Music and Memories Flow
It’s amazing how you can be standing somewhere in a lobby and a song comes out over the PA system, and suddenly it’s like you never forgot the words at all. You remember the sunny summer afternoon with the windows in the car rolled down and you remember drumming on the steering wheel and singing to the top of your lungs.
This sensation has happened to me several times lately. Early-to-mid-nineties rock songs that I thought I’d long forgotten will be interspersed on the local rock stations or in bars or restaurants that target my age range. You could tell me the names of these songs and I’d say “No, I’ve never even heard of that song,” and then I’d hear the song and know all the words.
Playing the game Rock Band has triggered some neat memories I’d forgotten about. For example, “Dani California” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers came out as a single on the radio while I worked for Blockbuster Video in Fredericksburg. I remember turning the radio up in the car and singing along to it while waiting in the parking lot to go open the store. “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden used to be one of my favorite songs on MTV back when MTV didn’t suck. “Celebrity Skin” by Hole reminds me how much I still despise Courtney Love. She’s like Paris Hilton on crack. Literally.
There’s something familiar, comforting even, about knowing all the words to a song you haven’t heard in a long time. All the feelings, memories, and people you attached to that music when it first arrived in your life come flowing back to you like an unexpected ocean wave slapping you in the face. Maybe all this nostalgia is me getting older.