Driving around, you see something that stirs a memory. A song comes on the radio and you remember why it makes you smile or cry. It can evoke memories or feelings that affected you positively (and sometimes negatively — God bless Journey!). I’ve been hearing memories all over town lately… I thought I would share some of them with you and what sparked the synapse to my brain that caused me to think of these things in the first place.
Here you go:
1) “Nightswimming”, by REM comes on the radio station I listen to a lot. I love that song. I listened endlessly to REM in high school and college (all the cool girls did). But, hearing this song doesn’t remind me of those times. It reminds me that I used to play the piano and how I want to learn this song on the piano and play it for my friends one day. It also reminds me of my piano teacher and the time I took my mother’s checkbook to practice writing checks (I was 8 ) and wrote the piano teacher a $200 check (she was really good).
2) “Early In The Morning”, by The Gap Band reminds me of The Pizza Hut. (Now that was a stretch wasn’t it?) It reminds me of high school football games in the small town I grew up in. The Pizza Hut was across the street from the high school and we ended up there every Friday night after a game. This song was inevitably on the jukebox. There really is no better time in a small town than Friday night football games. I remember sitting in the stands with blankets, I remember cheering, I remember it all.
3) “Cuts Like A Knife”, by Bryan Adams reminds me of a water tower in the small town I grew up in. It was on the outskirts of town and we all gathered there every weekend. One night my best friend and I were lying on the hood of a car looking at the stars and a meteor shower began. It was amazing. I’ve never been able to see one since — it was a perfect fluke.
4) “Closer To Fine”, by Indigo Girls, also plays on my radio station frequently. I can’t help but sing along when ever I hear this song. It reminds me that I re-learned how to play the guitar just so my best friend and I could sing the entire Indigo Girls collection. But, mostly I remember how her guitar was so much nicer than mine. Her’s was a beautiful 12 string guitar that I coveted. Mine, I got in the 4th grade.
5) “The Day The Music Died”, by Don McLean. There was a pub near campus when I was in college. It was perfect. It had an outdoor patio…and it had a jukebox. The best jukebox ever. We all gathered there several times a week and always, at some point during the evening, this song would come on. I had a friend that would sing louder than any of us, she was adorable… we all loved her. This song reminds me of her and how I miss her and how her death was hard on a group of college kids.
These are my songs, they are my memories. I hear these songs and they make me smile as I think about youth and the lack of inhibitions that live in youth. But, I’d like to think that youth and uninhibited behaviors didn’t automatically end when I graduated from college or left my small town. I remember night swimming — do you?