When I was young my dad would often hear a song on the radio and call out the year that song was released. It was amazing to me that he could associate a song with a year so quickly and easily. The years seemed so far in the past too. “1969? That was a long time ago!”
As I matured, the realization came to me. It’s not a specific year but a particular time or season of life that he was associating with a song. At least that’s my experience now. When I hear certain songs, I am transported to a different phase of life and then can quickly translate that time to a given year. I cracked the code, Dad!
There are two songs that I closely associate with significant phases of my life and they happen to be by the same artist: Jason Mraz. I love his music! Dennis and I saw him perform back in 2005 at the Symphony Towers when he opened for Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill Acoustic tour. It was a pretty amazing show!
Okay, the first memory is from 2003. I’d lived in Oceanside for about nine months after graduating from college. Dennis and I had been coworkers and become friends during that time. To make a very long story short, I’d broken up with my college boyfriend and started dating Dennis. One Sunday morning in late March, I was leaving church and heading down Interstate 5 to meet Dennis for a date. It was a gorgeous, sunny day.
On the radio came the song “Remedy (I Won’t Worry)”. After all the emotional upheaval that I’d gone through the previous couple years, I felt incredibly free and excited about the future. The lyrics “I won’t worry my life away” just hit me. At 23 years old, it seemed like relationships shouldn’t be so hard and I belted out that song while driving into a whole new chapter of my life.
To this day, whenever I hear that song, I’m that young woman looking forward to a life full of new possibilities and the excitement of first getting to know this amazing man.
In 2008, my mom gave me Jason’s new album We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. Sienna was a baby, just about to turn a year old. I played the CD in the car all the time. Sienna responded enthusiastically to the song “I’m Yours”. She seriously loved it. One day she was throwing a fit in her car seat and I said, “Sienna, listen it’s the song you love.” She instantly stopped crying when “I’m Yours” started. It got to be a regular solution for her fussiness in the car. Dennis and I would just skip to the song and she’d stop crying and smile. We started to call it “her song”.
Then, when she was about 2 ½ years old, we were watching Sesame Street one morning and Jason Mraz came on the show, singing “I’m Yours” with Elmo. I thought Sienna’s little head would explode she was so excited! Dennis had the presence of mind to DVR the episode so we got to watch that segment regularly for the next couple years. Luckily, it’s an awesome song.
Now this memory is a cool thing for Dennis and me to share with Sienna. She’ll occasionally hear the song and say, “It’s my song, Mom!” Or, we’ll point it out to her and launch into the story of how the song would calm her down as a baby. Man, kids love to hear stories about themselves, don’t they?
Thanks to Pandora playing these two songs on a recent Saturday afternoon, I started thinking of these memories and how closely tied they are to songs.
What about you? Is there a song that takes you to a specific memory each time you hear it? I’d love to hear other people’s stories!