Day 29, Wednesday: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories.
I have been looking forward to this post all month. The hardest part of it will be keeping it to five songs. Music ALWAYS speaks to me. But here are my top five:
1) “Changes” by 2Pac
This song brings me way back. I first fell in love with the song when I listened to music on my brother’s computer back in 1998. He used to let me listen to his CDs when he came home on college breaks. Back in the Napster days, he had music on his computer and let me burn two CDs. This was the first song I put on it. When I hear this song, memories flood my brain of me sitting on the floor of his room, putting his 2Pac CD in his stereo. I would replay Until the End of Time CD and play Sonic on his Sega. My brother ALWAYS had the best taste in music.
In college, I minored in African American studies, with a focus on culture and human rights. This song is a beautiful representation about the constant struggle and strife and deep desires to achieve something greater. I wrote a paper on this song, using it as a strong example of vernacular languages used in every day life and the concentration of powerful poetry/lyrics to communicate in a way that was understandable to his audience.
“Changes” makes my all-time favorite songs list. It’s a classic in my eyes — one I could listen to every day and not get tired of.
2) “Collide” by Howie Day
This song brings me back to the Spring of 2005, my freshman year of college. Every time I hear this song, I think of my friend Erin and the fun we had in our 3D art class. She is someone I look up to — having many similarities, she was the outgoing version of me in many ways. She showed me the ropes and helped me truly identify and become comfortable in my own skin.
Erin and I connected over this song and both love it. It reminds me of the good ol’ days of experimentation and for the first time, feeling like I fit in.
Also on my all-time favorite songs, this song never ceases to make me smile. Whenever I hear it, I turn it up real loud and bust out singing.
3) “The Finish Line” by Train
This song got me through a tough break up. The one in which I decided to walk away — after four and a half years. It confirmed for me I made the right choice. I would listen to it every day for weeks, maybe even months. And even though I loved him, I realized as time passed, our love wasn’t enough. While I could have been content, I wasn’t going to find pure joy and happiness by spending the rest of our lives together. There would have been a lot of “ifs”.
“And you, you really thought you knew
Everything to do
With holding onto me and holding on
This time is making me slip right through your hands
And now you don’t understand
Trying to find love all yourself.”
Little did he know is that in our case, time was like sand between our fingertips. There was not enough time to conclude that my love was enough, that me – who I was then and there was enough. We shared one too many false truths and broken promises.
“When you find who you are
You forget about me.”
This song is sentimental, but mostly encouraging. While I have had many ups and downs since that break up, it forced me to learn about myself and the qualities I need in my partner. I am a stronger person because of this experience. “The Finish Line” reminds me of how strong I was to stand up for what I believed in. To trust my instincts and to trust that I loved myself enough to move on.
4) “Lovers and Friends” by Lil Jon, Usher, Ludacris
Let’s turn some smooth slow jamz on. A freaky song that sets the mood. This song reminds me of my teenage years and early 20s.
Let’s go back to summer of 2005. It was late and I was home for the summer from college. My long time “lover” and/or “friend” wanted to meet up to reconnect. He picked me up, and I snuck out of my parents’ house. I left without taking my phone or shoes. And we went for a drive. This song came on the radio and we turned it up and rolled down the windows, letting the breeze take us on the summer night. We had dated off and on in middle and high school. At that time, we had known each other for 6+ years. He took many of my firsts: first kiss, first love, first…
But that night was ours. Reliving the memories, enjoying each other’s company. We stayed out late driving, ended up at his place, and then he dropped me off at home in the morning. Of course my parents flipped because I walked in without any shoes… and didn’t take my phone (which they didn’t even call anyways!). But then again, I was always the sneaky one. I liked to live on the wild side.
These artists always remind me of him. I think he bought my first Usher CD. While I don’t listen to this genre of music very often anymore, hearing these songs bring up all sorts of memories of who I was back in the day.
5) “Angels or Devils” by Dishwalla
This is the only one in my list that doesn’t have a direct memory related to it. I re-fell in love with Dishwalla’s music in college after not listening to their music for several years. And then I re-fell in love with “Angels or Devils” song this spring/winter (Minnesota didn’t have spring this year).
I think the reason why “Angels or Devils” speaks to me is because I have always been someone who is drawn to temptation. Good and bad conflict inside of me. I know I am a good person, I don’t feel possessed or anything like that, but by being human and having choices, I am someone who has strong lusts, desires, and temptations. I often feel like my angels and devils are fighting inside of me. I am a dabbler, letting my devil toes wade in the temptations and then my angels trigger guilt, anxiety, and worry to pull me back to shore. Sometime I dive in, but most often I return to being a good girl. As someone who isn’t and *chooses* not to be religious, I feel like this song speaks greatly about being human.
“I’m always gonna worry about the things that could break us.”
Every word strikes a chord, a truth, evoking a wide range of emotions inside of me. There is a humbling calmness I feel whenever I listen to it.
It was fun to do this post. I enjoyed it bunches. I let the music inspire my words — listening to each song as I wrote.
What songs speak to you? Do you have any favorite songs, ones that if you were forced to listen to every day for the rest of you life, you would never get sick of?