I once had a coworker who teased me mercilessly for knowing almost nothing about music. (Apparently my memorization of every line of American Pie counts for nothing!) Even if I successfully answered one of his pop quizzes about who was singing this or the name of that song, I always failed when he asked me what a song was about. I hardly listen to lyrics. Crap, half of song lyrics are misunderstood anyway. Nevertheless, I connect songs with different times in my life. Adapted from the lovely Whoorl, here is my own musical timeline:
UB40 – Red Red Wine. My best friend got this CD in the 6th or 7th grade, and I remember being so impressed because she owned this CD and I had never even heard of it. Obviously, she was oh so much cooler than me.
Nirvana – Smells like Teen Spirit. It was a quick decline from UB40 to tortured suicidal grunge rock. My mother will agree that my Kurt Cobain obsession at age 13 was not a high point in an otherwise happy childhood. Let’s just erase that year, okay?
RENT Soundtrack. My friends and I were so obsessed with RENT in high school that we even made up custom lyrics in Calculus class. September 24th, 9 AM, Mountain Standard Time, From here on in we go without a calculator… Yes, we were dorks, but of the cool dork variety, I swear.
Sister Hazel – All For You. This song “belonged” to me and my high school boyfriend, as in it was “our song.” We were pretty googly over each other and the lyrics fit that sentiment pretty well. I look back on that time with mixed feelings because it was a good relationship for the first few years but in the end … it wasn’t. I learned a lot about myself, which is the most you can ask of falling in love at age 16. If this song comes on the radio when I’m with my husband I change the channel.
Ani DiFranco anything. Freshman year of college I was introduced to Ani, who I got to see play live several times in New Orleans. One of my majors was Women’s Studies so this helped me fit right in. Of course, my other major was being a sorority girl, so for every night of staying in listening to feminist folk music there were plenty of nights out inappropriate bootie dancing to dirty rap songs.
Norah Jones – Come Away With Me. This song brings me back to my apartment from senior year at 814 Audubon, staying up late with the roomies writing papers and doing crossword puzzles in my cotton candy pink bedroom. The friendships I made with my roommates were probably the best thing I got out of college.
Outkast – Hey Ya. Whenever I hear this I only think of the Dean campaign. Two odd things to be forever connected.
Jack Johnson – Better Together. Although it was technically the 2nd dance song at our wedding, it was my favorite, and the whimsical tune was perfect for our beach reception. At least until the tequila started flowing, and then the perfect song was probably something bootylicious by Beyoncé or Nelly.
Do any of you have memories attached to these songs, too? Do share in the comments, or even post your own timelines.