Lunchtime Poll: Songs and Memories

Do you ever hear a song and, for some reason, flash back to the first time you heard it? Or have oddly specific memories tied to songs? I do. One day, years ago, I walked out of work for my lunch break to see an amazing rainbow over Union Square that from our angle ended right on top of the Empire State Building. New Yorkers usually don’t just stop in the street to talk to strangers, but on that day, everyone was smiling and sharing the experience. I went on to get my lunch, and the radio at the pizza/Chinese place was playing U2’s “Beautiful Day,” which put a huge smile on my face since it really was a beautiful day. Now, every time I hear the song it reminds me of that day. Other song memories are sillier. The Offspring’s “Bad Habit” not only reminds me of one of my friends from high school who loved loudly singing along with the “You stupid dumb-shit goddamn motherfucker!” line, but reminds me more recently of hearing it during a driving lesson and being amused at the irony since it’s a song about road rage. (I may have also once yelled the same line really loudly in the parking lot of the local U-Haul rental. With my two-year-old in the backseat. Oops!)

Do you have specific memories tied to songs? Let us know in the comments.

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[E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

13 thoughts on “Lunchtime Poll: Songs and Memories”

  1. So, so many songs. I totaled my first car right in the middle of Sublime’s “What I Got” (luckily everyone involved walked away no worse for the wear) but I still love that song – my car crash song. Yesterday as I was driving to work, I heard that old “Treat Her Like a Lady” song (unsure of the artist) and flashed back to the first time I heard it – my mom is a 70’s music fiend, and she, myself and my best friend were driving up to the Lake for a week directly after school ended for the summer. Whenever I hear Toni Basil’s “Mickey” I’m right back at the community swimming pool in the eighties, watching some teenage girls singing along to it on a boombox and dancing around the pool. Yah. Good memories.

    Today is a good day. Took my dog for a long walk through the woods this morning, called to check up on an internship that I’d applied for and was encouraged by the short conversation, so now I can stop worrying about it. I’m such a damn worrywort, but I think it’s genetic.

  2. Aqua’s Candyman always brings me back to singing in my best buddy’s car at the top of my lungs while cruising up and down the main drag of our hometown.  My then boyfriend always sang the creepy male part and my bestie and I would do harmony on the female part.  I was talking to my then-boyfriend-still-great-buddy the other day about that and he was like:  “Seriously, how did we NOT know I was gay at that point?”

  3. When I was in high school (1979-1983) I worked for the local Dairy Queen, which was at that time still a drive in kind of place, as a carhop (thankfully not on roller skates or the parking lot would have been covered in spilled ice cream!).

    There was a jukebox beside the patio tables that I swear to God must have had only one song in it because the only thing that ever played was “Funkytown.”  Whenever I hear that song now, the first thing I do is scream “turn it off!” and the second thing I do is remember that job.

    I hate that fucking song.  And now I can hear it in my head.

  4. Oh absolutely.  There’s an Eurythmics song that I associate with watching that song on Friday Night Videos and eating orange Jell-O.  There’s a certain U2 song that up until recently I couldn’t listen to, because it brought me back to one of the worst nights I ever had.  One More Try, by George Michael, takes me back to visiting a friend who moved away.  Devil Inside reminds me of a specific day of childhood.  I could go on and on, but I won’t.

  5. I had a really awful night at work.  I can’t sleep because of it.

    I’m 90% certain that my coworker was fired this morning at the end of our shift and I keep questioning my judgement/involvement. I don’t want to be a snitch, but when patient safety is involved…. Bah.  It was awful, I’ll leave it at that.

    As for this post, I have many specific memories tied to certain songs.  Every time I hear ‘Good Vibrations’ by the Beach Boys I think of my dad and I blaring  it in the car with the windows down in the middle of December while looking at X-mas lights.  ‘Cotton Eye Joe’ instantly brings me back to my jump rope days.  ‘What goes around, comes around’ by JT brings me back to getting my hair dyed for the first time by my college roomie.  ‘We are the Champions’ brings me back to an epic neighborhood water fight when I was 10.  Ah, I could go on forever and this little activity has cheered me up a little because I’m now listening to these songs on itunes. :)

  6. I used to listen to CDs constantly in my car. So I have memories of high school when I hear entire discs (like System of a Down’s Chop Suey–hey I didn’t say I had GOOD musical tastes–or Incubus’ Morning View.)

    Then in college when I would drive to see my then-boyfriend-now-husband at his school 2 hours away I would listen to Modest Mouse’s Good News for People who Love Bad News, Hellogoodbye’s Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, and Ok Go’s Oh No. Any track off of those and I remember so vividly the feeling of driving in the beautiful spring/fall of Indiana in ’06, excited to see my guy.

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