Sunday, March 1, 2009
Who Are you? Who, Who, Who, Who?
Recently, The Actor mentioned that Smooth by Santana and Rob Thomas reminded him of when we lived in Illinois and, more specifically, riding in the old Toyota MR2 with MathMan. That got me to thinking about how often music can take you back to a place and time and, often, specific events.
Like just now as I finally decided to write this post that I've been turning over in my head, I was prompted by hearing The Who's Love Reign O'er Me. I was at the Cincinnati Zoo on a trip with my high school's Science Club (Shut up, I was in all kinds of clubs! I was even in in the Drinking in the Cemetery and Cow Tipping clubs. Growing up in a very small town did have it's social advantages, after all.)
Anyway, back to the Cincinnati Zoo and that trip. We were nearing the end of our field trip and most of us had gathered on some picnic tables to prepare to board the bus for the trip back home to Rising Sun. Suddenly, the cloudy skies gave way and large rain drops began to plink, plink, plink around us. Within seconds the plinks turned into an official downpour.
Teenagers scattered and scrambled for the nearest shelter. Back in 1983, some of us spent a lot of quality time with our curling irons, mirrors and cans of Aqua Net. Those big coifs were labor intensive. Teasing was rather a fine art. Hence, many of us weren't going to sacrifice all that effort without a fight.
We stood chattering away under the shelter of an overhang of a snackbar, waiting out the downpour. Not everyone had joined the group, though, and we could see a couple of our classmates coming our way. One of them, Tim P., a rather outgoing young man, grinned a big grin and then threw his arms up wide and sang......"Luhhhhhhhhhve, rain o'er me......." giving us his best impression of Roger Daltrey.
I can see it like it was yesterday.
There are other songs that do the same thing. Simple Minds' Don't You Forget about Me puts me right back into my apartment on Alameda Avenue in Muncie, Indiana. I was a freshman in college and my then boyfriend, new roommate and I moved our belongs from the dorm to the apartment during a blinding snowstorm. But stay in the dorm another night? No way! Ah....good times.
The Grateful Dead's Sugar Magnolia is a time machine that sends me back to the days when my girlfriend Tanya and I would hang out at the creek, sunbathing. We'd set our lawn chairs up in the shallows and sit around drinking beer and wine coolers, discussing our latest conquests and conspiring fake names and phone numbers for the evenings outing to this bar or that.
One afternoon, after a few too many, we thought it would be a bright idea to play on the tire swing that hung on a big old willow tree on the creek's bank. I believe the word I'm looking for here is something stronger than unfortunate, but not quite near-fatal. We were just glad that no videotape was involved. I never did find the top to my green bikini.
I could bore you to death with examples of how music can trigger memories, but I like you so I'll let you live. Back in the days before anyone knew about my blogs, I wrote a whole post on music. It was kind of like writing about the soundtrack of my life. Up to that point in 2006, anyway. Songs that remind me of the years 2007 and 2008 are mostly an itchy mix of polka, Gregorian chants, reggae, Miley Cyrus, and Edith Piaf and to punish you with that would be completely outside the bounds of decency. And you know what an adherent I am to those boundaries.
Instead, why don't you share with us your life's soundtrack? Seriously, I'm curious. Because surely, you don't want me to go on for six paragraphs about how I hear the opening to this song in my head all the time lately, do you?