Monday, August 3, 2009

The Music That Transports Me

Several posts ago, I mentioned that I'd been compiling a list of songs that "send" me to a particular moment in time. It's like how a certain smell can trigger a memory. I smell bread baking and I'm immediately anticipating my Mom's homemade potato soup and just baked bread. (Yum!)

Certain sounds can do the same thing, and certain songs in particular evoke immediate and specific memories for me. I hear a particular song and I am transported at once back to a place in time that encapsulates a significant moment in my life. Mostly, they are special, tender, beautiful moments; but not always.

"We're All Alone," by Boz Scaggs. (play song) A very special memory. I attended a weeklong summer camp (Anytown) the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. The camp was attended by high school kids from all over Arizona - 3 from my high school, 3 from the other high school where I live - and many others from all over. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this here before, but I was a GEEK in high school. Seriously, if you looked it up in the dictionary, my picture was there. I fit in okay, though. I didn't "hook up" with anyone ;) like a lot of other kids did, but I had developed a bit of a secret crush on a particular boy from the other high school in my town. (I even still remember his name. Jeesh!) On the last night of camp we had a dance. I don't remember for sure if I'd danced at all before, (probably not) but the very last dance (you know, the really special one), my secret crush asked me to dance. He was so sweet, and I don't think my feet ever touched the floor. I was floating. Sigh . . .

"Never Surrender" by Corey Hart. This song gave me strength; this song made me determined. I was in a bad situation and I needed to get out. But I knew it wasn't going to be easy. And it wasn't, but I did. Enough said.

"Let's Stay Together" by Al Green. Or anything by Al Green, for that matter, was a bad sign. When that album came on, my heart raced and my stomach clenched and I was scared. That music was usually played at night after "he" had spent an afternoon drinking (and/or other things) and was usually my clue to brace myself. That was over 20 years ago, but I still can't stand those songs.

"Waterfalls" by TLC. Another summer camp memory. Only this one many years later and much, much different. I took a week off work several years ago to be a counselor at a camp for kids who are burn survivors. This song played on the radio a few times while I was driving the five hours or so to the camp. I was so excited to be going! Turned out to be one of the toughest AND most rewarding weeks of my life.

"These Days" by Rascal Flatts. Most (all?) couples go through rough spots, and my hubby and I are no different. A few years ago we were "apart" for, as it turned out, just a week. We went out on a "date" late in the week, and this song played on the radio. My hubby asked me if I'd heard it before (I hadn't at the time). He said he'd listened to it a lot and asked me to listen to the words because it was a lot of what he'd been feeling.

"Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's Turandot, sung by Pavarotti. An incredibly beautiful song. In September 2007, I attended a yoga retreat in California. As part of our closing "ceremonies," we were doing an exercise in connecting (with the earth and with each other). They played this song and I thought my heart was going to explode. Pavarotti had died two days before.

I leave you with "Nessun Dorma."


  1. Ahh, Boz Scaggs! I have some great memories associated with his songs. Thanks for he reminder.

  2. Music means a great deal to me...and like you, many of my memories are recalled through a song. You Light Up My Life, not one of them. I hate that song. Don't even know why I shared that!

  3. Love the Al Green and Nessun Dorma too,! Music is such a big part of my life. Hubby and I both love music, so there is always tunes around the house. I have too many "essential songs" to list would take me all day--LOL! Thank you for sharing yours, Janet. :o) Happy Day!

  4. Have you heard Paul Potts sing Nessum Dorma? It's wonderful too.
    I enjoy your blog.
    Sunny :)

  5. Yes, music always takes me back too. Good and bad memories... I'm sorry that you have to deal with those bad memories, but remember how strong you were to get out of it. Without knowing the details, I know you were.
    I really love your story about that first dance! There is nothing like the first crush.

  6. "Never Surrender", my memory is that it's late at night midsummer in Atlanta, we have the window open and it's raining and we are going to see Corey Hart the next evening, and two of us are crying because another friend has died of this weird disease called AIDS.
    And "Nessun Dorma" -- that's right. No one shall sleep tonight. One of my favourites.

    Music was almost my major -- now I simply majorly love it and must have it.
    A great post. Say, Janet, I wonder who won the Augustpalooza Art Giveaway? Mmmm....
    Candace in Athens.

  7. As you can see, I'm only now catching up on your wonderful August posts. My goodness, I haven't thought of "We're All Alone" in years. Just the memory of the song, without even hearing it, takes me to West Point and my lost love of many many years ago. Powerful stuff, music.


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