Come Blog With Me – Day 21
Yesterday evening we had friends visiting, and I put on some music. It was a playlist of indie songs from the early 1990s. And almost every tune elicited a comment – a discussion on “where are they now?”, racking our brains to try and recall whether we’d ever seen that band play live, or a memory of a time, a place or a person.
And it reminded me why I love music.
Music is the soundtrack to our lives. From our very early years and those first pop songs, through our formative teens and student days, through to memories of travel and experiences.
My first albums were HITS 3 (1985) and Now That’s What I Call Music! Volume 8 (1986). My first 7″ single was Bros, I Owe You Nothing (1988). My first “gig” was Bros at Wembley Arena in 1988, followed by INXS at Wembley Stadium in 1991 (my taste in music improved dramatically in those intervening years!)
ABBA and Madonna remind me of holidays in my parents’ camper van in Scandinavia. Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene, Shed Seven and Elastica of my student days in Birmingham. And Powderfinger (Odyssey Number 5, 2000) and Coldplay’s album Parachutes (2000) remind me of my travels in Australia and New Zealand. The first dance at my wedding? Never Tear Us Apart by INXS. (Followed by classics such as Oops Upside Your Head and New York, New York.)
Sometimes I’ll deliberately put on tunes or playlists that remind me of an era of my life or of certain people. And then I’ll be innocently walking around town or driving my car when a song will transport me back to a different time, and memories will flood my mind.
I discovered last year while visiting friends that I have a talent for identifying early 1990’s dance tunes from the first few notes. Again, from a time in my life when I listened to a lot of music and was often to be found at student nights in Birmingham.
These days, I have no idea who’s in the top 10, let alone the top 40. I no longer record the top 40 on a Sunday night, with the skill required to press the pause button at just the right time. But I know my teenage self would have loved the concept of iTunes and Spotify, and the ability to access thousands of tunes from a tiny listening device.
Music reminds me of happy and sad times, of places I’ve been, places I’ve lived, people who were around for a short while in my circle of friends. And friends who are still around now – reminiscing about those good old days along with me, and selecting tunes from our pasts for weddings and 40th birthday soundtracks.
I love music. It’s always been there for me, and always will be. To dance along with in the present, and as a library with a lifetime of memories and moments right there at my fingertips.