Do you have songs that instantly transport you to another place and time when you hear them? Here are some of mine.
- When I hear How Deep Is Your Love by the Bee Gees, I’m instantly back in 7th grade and doing a “couples only” rollerskate with Tony M, the cutest boy in the class. It was the highlight of my romantic life at that point. I can remember every single sweaty, nervous moment of it like it was yesterday … down to the reflections of the disco ball on the wood floor.
- When I hear 30,000 Pounds of Bananas by Harry Chapin (and admittedly, that isn’t very often), I’m instantly back in my childhood living room (complete with purple shag carpeting and wicker furniture) listening to Chapin’s wonderful Greatest Stories Live album with my mom and dad and brothers. What I wouldn’t give to go back to that time! (Almost any song from that album would have this effect on me but this song was a particular favorite of all of ours.)
- When I hear #9 Revolution by The Beatles (and, again, it isn’t something I’ve come across often—OR EVER!), I am transported back to my girlhood bedroom with my friend and fellow Beatlemaniac Ellen trying to listen to the song backwards to hear if it really said “Paul is dead.” (We never really did figure out how to play it backwards.)
- When I hear Hot Stuff by Donna Summer, it is once again Christmas morning when I am 11 and getting my very first “grown-up” stereo. This song was the first record I played on it. My dad must have been grimacing and in pain at that!
- Whenever I hear Push It by Salt ‘n Pepa, I’m back in college dancing with my girlfriends. We used to go dancing in a big pack of girls and just had a blast. It wasn’t about attracting boys; it was about dancing with your girlfriends, getting super sweaty, and laughing until you hurt. Good times!
When I hear Baba O’Reilly by The Who, I’m back on a hot summer day in Washington, DC visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial with my mom for the first time. This song was playing nearby and made for an eerie soundtrack to the visit. If you’ve never visited the memorial, it is a powerful and moving experience. I left the wall in tears.
- When I hear Going to California by Led Zeppelin (and I did just the other day, which is what inspired me to write this post), I’m immediately transported back to my freshman college dorm where the cutest boy I’d ever seen was playing this song in his dorm room. Guess who became an immediate fan girl? (Ironically, Zeppelin’s The Immigrant Song reminds me of TWO different people and times. One is driving with a girlfriend in a car for the VERY FIRST TIME without an adult and blasting this song on the radio; we felt so incredibly cool. It was also the song that a college boyfriend played when he was having a mental freakout and scaring the bejeezus out of me.)
- When I hear Jump by Van Halen, I’m painfully reminded of my high school chemistry lab partner, who I had a massive crush on and who, in retrospect, I think actually liked me too. I was too insecure to comprehend that this might be possible and blundered my way through a conversation that might have been leading up to an invitation to the prom if I hadn’t messed it all up. Anyway, he LOVED the album 1984 by Van Halen and this song in particular. He made a copy for me on a cassette tape. Sigh.
Amazing how music can be so tied to a specific place and time isn’t it? Just writing this post was like going back in a time machine. What songs do this for you? Where do they end up transporting you?