The Soundtrack to My Life, Part I

Many years ago, I started compiling a list of songs that took me back to a particular place and time, and brought with it the emotions I felt. Then, I came across this post recently about creating a sountrack to your life. That post re-inspired me to go back to that list and share some songs that automatically triggers a memory, whether it be good or bad.

Part I of this series includes 20 songs that cover a span of 20 years of my life, and includes a little bit of everything. In future posts, I will create new lists for more specific time frames and events, style of music, etc.


Here is what these songs bring to mind…

  • “She Drives Me Crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals
    Water aerobics classes at Mississippi Wellness Center with my mom.
  • “Love Will Lead You Back” by Taylor Dayne
    Either on the drive to or from the hospital, I heard this song on the day my grandfather died of cancer.
  • “All I Wanna Do” by Sheryl Crow
    Walking with my friend home from school, we made a more dirty revision of this song over Sonic mozzarella cheesesticks. Instead of “have some fun”, it became “screw someone.”
  • “If the World Had a Front Porch” by Tracy Lawrence
    The first time. I could only find a 30 second clip for this one, which works out ironically funny in this case.
  • “Unbreak My Heart” by Toni Braxton
    Singing this song melodramatically with friends, moments after being dumped by my boyfriend of almost two years at senior prom.
  • “Too Close” by Next
    My first time clubbing at the Depot in downtown Jackson, MS. They would switch to a country song anytime the underage drinkers needed to abandon their drinks because the police had arrived.
  • “More Than Words Can Say” by Alias
    When things were really going wrong in my life, there was a particular day when, at 6 AM, I needed someone desperately, and was lucky enough to find them.
  • “I Love You” by Sarah McLachlan
    For the time I could not tell someone how I felt about them, and they ended up walking away and out of my life forever.
  • “Breathe” by Anna Nalick
    About the time I realized that writing poetry helped me purge my emotions, the part of this song when she says “2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song. If I get it all down on paper, its no longer inside of me, threatening the life they belong to” described me perfectly.
  • “To Where You Are” by Josh Groban
    My favorite show was Ally McBeal for the longest time. Josh Groban guest starred and sang this song on an episode about a town that cancels their Christmas parade due to a tragedy. The episode was aired in December 2001, and eluded to September 11th.
  • “This Love” by Pantera
    Shortly after moving to Phoenix, playing pool for the first time at this pool hall where the bartender never bothered to card me. This song seemed to play on the jukebox every night I was there.
  • “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” by Cake
    Another pool hall, jukebox favorite.
  • “Something I Can Never Have” by Nine Inch Nails
    Every time a relationship ended, this is what I felt about love.
  • “Dancing Queen” by Abba
    Dancing at a club in Toronto, after about twelve vodka cranberry cocktails and becoming known as a pool shark.
  • “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane
    This song was playing on the radio as I took the family dog to the vet, wrapped in a white towel, for cremation, as he had died sometime the night before. The line “Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?” brought me to tears each time I heard if for the next few months.
  • “Look What You’ve Done” by Jet
    Reminded me of what it felt like to be on both ends of an affair.
  • “Arms of the Angel” by Sarah McLachlan
    A song that I can finally find beautiful, but once thought of as a song fit for the ending of things. A better version that I could not find for the playlist was done live with Josh Groban, and can be found on Youtube.
  • “Ready for Love” by India Arie
    I found this song shortly after I realized I was in love with my boyfriend, and now fiancé. It described perfectly how I was through playing games, and ready for whatever love had in store for me.
  • “That’s All” by Michael Buble
    Lyrics to this were handwritten beautifully, and given to me in stages throughout the day on my birthday, leading up to our engagement.
  • “Suteki Da Ne” by Nobuo Uematsu
    From Final Fantasy X. Instead of the traditional “Here Comes the Bride”, this will be the music playing as I descend down the aisle towards my groom.

Comments

  1. says

    Great playlist! I love the way you shared the actual music. Recently, I wrote an article based on a Pen On Fire writing prompt “Teaching Your Pen To Listen” at http://tiny.cc/rZnFM. That was a tough assignment because each musical memory led to so many other memories.

  2. says

    Indeed, it’s actually kind of funny to realize–just the day before yesterday, as a matter of fact–how music can shape my mood. Listening to Pandora.com Monday night, I heard an old–not exactly ancient, however–Tom Petty song, “Face in the Crowd,” which always struck me as an exceedingly sad song.

    I’m not quite sure why, perhaps only because it refers back to a sad time when I was much younger (lost love and all that happy horseshit).

    I woke up the next morning in a deflated mood, with a noticeably long face. And it wasn’t till mid-morning that I realized that “Face in the Crowd” was playing in my head over and over and over again. After realizing that, I laughed and it went away.

  3. says

    @Sandra – Some memories are tough to relive in your mind. When those come to me, I make sure to not let my thoughts focus on them, but rather on the good memories that are so wonderful to have again.

    @Stephen – When songs like that get stuck in your head, you have to remedy them by finding something utterly blissful, or silly even, to overwrite the sad song.

    @LP Blogger – Thanks. That song was an amazing find, and at the perfect time for me.