Song Title: Yeat’s Grave
Artist: The Cranberries
Age at time of Song Memory : 13, maybe 14
Current Age: 37

Song Memory: Inspired to write this as I read about the untimely death of Dolores O’Riordan today. I got the album No Need to Argue during the earliest part of my teenage years. I think I got it from one of those mail away type “sign up now and get 10 albums for $2” kind of deals back in the 90’s (with those little stamps of the albums that you would pull off and stick to your order form). Anyway, I listened the heck out of this album. Zombie was the popular radio song at the time, but I really loved the whole album, front to back. I recall Yeat’s Grave in particular as a song that stood out – no real reason why, but it is one that I still know and occasionally catch myself singing to this day. When I do, I think of riding the school bus, headphones firmly on my ears, drowning out the rest of the bus world. For some reason I always think of darker, grey mornings. Perhaps it is the minor key of the music, the fact that the lyrics mention a guy’s grave, etc. But I can just see the forrest of my old bus route whizzing by in a grey brown haze of tree trunks and dead leaves (maybe I listened a lot during the fall/winter when I first got this album?). I think of my younger self sitting, knees up, arms folded, rocking back and forth with the road, staring vacantly out the window in the back of the dark bus on numerous dimly lit Fall/Winter mornings, listening to this song on repeat.



Song Title: Hips Don’t Lie
Artist: Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean
Age at time of Song Memory : 15
Current Age: 22

Shakespeare and Shakira are two names you would find unlikely to appear in the same sentence. But the director of my high school’s fall production of the bard’s Romeo and Juliet was just bold enough to merge the worlds of Latin pop and the Elizabethan era together for its soundtrack. In the dark I sat on a wobbly stool in a small sound booth at the back of the Little Theater waiting for my cue to press play towards the end of Act I – the masquerade scene. The introductory horns of the song’s beginning signaled the masked cast members to their places. The choreographed routine resembled something like a salsa. Left foot forward, back to center. Right foot back, back to center. The males lifting their arms, inviting the ladies to turn. With some swaying of the hips in between. A series of partner switches eventually brought the title characters to each other, as the play would have it. An unconventional, contemporary interpretation of that fateful scene but after a certain number of rehearsals, the pairing almost seemed natural.


Song Title: A Mother Like Mine
Artist: The Band Perry
Age at time of Song Memory : 37
Current Age: 37

Song Memory:
When I first heard the song it automatically made me think of my mother.  There is a line in the song where they say “she is the bravest of us all” and when I hear that I begin to tear up.  My mother was diagnosed with cancer a few years back and my entire world was turned upside down.  I am very close with my mother and the thought of losing her is unbearable.

She faces her mortality every single day and if you met her you would never know.  She lives her life and still does so much for everyone.  I wonder what is going on inside her head, I wonder what her thoughts are, I wonder what she keeps inside and doesn’t tell me…I know she doesn’t want me to be sad…The day the doctor told her the diagnosis I was in the office with her and my father… Immediately after the Doctor said the word “cancer” my parents looked right at me to make sure I was OK…I am so blessed to have such loving parents.


Song: Private Eye
Artist: Alkaline Trio
Memory Age: 19
Current Age: 29

I downloaded Alkaline Trio’s Here to Infirmary  last night and I’m currently sitting poolside listening to it for the first time in probably 5 years. The whole album got me, but the one that does it the most is Private Eye (the first song on the album and maybe the best so it got listened to the most). I was INSTANTLY transported to being 19, working at Media Play, driving around in my then boyfriend’s cavalier. I literally could see the interior of the car as I was listening to the songs, it was nuts. I swear I can smell the Axe body spray!



Song: Sullen Girl
Artist: Fiona Apple
Memory Age: 15
Current Age: 32

I was sleeping over my best friend’s house. After watching movies and much giggling over random silly things, we ended up listening to Fiona Apple’s Tidal album for the (my) first time. Sullen Girl was the one that stuck in my head the strongest. I remember laying on the floor in the late/early hours of the weekend morning/night surrounded by the golden sherbert walls and plum accents of her small bedroom. We listened on repeat. It was beautiful.


Song: Temptation
Artist: Vast
Memory Age: 16-17
Current age: 31

Riding a bus down the Liberty Science Center. Why we were going there in junior year of high school, I can’t remember. This song brings up memories of staring out the bus window, watching the scenery flash by, getting more and more grafittied, congested, and grimy as we got closer to the city/NJ. It was the first time I saw the Statue of Liberty, too (at least closer than ever before). It was a sunny day. The song just seemed to work well with the scenery that was quickly flashing by. That memory stuck.


Song: Mr. Boombastic
Artist: Shaggy
Memory Age: 16
Current Age: 32

I had never heard this song until the night of my sweet 16 birthday party. A friend of mine grabbed one of those blow up plastic novelty microphones, and started to sing this song in a very animated way. There was much closed-eye, squatting and suggestive dancing and air humping while he lip-synch crooned into that pink and purple microphone balloon. I will always remember that moment and that party with it’s light show flashing around the darkened hall from the DJ’s rig, tons of my friends crowded into that space, and having one of the best times of my young life.



Song: Kamenoi Ostrow (Reve Angelique)
Artist: Anton Rubinstein
Memory Age: 5
Current Age: 52

During the Easter Show [at Radio City Music Hall] an organist would open the theater by playing music which at first seemed boring, but then utilized the Hall’s sub woofers and largest pipes to cause a reverberation and make the audience feel part of the show. Then they shut off the lights, and open[ed] the stage to a heavenly spectacular! It was thrilling and overcoming to a five year old. Later in life, when my brother played the same music on his organ, I expected the beams of light to shine in from heaven above!



Song Title: Innocent
Artist: Taylor Swift
Age at time of Song Memory : 18
Current Age: 19

My best friend had just passed away. I was a mess every second. This song takes me right back to that horrible week but in a good way. I can somehow remember her through this song.



Song Title: All That I’ve Got
Artist: The Used
Age at time of Song Memory : 11
Current Age: 18

Song Memory: After my parents got divorced, my dad got a tiny three-room apartment a few towns over.  It was always dark and had a brownish rug.  It was ashy and always smelled like cigarettes because now that he had his own place, he could smoke inside.  It was summer and we ordered pizza, like always, because he lived above a pizzeria. My 13 year old brother and I were sitting on his lumpy blue futon, one of the very few items of furniture in the apartment, and watching a music channel because we were both just starting to discover music that wasn’t from our parents. My dad was drinking scotch and reading the paper at a card table.  This song came on and my brother and I were intrigued by the strange music video.


Song: Dazed and Confused
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Memory Age: 18
Current Age: 32

I hadn’t listened to much Led Zeppelin at this point in my life. My mom was the parent who may have listened to them back in the day, but she was more of a folk singer kind of 60’s and 70’s music fan. Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, etc. Maybe the Doors, Beatles and Rolling Stones, too, but not the Zep.

I was attending college at this point, and was on my own for the first time ever. No rules. Just me, my friends, and my boyfriend at the time. I went to a school (and maybe many schools are/were like this) where there were all sorts of drugs available at any given time. You name it, it was around – Alcohol, Pot, Acid, Shrooms, Heroin, Coke… whatever. I never did the “crazy” stuff, but I did drink, smoke a lot of pot, and did my fair share of acid at this point in life. I guess acid could be considered “crazy stuff” to some.

Anyway, one evening after dropping a particularly strong batch of Spiderman blotter acid, my boyfriend and I were sitting in his dorm room. Across the ceiling were these multi-colored Christmas lights that followed along every length of wall around us. We sat in the dark listening to Led Zeppelin. Now, every time I hear Dazed and Confused, I can vividly recall sitting in the darkness, laying on the bed with him, watching the pale colorful lights slowly undulate and pulse with each guitar lick. It was the beginning of a long night full of wandering the campus, being afraid of some monstrous-looking sculptures that surrounded the dark pond at the far end of the school’s property, then thinking I was in a gas chamber while ascending the dormitory stairwell, and ending the trip at the greyish part of sunrise when we decided to get breakfast at the dining hall.


Song: Here I am Lord

Artist: Traditional Religious Hymn

Current Age: ?

Age at time of song memory: ?


I always loved the melody & words to the song “Here I am Lord”. At Sunday services, my Dad had told me he always loved it too, & we would both look at each other & smile when it was one of the weekly hymns. A few years later, when he was growing older & had faced some serious illnesses, I noticed a tear in his eyes as he sang along in Church, the words having become even more meaningful & touching than before. I chose that song to be played at his funeral & since his death, I cannot hear the song without tears streaming down my face.



Song: Johnny Quest (Thinks We’re Sellouts) 
Artist: Less Than Jake
Memory age: 16
Current age: 23

Spring 2006. Junior year. Instead of going on next year’s senior trip to New York, I’ve opted to go on the Spring Break service trip to the Bahamas (I don’t get along with most of my classmates anyway, and the Bahamas trip is open to the whole school). We spend the week there exploring, building the school a library, fixing computers, and black-topping a basketball court. Every day when we return to our cabins by the sea, some of the freshman boys pull out an iPod and dock. We sit around it, and I am introduced to the world of ska– a world that I’ll never fully come to appreciate, but that I’ll enjoy for the interim. We dig our toes into the sand and shout along with the music. Some of the older boys whip out a can of bug spray and lighters and practice their flame-throwing skills. Being the mini-pyro that I am, I laugh and join in the fun. The sun sets over the ocean and we change the music over to our evening soundtrack of Santana and Panic at the Disco. How romantic.


Song Title: We Are Young
Artist: Fun.
Age at time of Song Memory : 23
Current Age: 24

During the  summer following graduation from university, two of my best friends and I were on a road trip to another friend’s wedding. We were dressed in shorts and tank tops, no makeup, with the dresses we were going to wear dangling on hangers in the car window so they wouldn’t wrinkle during the five hour drive. Our hair was done nicely for the wedding, though, so we couldn’t open the windows as we drove across the interstate in the Oklahoma summer heat. When We Are Young came up on the often used ‘Roadtrop Mix’ cd, instead of going up and down with the notes of the song, we simply sang louder when the notes were higher. By the time the final chorus was winding down, we were all laughing so hard that we weren’t able to finish the song.


Song Title: Lovefool
Artist: Cardigans
Age at time of Song Memory : 21
Current Age: 36

I was a junior in college and my roommate and I were flying to her parents for Thanksgiving. On the drive to the airport, we were listening to a cassette tape of songs my roommate had put together. Every time I hear this song, it takes me back to that car ride. We were in Texas, so it was mid-70s and we were freezing. We had the windows rolled up, and we were singing at the top of our lungs and dancing in our car seats. I was probably speeding a bit, since I remember we made very good time on that car trip. The songs and singing helped speed us along.


Song Title: Tiny Voices
Artist: Bad Religion
Age at time of Song Memory : 14
Current Age: 18

Song Memory: I was dating my first boyfriend and this song reminds me of standing in his kitchen talking. He made me some tea and added sugar because that was how he liked it, even though he knew I didn’t like sugar in my tea.  I was leaning against the counter, drinking it anyway. He had been teaching me how to play guitar and we were both on a Bad Religion kick, so he was standing in front of me fingering the power chords in this song on an air guitar and head banging with his curly blond hair flying around until I spilled my tea on the yellow tiled floor because I was laughing.