I’ve been feeling slightly nostalgic, and songs tend to be attached to memories of mine. So, here are 10 songs that make me remember good (or bad) moments from the past.
1. “The Trolley Song” by Judy Garland. My paternal grandmother sang part of this song when she was walking down the hall in her house one morning after church to change out of her church clothes, not realizing that her son (my father) and his family were sitting in her living room, waiting for her to notice we were there. (We were pulling off an awesome Mother’s Day surprise. She had no idea we were coming. Only her husband knew). That day is the last memory I have of her before she had her stroke and was hospitalized (and eventually passed away). Every so often it’ll end up being played two times in a row on my iTunes (which is always on shuffle). It’s those moments where I wonder if she’s checking up on me.
2. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House. There were several of us kids around the same age on my secluded rural road. One hot summer afternoon my friend’s mother took us swimming at the local mini-lake. Someone brought a boombox, and someone else brought a bag of Funyuns, and this song was on the radio at some point. All it takes is the first few notes of the song, and I am right back at the lake, 10 years old, when the only thing I worried about was when the sun would go down.
3. “Come On Get Higher” by Matt Nathanson. Shortly before Drewseph deployed the first time, I had dinner with his mother. It was a rant session, a bonding session, and everything in between. As dinner was wrapping up, this song came over the loudspeaker in the restaurant. The song had meaning to me before that night but now it’s a song directly tied to my memories of her, now that she’s gone. As of late I’ve noticed the song on local radio more frequently, and I wonder if I’m being checked up on by her as well.
4. “Roll Me Away” by Bob Seger. About a decade ago, I was close friends with a coworker-turned-close-friend. I’d spend hours at her place – talking, laughing, ranting, getting drunk (she popped my never-been-drunk cherry when I was 29). During one weekend cookout at her place (brats and beers!), this song came on the radio. She and I were at a crossroads in our lives, each wanting something more than what our current life offered. “Next time, we’ll get it right!”
5. “Seasons In the Sun” by Terry Jacks. A song from my childhood, and the hours (more like weeks) I would spend at my best friend E’s house, her teaching me to play piano, us riding horses, trying on makeup or just talking. Recently my iPod played this song while I was driving around, and my passenger said something like, “[This song is a] big ol’ slice of cheese!” Whatever. It reminds me of when I was young and happy and enjoyed every day of my life.
6. “White Flag” by Dido. A song that reminds me of my former friend J. About a decade ago I road tripped to her house to spend the weekend. At some point, I heard this song. That weekend was one of the last times I saw her before I terminated contact with her. It slightly pains me to hear, but then I remember why I terminated contact. I do miss her (we were friends for 32 years), but I can’t compromise myself by reaching out.
7. “Not Ready To Make Nice” by Dixie Chicks. Many moons ago, I was friends with two soldiers who probably give every other soldier a bad name. Both leaned on me while they were deployed, and both…never even let me know they were home. Both have a way of reappearing in my life every so often, only to be shown the door. I don’t forgive, I don’t forget, and I will never be “ready to make nice.” This song kinda represents a turning point in my life for me, when I went from “I will mostly trust people” to “I’m so over this whole ‘trust’ thing. It’s better not to trust”. Many people played a role in it, but those two people were the catalysts.
8. “I Love A Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt. This is the first country song I remember hearing in the early 1980s. Friends of my parents were over, and we were all standing outside, the radio playing in the background, and a lightning storm was going on, the trees in my parents’ backyard would be outlined with the brightness of the lightning every 5 seconds (or less). It was beautiful. I’ve loved rainy nights and thunderstorms since that night.
9. “32 Flavors” by Ani DiFranco. During my sophomore year of college, I took an class in the Ojibwe language. The first day, this “wild spirit” came up to me and started talking. She was a feminist, and I…was in something of a transition between who I was raised to be and who I truly was. (I’m still in this transition, almost 20 years later). We were instant friends, and I ended up spending hours at her apartment, reading her books, talking to her, listening to her music, laughing, crying, everything. This song reminds me of that moment when we met, and she introduced me to another world.
10. “Small Town Saturday Night” by Hal Ketchum. This song will always make me think of summer vacations from school. The town I grew up in, which probably mirrors every other small town in America, is definitely found in this song. When I hear it, I remember all of the hours I spent with my childhood best friend, driving around Marquette in her car, talking about our lives and what we wanted out of life, and the crazy things we used to do just to pass the time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little Trip Down RatingYooper’s Memory Lane!