunshine.” The kids loved it. The principal was pissed.

“Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” by Chicago. Huge hit around 1983. Reminds me of the summer I graduated high school and of a Chicago concert I saw that summer.

“I Don’t Like Mondays,” by The Boomtown Rats – High school, senior year. John and I working as teacher assistants at St. Agnes Elementary School

Nu-Clear Days, the album by The Vapors – John, Ed and I were inseparable during our Sr. year. We were all into this album.

“Spring Collection,” by The Vapors from the above album. The bus ride back from Grad Night at Disneyland. I had a huge crush on Denise who was sitting behind me. I loaned her my Walkman to listen to this song. It will forever remind me of her and that trip.

Chicago 17, the album – came out right about the time Lisa and I began dating. Reminds me of her and those early days of our relationship.

This might develop into a post in itself.

Natalie said...

always home - you lip synched a katrina and the waves song? that is hysterical! um...she kinda sounded like a guy though.

fake id's...i bet you could find someone to do it for you!

sparkliesunshine - amy grant's i will remember you is one of my favorites. speaks volumes.

brittany - lynyrd skynyrd...nice!

arizona albino - i love the counting-crows! i think sitting outside under the stars is the best way to watch a concert!

denise - i love karen carpenter too! her voice is amazing!

gina - oh man...i love journey! love them!

mdwest - "rick dees with the dees' degrees. will it rain, will it shine, or will it freeze?" my husband says that anytime someone mentions rick dees. he grew up listening to him on kiis fm 102.7 in socal!

and i love that reo speedwagon song...but you didn't hear that here!

mamadallama - rock lobster...awwww...how fun!

heyjoe - wow! that is a blog post! you should write it on your blog. not that i minded you writing it in my comments at all. i don't know some of those songs...the vapors or the boomtown rats...i'll have to look them up!

chicago 17...now that i love!

Pro Ecclesia said...

(This one's for Brian ... because it's been a while since he heard the story, and I know he'd love to hear it again ... for about the millionth time)

Amy Grant sat behind me at a Texas Rangers baseball game. Yeah, she thought I was cool and all that.

Natalie said...

jay - funny that you are telling this story. brian has taken your story and turned it into his with a little tweaking. he remembers you getting beer spilled on you at another baseball game. so he has combined the two events into "amy grant spilled beer on me at a baseball game once." he randomly tells people this story. he loved that you commented about amy grant!

Mentanna said...

why does it feel like you outed me by telling the whole world that i used to love amy grant? man, i catch grief for that these days from all the young whipper snappers i hang around with. seriously, they were so worried about my geeky taste in music that they made me 10 cds full of music to catch me up with the times.

Natalie said...

mentanna - used to love amy grant? what? you know you still love her! and she rocks! kinda.