The music of my life

While burning all of my CDs to the computer so I can then transfer them to my iPod I’ve had a chance to revisit my life, or at least my life since the CD came on the scene. And a little bit further back than that since I rebought many of my favorite tapes in CD form.

For whatever reason, there are certain songs that can instantly transport me to a different place and time. Enya’s Caribbean Blue, for example, puts me back in a beat up Mazda truck at the one traffic light between my high school and home as I was racing to make curfew. The windows were down and it was a bit chilly, and I was amazed at how much traffic there was at 10:58 in the tiny little town center.

Hey Jealousy (Gin Blossoms) reminds me of what I believe is a now defunct bar from college. It wasn’t a bar I chose to frequent, but one of my roommates loved it there so I spent portions of many Friday or Saturday nights sitting at a table near the windows watching the snow fall and listening to this song, wondering why I was there instead of at home in bed.

I’m highly embarrassed to admit this, but Rhythm is a Dancer (Snap!) was my top pick the year I lived in London. I think I probably liked it because I was broke, homesick, and the peppy dance beat gave me a brief jolt of something resembling energy. As I would run through the neighborhoods surrounding my apartment, I would just play that song over and over again. There was one particular street that had meticulous gardens which always found its way into my path. I could still tell you to this day what each garden on that pristine little road looked like. That was one of the few years that I was a hard core runner, I think because of the endorphin factor.

The entirety of Sophie B. Hawkins album Whaler, but Did We Not Choose Each Other in particular, reminds me of the long drive to graduate school the summer I lived at home to save money. It was an awful highway drive until the last 15 minutes or so when I started winding through the hills. It was at that point in the drive that Did We Not Choose Each Other always came on, and as I made the final turns into school, I would marvel at her voice.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include our wedding song in the list, although the song doesn’t actually transport me back to our wedding day. Instead it takes me back to the dingy house I lived in during my final year in grad school. M and I were watching Conspiracy Theory on the tiny TV during one of his few visits north. We had just spent the last week arguing over “our song.” I wanted Marc Cohn’s True Companion, he refused to play a song that talked about making love at a wedding (see my eyes roll???). I can’t even remember what his song of choice was (sorry honey). As the credits rolled Frankie Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You played and we looked at each other and shrugged. It worked. It got our mothers and the DJ off of our backs. And that folks, is how our song came to be.

There are many other songs that didn’t make the list, but those are the ones that stick out as I flip through my collection. Note that there is no mention of Laurie Berkner or Music Together. While I love my children, their music tastes leave something to be desired these days. Although A did start bopping to Jonathan Richman this afternoon, so there is hope yet.



  1. Can I say that I love Enya? I don’t care if she’s seen as gauche or new-agey.

    And Carribbean Blue is one of my favorites.

  2. It does not surprise me in the least to hear that M refused a song about making love, seeing as my fight with Paul about the very same thing lasted until the day before my wedding (I won, however).

    Hey Jealousy is a college bar memory song for me, too (for obvious reasons), but I am at a loss as to exactly which bar you’re referring to here… 🙂

  3. chichimama says:

    Well, there is a process of elimination but think football numbers….

  4. Phantom Scribbler says:

    The day “Trot Old Joe” makes it to my iPod, I hope someone takes me outside and shoots me.

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