I was walking back to my car from class the other day, just jamming to the music on my iphone when this song came on, Bright Future in Sales by Fountains of Wayne.
Suddenly I was 13 again in Germany with my dad. That Fountains of Wayne album was the only CD I brought with us on our trip. Instead of listening to any German radio, we listened to that album over and over and over again as we drove from one tourist destination to the next in our rental car.
As the song played through my headphones I was amazed at how quickly and vividly that memory came to my mind. And all it took was a song. It was as if those lyrics and chords carried with it my memories, my history during that time.
I’ve experienced vague memory reminders with smells, you know like the smell of cinnamon reminds me of Christmas, but this was more than just a reminder. It’s like when I heard that song I was that 13 year old girl again. I was in that time and that place. My mind was functioning like it did back then but at the same time I was still myself. What? Yeah that does sound sort of weird. I guess the song just let me channel a part of me that I had put away a long time ago.
So being curious, I decided to try this out with other songs. My iphone was already on shuffle so I just started rapid fire clicking through the songs to see what memories popped up. Naturally not every song I got held meaning. Some of them I didn’t listen to very much and those I just skipped over. But the ones that did drudge up old memories did so immediately, with the very first chord of the song.
I decided that these songs created my life’s soundtrack. Certain songs for me will always be associated with the movie I first heard them in. Well if my life were a movie, these would be the songs in the soundtrack.
I’m 5 years old dancing with my brother in our shared bedroom in Alabama.
Morgan and I are on Spring Break in Destin, FL driving the golf cart the allotted 4mph around our campground.
There’s a knot in my stomach. I’m in my white two door Honda Civic, named Lola, driving home from dance and I’m belting the lyrics as if the song were about me.
I’m in drama class, Freshman year of high school in the lobby of the theater singing with friends while we pretend to do some kind of work.
I’m in math class, Freshman year. Mallory just burned me the Subways CD and I’m listening to it on my portable CD player. ha.
I’m running at the gym, trying hard to not dance as I keep pace on the treadmill. I fail, and end up shaking my shoulders and mouthing the words.
Junior year in high school, listening to this album as often as I can so I know what’s going on when I go to the concert. Naturally to impress a boy.
I’m at Stars and Strikes in Cumming. The song is stuck in my head. As I sing it, Megan acts it out by tossing me her wallet, keys, and dropping to her knees.
I’m accidentally on purpose reading my high school ex boyfriend’s text messages from his new girlfriend. I feel a little sick.
I’m mowing the lawn on our riding lawn mower singing at the TOP OF MY LUNGS pretending that the entire neighborhood can’t hear me.
I’m sitting at the back of a bus with Allison in Atlanta for a Girl Scout retreat of some kind. It’s raining. She hands me a headphone and we both smile and lip sync to the song.
So I understand that this is way more fun for me to do than it is for you to read. But you should do it for yourself. You might enjoy taking a trip down memory lane and compiling a life soundtrack of your own.
I’m curious, when you hit shuffle, what is the first song that popped out to you and why?