It’s been said that “Music soothes the wild beast” and that “Music is good for the soul.” In the form of a song, it can have great powers. Powers that can take you back in time like your very own personal Time Machine. It can transport you back in time reliving long-past memories and experiencing them all over again. And it can do this suddenly and without warning — and right out of the blue!
Some songs have the power to invoke memories of such clarity, that one can virtually hear, smell, taste and relive that moment again. Recreating the very same emotions that we experienced back then but are now just frozen moments in time. Yet these are fleeting memories at best and as suddenly as they may appear — they’re Gone! The present ever-insisting to be recognized, fading the flashback away.
Oh but not just any song will do! It has to be the right song! The special few songs unique to only you and magically coded to turn on your own personal time machine. Then like magic, for a few fleeting moments you are suddenly gone! Not here! But there! — And it’s magical!
SONGS FROM THE PAST
Can you fill in the blanks? “Wake up _ _ _ _ _ _ I think I got something to say to you!” — Or how about “_ _ _ _ _ on the water, a fire in the sky!” or “And she’s buying a stairway to _ _ _ _ _ _ “. Too Easy? Okay how about “You got to know when to _ _ _ _ Em, know when to _ _ _ _ Em.” STILL to easy?
Of course they’re easy! Depending on your age, you’ve heard these songs hundreds of times over the course of your life and they are now forever embedded in your mind. The words, the melody, the music. Sometimes we can even recognize a song just after a few licks of intro and don’t even need to hear the words! Why? Because we grew up with these songs and they have become a part of us. A part of our memories. Special Memories from our past, filled with emotion and linked to a song.
The songs we grew up with will forever hold a special place in our heart. Who among us doesn’t think we had the best music back in our time? The best singers, the best bands, the best songs! No-matter what era you grew up in, in your mind, that was when music was at it’s best!
Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Elvis Presley of the 50’s. The Doors, Beatles and Rolling stones of the 60’s. Led Zeppelin, the Who and the Eagles of the 70’s. In the 80’s you had Queen, U2 and AC/DC. The 90’s brought us Nirvana and amazingly still going strong in 2000 the Rolling Stones.
MUSIC OF THE 70’s
As for the influence of music when I was growing up, well take your pick! There were just so many to choose from. The 70’s are considered by many as the greatest decade ever for music with the rich mix of new and up and coming bands and the rise of the superstars. Rock, Heavy Metal, Disco, Pop, Country, R&B, what made the 70’s so great for music was the choices. The multiple Genres!
As you know I was a big fan of Country, Country Rock and Outlaw Country music. And the 70’s were just as rich and innovating in this kind of music as was the rest of the music scene. You still had the proven oldies like George Jones and Johnny Cash, bands like Alabama and the Charlie Daniels band. Duet Combos like Waylon and Willie and Kenny Rodgers and Dolly Parton.
I loved Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Super Tramp, but also Rod Stewart, John Prine and Gordon Lightfoot. And of course Waylon Jennings, Hank Jr. and George Jones. I was so Lucky to come of age during the 70’s, with its plethora of superstars and diversities of genre.
SONGS AND ME
I grew up in a house that had Country music always playing on the radio. My father sang and played guitar and had friends who did the same. We’d all come together, musicians, friends, and neighbors alike for Saturday night sing-a-longs and party till the wee hours of the morning.
That’s where I first learned to play guitar and sing in front of a crowd without fainting! Eventually leading to the starting-up of my own Band where I experienced first-hand the connectivity and power that songs and the memories they invoke have on all of us.
So let’s get to those songs! The Magic Time-Machine songs that we all have. Songs that have the power to stop you in your tracks and transport you back in time — Here are some of mine!
MY “TIME MACHINE” SONGS
In no particular order…
- Footloose … by Kenny Loggins…Flashback to my brothers wedding reception when we asked Brian to liven things up. And so at the start of this song he slid across the dance floor on his knees while playing his air guitar and ended up face first against the behind of the “Mother of the Bride!” Uhm? — Welcome to the Family?
- The Thunder Rolls… By Garth Brooks…Flashback to Hamilton’s then Copps Coliseum, where six of us (three couples) had front row center floor seats, just 3 rows from the stage. The concert started with booming thunder and zigzagging lightning across a dark stage.
- As the music started it somehow began to rain on stage as a pure white piano rose from beneath the stage floor with Garth Brooks playing and singing “The Thunder Rolls” while rain poured off of his hat and bounced off of the piano. Unforgettable!
- Amazing Grace… By ANY female singer…Flashback to when I was in my 20’s and in the hospital and pretty much out of it. I was admitted at night and they put me in the old senior chronic ward because of lack of beds. I awoke in the morning not knowing where I was but thinking maybe I had died and was now in heaven? Because… I could hear an Angel singing! A high sweet angelica voice was drifting eerily from — somewhere? It was so beautiful yet peaceful at the same time.
- Turns out is was an eighty year old religious woman, who was bound to a wheelchair and she would greet each new morning just happy for another day. She would sing her thanks in her sweet angel voice to the words of “Amazing Grace.” True story!
So those are a few of my “Memory Jog” songs. Of course there are some other more personal songs of a more um? Intimate nature you might say? But those however, I will keep to myself. My nosy little friends! LOL!
After many years of singing at parties and playing in a Band, I’ve come to know (or once knew!) the words to hundreds of different songs. And today? I’m a little older now (a little?) and the fast pace of life seems to be finally slowing down giving me plenty of time to reminisce about the old days. And with these memory trips of nostalgia, I find myself once again singing all those songs from long ago.
But now, I’m the only one who hears them, singing them while driving in my car or humming them under my breath without even realizing I’m doing it. But that’s okay, because they still come with magic memories. You see, my “Time Machine” is still working pretty good these days. Guess I still have — the Power of Song!
Okay folks, now it’s your turn!
What songs have the power to take YOU away back to your past and make you relive that moment like it was only yesterday?
We all share music memories in one-way or another. Especially if we grew up during the same times, heard the same songs and were part of the same era. But the real magic is in the way a song that is special to you, can send you back in time to relive that experience all over again. How it can place you back to that one special time in memory, making you remember where you were, who was with you, and the emotions that you were feeling at the time.
Like your very own virtual Time Machine! — That’s the Power of Song!
Kudos to my cousin Judy (hey cuz!) for reminiscing with me one summers night and swapping old favorite songs on her Spotify web player. That made me realize just how intertwined music and memories can be. And how the power of song, is in all of us!
RELATED POSTS: — Give me that old time Country Music!