Life’s Soundtrack

by Ginger on November 2, 2013

in Becoming Myself, Entertain Me

Music has always been a big part of my life, and I have pretty much always felt like I have a soundtrack to my life. There are songs, albums, heck, entire artist catalogs that can make me think of a specific place, time, season, or moment in my life. In the past few years I’ve been listening to less music than ever (something about the never-ending auditory overload that comes with having a kid? I’m guessing?), but even still, I can’t imagine a world without music in it, highlighting moments of my life.

To talk about the top 1o soundtrack to my life was pretty tough, actually, because some things go beyond A song (and I totally listed them that way). But it was a fun exercise (mostly) to go down memory lane this way…

  1. Pea. The first line of this song takes me immediately back to high school, driving around with my boyfriend and 2 best friends in his convertible bug, wind in our hair, laughing after yelling the obscene lines. It immediately transports me back to that easy, breezy, fun time.
  2. Dave Matthews Band, but especially the album Crash. A guy I had a thing for in college introduced me to DMB toward the end of my freshman year, and it was love at first listen. Uh, to DMB, not the guy. Although I did totally have the hots for the guy. But that’s not really the point. Dave ended up being a pretty constant soundtrack in my college life, and the first years post-college (and was even our first dance song during my wedding), but that first year, the album Crash was just on pretty constant repeat. I still like DMB & have seen them in concert twice, but so much of Crash just makes me think of my freshman & sophomore years of college, and all the good (and bad) that happened then.
  3. Bob Marley. I actually have a fairly low threshold for Marley in my day to day life. I can handle one, maybe two songs & then I’m kind of Marley’d out. But in August of 2005, N.C. & I met my parents for vacation that was primarily on a small island in South Carolina called Daufuski Island. We spent most of our time on this vacation at the pool, or the bar by the pool, and they had Marley on repeat for almost the entirety of the 5 days we were there. It is entirely woven into the memory of the place. This was where N.C. proposed to me, and that vacation will always hold a very very special place in my heart, and Marley will always be a reminder.
  4. Somewhere Over the Rainbow. We played this during our wedding, and somehow, it has come to signify that day more than our first dance song (which I still love, don’t get me wrong, but…differently). We’ve been known to spontaneously burst into a slow dance in locations with or without music, but it’s about a 90% chance if this song comes on, we’ll be dancing.
  5. Grapevine Fires. I already wrote about this once before, but the first year we lived in San Diego, a massive wildfire came through and devastated large parts of the county. We were fine, but we did evacuate (mostly for smoke and ash), and the fear and anxiety of those few days definitely changed me. This song was actually written about those fires.
  6. Money /Pinball Wizard/Bullet With Butterfly Wings/Insanity & Dead Man’s Party (wow, that video is terrible). I could add more, but these represent 1 (or 2) songs from each of the four years I did marching band at The University of Arizona. Those four years, and specifically that organization, shaped a whole hell a lot of my life then and now, and I can’t hear the songs I marched to each year without thinking of band, and getting happy fuzzy feelings. And also thinking of running my ass off around a football field, and in one particular instance (Bullet), throwing myself on the ground and being stepped over by the brass line.
  7. In the House of the Rising SunIn the summer of 1998, I marched in a Drum & Bugle Corps called Magic of Orlando. Our show that summer was a bluesy, jazzy thing that kicked my ass on a routine basis. I cried a lot that summer, and questioned myself a lot, and I also pushed through and performed my freaking heart out almost every day and/or night for 3 months straight. That summer changed me–I came back different in so many, many ways, and this song in particular makes me think of that summer.
  8. You Are My Sunshine/Somewhere Over the Rainbow/I Will Follow You Into the Dark. These are the songs I would sing to Jackson when he was a baby. I couldn’t ever remember the lyrics to other songs, and these were the ones that came to my mind. These songs are now completely connected to the feeling of holding my baby in my arms while he nursed or cried or drifted to sleep.
  9. Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of. My senior year of college, N.C. & I broke up for period of time–I think it was a week or two. I had just bought the All That You Can’t Leave Behind album, and it sort of became the soundtrack to our breakup, especially Beautiful Day (the lyrics to Beautiful Day hurt like a bitch when you’re broken hearted) & this song. I think that’s one of the first times I realized just how much I loved N.C. because I had never hurt quite like that when boys had left my life before. I specifically remember sitting in my car before class and blasting this song while sobbing. (Ok, I was also 21 and ridiculous. But still).
  10. What Child is This/GreensleevesThe original soundtrack in my life. My mom sang this to me as a baby—if I’m remembering the story correctly, much like I sang random songs to Jackson, this was what she could think of to sing to me. This song, both the version with lyrics & the version without, is woven into the fabric of my life. It calms me when I hear it. It is my favorite Christmas song. It is one of my favorite songs of all time. It brings me peace as soon as I hear the first notes. It has always been a part of my life, as a baby, during Christmas, and at times when I just need something to calm me.

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Prompt from Bring Back the Words, Week 20

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