#478 Hearing a song that reminds you of someone you love

The song starts up.

Suddenly your brain flashes back to late nights lying on the faded corduroy couch with your first boyfriend. Scratchy records spin in the background, the TV flickers on mute, and you cuddle under thin blankets while everyone sleeps upstairs. The chorus builds up as you kiss in the shadows by the ping pong table …

The song starts up.

Memory jolts zoom you to late night teenage dance parties when everyone drove rustbuckets to the dark city park and met for sneaky cigarettes, sweaty swingset rides, and dirty dancing under the dim moonlight as cars cranked Top 40 tunes in the parking lot …

The song starts up.

A homemade mix tape is slipped in your hand from a star-crossed lover before a long summer vacation. You lay in bed listening to the slashy first chords and boom-dropping bass again and again as your heart twists and turns for Labor Day …

The song starts up.

And sends you way back.


— Email message —

“Today I cocooned at my parent’s cottage, curled up on a comfy 30 year old La-z-boy recliner to read The Book of Awesome. I can think of no better way to spend a rainy Sunday. Wearing my sweat pants I fondly remembered my Mom’s white ’95 Chevy Lumina, nicked named “The Dustbuster” (because it looked like one of those re-chargable vacuums) and the amazing power of orange slices. I laughed out loud a dozen times and just yesterday I walked through a department store door as it was closing, with out touching it. It felt great!” – A.J.

Photos from: here and here

40 thoughts on “#478 Hearing a song that reminds you of someone you love

  1. Even though song-triggered memories aren’t always happy, I’m sure these are awesome for some people.

    1. Song triggered memories are always awesome. They bring back the lovely memories I have had and even lovelier ones I can have in the future.

  2. I love this one so much. I love music and have songs / artists / whole genres that remind me of places, people, and times. As do, I’m sure, most other people. But I really really really love music.

    There are jumping on the trampoline and painting fingernails outside with neighbors songs (Spice Girls … ha!), first-car songs (Ben Folds, Jimmy Eat World, Hoobastank), [ex]boyfriend songs (REO, Weezer), Mom songs, Dad songs, sister songs, old best friend songs, roommate songs, out having a good time in college songs …

    Music is so powerful :D

    1. I agree 100%, music is so powerful at triggering memories of happy as well as sad times, but those times are ones we have learned from and made us who we are today. So when I hear any song that reminds me of a past memory, sad or happy, I still smile in remembering the memories I was able to create for myself.

  3. I love music, I do everything listening to music. I don’t listen to radio nor watch tv though, so I usually get to know new artists by indication of my friends. When I listen to those songs, the person who indicated it to me always come to my mind, it’s so awesome to relate them to the songs.

    Thanks for what you do.
    Is the book coming down to Brazil?

    1. haha yes, im 15 and I often recieve playlists from friends. But we still do make each other cd’s as well. Such as for me and my ex-boyfriends one year anniversary I made him a cd. But in more casual situations just sending someone a playlist over ichat is completely normal.

  4. Love this one! Music brings back memories for me every time, and regardless of if they’re all good memories or not, it’s still a great way to connect with the past :)

  5. You won’t believe it… I was having the exact same feeling last night when I was listening to some old 1996 pop songs! What an era that was! :)

  6. I agree with Cary. Music evokes all sorts of memories – some really lovely, others incredibly miserable. Must say that I love both. Sometimes a good wallow is just what the doctor ordered.

  7. Oh, oh, not awesome for me! I get so sad when I hear songs that remind me of bad break-ups and heartbreak! Whenever Chicago songs come on or those old 80’s loves songs (I’m old), I get so sad! Maybe a better “AWESOME” would be when you are thinking of a song in your car, you turn on the radio, and that song comes on! That happened the other day with “Eye of the Tiger.” Ha!

    1. “Eye of the Tiger”! That song still gets way too much play on the radio!

      My brother and I were talking not long ago and discovered that we each have an artist that totally depresses us. His is Leonard Cohen and mine is Don Henley. Doesn’t matter what song. Instant depression.

  8. Happens to me all the time! And sadly, I feel so guilty for going back to those certain places and times, but I always remind myself that my my past is what made me what I am today and my memories are something to hold on to. Thanks for a great AWESOME!

  9. Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls always reminds me of the guy I dated in college and almost married. He bought me the CD because I loved their music and then put that song on a mix CD he sent me while I was away at school.

  10. I was listening to a Xavier Rudd song this morning and it reminded me of a friend instantly. I sent her a BBM to let her know. Then, at lunch, I was reading this blog like I always do. I couldn’t believe what today’s awesome thing was… – AWESOME!

  11. Oh god. Yeah. Band on the Run. Shows my age. And I HATED that song. But every great hook-up at my high school parties was serenaded by that friggin’ song. So it’s got that going for it.

  12. Songs jolt memories–they bring you back to that time, that place that associates the music, the sound with the emotions. This is truly an awesome thing for many reasons, but mostly because of the memories and emotions and the feelings you feel deep in your heart.

    It’s weird how much power songs have over our emotional state…but it is truly awesome.

  13. One of these days Im going to start keeping a journal of songs and inspired memories.

  14. ‘Eye of the Tiger’ Holds great memories for me. This year has been my favorite school year so far, and I was bonding with my classmates more than ever. I started singing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ at the beginning of the year, and I have many memories of me and my classmates breaking out into it.

    The day after Graduation, one of my classmates heard it on the radio and started crying.

    A few Beatles Songs hold great memories for me, because this year our graduation play was Beatles themed. Sometimes when Lucie in the Sky with Diamonds plays on the radio, I stop what I’m doing and sway back and forth, letting the memories of the fun I had in the play come rushing back.

  15. I love this one! It was always such a thrill to get a mix tape. Twenty years ago my high school boyfriend gave me some when he left for college, and I still associate those songs with him. Playlists are a good idea – I’m going to start sending them.

  16. Anything by Pearl Jam. Those songs remind me of the horrible relationship that I never should have had to go through. But then I remember how strong I became after breaking up with him. So those songs are bittersweet for me. Good band though :)

  17. Totally agree. When I feel blue, I will listen to music. It made me feel relaxed,also, forget something unhappy or painful.
    Music can reminds my memories, even the memory is not good, but it’s part of my life, I apprecitate it.

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