Thursday, March 31, 2005

10 songs that bring back memories

Ten songs that bring back memories and why --

1. the lion sleeps tonight - by robert john, 1971. this song just spoke to me somehow. i was 5 years old and loved the melody, the lyrics, the playfulness, the uniqueness. i had my own record player in my room and i played this song over and over and over. it drove my brother nuts in his bedroom next door, and he hated the song. now if i'm driving and hear the song on the radio, i dial him up and lay my cell phone over the radio speaker so we can share a few moments of nostalgia -- me enjoying and singing my song and him yelling at me to turn that noise off! - story of the american hit - story of the writer and original performers
2. the locomotion - by grand funk railroad, 1974. this song was always on the jukebox at the swimming pool where i spent many sunday afternoons in the summers. i was 8-9 years old while it was popular there. i just loved the heavy sound of this song, blaring out over all the noise. today if i hear this song, i can still smell the chlorine of the swimming pool, as these two things are so closely related in my mind. and yes, i know they are not the "original" band who recorded this song -- but this is the version that was popular in my time.
3. seasons in the sun - by terry jacks, 1974. i was 9 years old the summer that i fell in love w/ the sound of this song. i knew it was a sad story, but i didn't really pay attention to that. i just knew that i liked the sound and it felt good. when we went on that long trip to get kirk out of the country for a while, this song was a hit on the radio. i met a girl in boise, idaho, who had the record and she gave it to me because she was tired of it. i was so excited to add this song to my music collection. kirk was so excited he could hardly imagine the future with my new song, either.
4. i never promised you a rose garden - by lynn anderson, 1971. i was 5 years old at this time, riding most days in the truck w/ mom and nothing else to do but listen to the radio. i could sing all the songs that came on and i knew all about all of the singers and songwriters. something about this song was just fun to sing. the melody was lively and catchy. it was my favorite song for quite a while. one time while visiting lana williams and playing w/ her record player, i saw that she had this record. i asked to play it, and she said she would just rather i took it home w/ me because she was so tired of it. i was so excited to have this 45 now and i could hear it all the time.
5. the streak - by ray stevens, 1974. this song was just so comical and so fun, to think about the amazing looks of people as they witnessed a streaker running by. during this time period, streaking was quite the popular prank to pull. the whole "don't look, ethyl" from the song became a part of our everyday lives. dad and i had so much fun w/ this song and other songs from ray stevens.
6. the cover of the rolling stone - by dr. hook, 1973. i was 8 years old when this song came out and i absolutely loved it. i most remember hearing it while "working" in the machine shed w/ dad. it brings to mind the smell of grease and dirt and the sounds of machines running. dad always had the radio on in the shed, balanced on the shelf above the phone. he would be working at his workbench and i would be pounding nails in the block of wood, climbing in the hay, jumping on the pile of old tires, swinging from the rafters, or chasing wild kittens. there was always plenty of "work" to do. this song was always so fun, with the voices and the personalities showing through that it just tempted a person to mimic them and sing along -- and we did. every time i hear this song, i am reminded of that time w/ my father. he claimed he didn't like the song and he didn't like hippies, but he sang along every time it played. i learned an amazing fact today -- shel silverstein wrote this song and all the other songs on the first albums. he went from playboy cartoonist to #1 hit songwriter to children's author. now i have a whole new appreciation for the song.
7. bohemian rhapsody - by queen, 1975. i was 9 when this song came out and it was totally amazing. this was 7 minutes of audio heaven. i loved hearing the level of difficulty of the music and the words. it was like hearing carmen after listening to mary had a little lamb -- big difference. i could just dream to the sounds of opera, harmony, melody, counter-melody, new words and new sounds. it was fantastic and so much fun. so different than anything else out at the time. singers/performers w/ actual talent and an understanding for music.
8. convoy - by cw mccall, 1975. this song created quite a "trucker phase" across the nation, where truckers became the popular underdogs-turned-heroes. during this time, people had CBs in their cars, had their own "handles," and felt like they were a part of the trucker society. the song inspired a movie, called convoy, but it also inspired other scenes in other movies, such as smokey and the bandit. it was so much fun to be traveling and see a group of trucks traveling together. this was a time when people weren't living in fear of other people when they traveled and openly communicated w/ most people, whether face to face or by CB.
9. follow me - by uncle kracker, 2000. well, i was hardly a child when this song came out -- but i have a strong attraction to this song. i love the melody and the story line. i could just put this song on repeat and hear it over and over and over, imagining the images and situations from that song that make the most impact on me --

All you know is when I'm with you, I make you free
And swim through your veins like a fish in the sea
i find the idea that someone could be so in love, so intuned to/with, and so immersed in someone else that he or she could "swim through your veins like a fish in the sea". that amount of love and security, desire to be together, and devotion are just amazing to me. as the song is playing, i'm imagining the fish in the sea, jumping and cavorting like a porpoise in the ocean. the fun, free playful image totally immersed in the love of someone else -- very appealing, very tempting.
10. break my stride - by matthew wilder, 1984. i loved this song because it so enforced what i believed. this was a rough year for me as i was adjusting to being a young mother, finishing high school, starting college, and being married, and working. my life had changed drastically, but all of my friends were pretty much living the same life. it was tough, but i was determined to make it and make it successfully. i kept the cassette of this song in my car just as a reminder that nothing and no one (but me) could keep me from succeeding.

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