Have you ever stopped to think about the power of music and how a few simple notes can take you on a whirlwind trip down memory lane? Today at work the B52’s came on. I instantly laughed out loud as I thought of a night a few decades back where my best friend at the time Kathy, a guy from one of my acting classes, and I were dancing on a bar at a club on the Jersey shore to Love Shack. We were completely intoxicated.
Yeah, I am not to proud of that; for a few years, I had more alcohol than blood in my veins. For the record, I cannot drink. I have no idea why, but 1 beer makes me feel good, 2 beers and I start to get hot, after three beers, I am removing clothing, dirty dancing with bar stools, and dancing on bars.
I can’t hear John Eddie’s, Pretty Little Rebel, without thinking about jumping in the Atlantic Ocean, completely clothed with friends during a snow storm after one of John’s shows at the Stone Pony. Hmmm again, I’m pretty sure alcohol was involved here too, along with my friend Kathy.
Rod Stewart’s Wake up Maggie, brings me back to T-Birds Cafe in Asbury Park, New Jersey. I was being rushed out of the club on a gurney half conscious by paramedics across the stage while John covered Rod’s song. My very close friend Terry had raced through the bar minutes earlier from side stage screaming, “Someone call 411.” He is a brilliant man, but was in a panic and messed up the numbers. It is kind of funny to think back on. My friend Kathy was with me and had found me coughing up blood in the ladies room , unable to breathe. It was a scary moment for all of us.
There are songs that bring me back to specific moments in my life. Some bring me happy feelings and some make me feel sad. It has nothing to do with the song being written poorly or the lyric being, hmmmm, too sad. I believe a song can imprint a memory, or a moment in time on your soul.
If I hear 50 Ways to Leave your Lover, I am suddenly back in my mom’s yellow Pontiac. It is 1970 something. I am in a Catholic School uniform, and she is singing loudly to the song with me, while driving me off to St. Thomas.
When I hear Chantilly Lace, I picture my dad spinning me around in circles and singing me the song.
Amy Grant’s Baby Baby, makes me think of me dancing and spinning my oldest child around while singing to her.
When I hear Free Falling, by Tom Petty, I think of my favorite Uncle. The song was playing when he passed away.
Papa Don’t Preach by Madonna, was the first song that played in my dorm room at college. West End Girls, by the Pet Shop Boys, first song I danced to at a college dance.
The Good Ship Lollipop, by Shirley Temple…. my grandma would dress me up and take me on a boat ride on the weekends down in Philadelphia. I would get up and sing that song. I was about 4 I guess. All the old people on the boat would open their purses and empty their pockets and give me candy. It is where I learned to love to perform. I also learned that if you bat your eyes, look cute and shake your tushy at the end, old men will reward you with goodies. Hahahaha
Okay… Okay… I’ll try and focus……
What I am trying to say is songs are powerful, they make me cry, they make me laugh, and sometimes they take me back in time to a moment, a feeling, a memory….
Each of those songs and many others have made an imprint on my life, an imprint on a specific moment in time that is now frozen forever.
Music is powerful.
What songs have imprinted on your life?