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the soundtrack of my life

It’s funny how a certain song can take you back in time. Sometimes when I hear a song that I haven’t heard in years, I’m instantly transplanted back to childhood, or wherever I was when the song became popular. Sometimes I can even remember what I was wearing or the conversation I was having. Music is just better when you can relate it to an experience or memory. I think some of the best memories of my life involve music. Here, the current soundtrack (which will someday change, I’m sure):

Manfred Man’s “Do Wah Diddy” – every time I hear this, I remember my sister and I as little girls and always asking to “turn it up louder!” whenever that song came on. It didn’t matter who we were with, we would sing it the second we heard it. Which probably got pretty annoying (sorry Mom and Dad!). We also used to sing The Archies’ “Sugar Sugar” whenever we were with my mom. Something about the three of us girls riding in the car together singing that song.

The Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” – this reminds me of my dad. After my parents divorced, he would take my sister and me to minor-league hockey games every other weekend and that song always played at least once during the game. (I have my dad to thank for many sports memories as a kid, but that’s another story for another time.)

Green Day’s Dookie album – Honestly, this is the best Green Day, the old-school stuff. You know, “She”, “Basketcase”, and “When I Come Around.” Anytime I hear those songs (which happens semi-often as they are on my ipod’s workout shuffle) I think back to 7th grade. Those were the awkward years! I think I was still pretty short, I still had horrible hair and I was just about to get braces. Oh and I passed out in class and suffered from headaches, which we eventually found out was hypoglycemia. You never want to be the one who gets the attention but I did for a short while because I had to eat during class to regulate my blood sugar. Ugh, that’s painful to remember.

DMX, Nelly, Blink 182, Jay-Z, Eminem – and all the other songs that were popular in 2000; they all remind me of high school dances. Another vivid memory of music is driving to football games with the girl crew, cranking the tunes on the way there. Probably stuff some of our parents didn’t particularly care for, therefore making us love it even more.  And Eve 6’s “Here’s to the Night” reminds me of graduation and all the parties that followed.

Dixie Chicks – I first started loving this country group in 10th grade. But the FIRST thing I think of when I hear the Dixie Chicks is that time in a Canadian bar (we crossed the border from MI whenever someone turned 19 because, yep, you guessed it, Canada’s drinking age is 19) when I actually sang karaoke to a Dixie Chicks song. I could say I don’t remember it but there is photographic proof somewhere. One of my friends who embarked on that crazy Canada trip also worked with me at a rinky-dink, small-town sports bar where we made good money but where we saw a few too many hillbillies. She loved “Jessie’s Girl” and it grew on me too, and to this day, every time I hear it I think of her and that bar.

Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” – this is my favorite song. And it also takes me back to college, because that’s when I started hearing it all the time. Mostly because our favorite piano bar, Monaco Bay, would play it and we would sing it at the top of our lungs while indulging in some very good and extremely potent Cosmos. This song definitely holds some of the best memories in my life. HOLY CRAP! Just as I put in that link for Monaco Bay, Journey’s song started playing on their website!!!!!! (No joke; try it!)

I will also say that college brought me that song “Milkshake,” which I don’t particularly care for, but anything I say about that song will only be understood by my roommate and her husband, so I’ll keep it to myself (I can hear you laughing now A + M!).

Kenny Chesney’s “I Go Back” – this song always reminds me of the summer of 2004 when my best friend, who was living in California at the time, and I took a road trip from San Francisco to San Diego. That trip is still fresh in my mind today, starting with all the mishaps we encountered, including almost losing a driver’s license, losing passes from a parking garage and a really important phone number – which flew right out the window as we were crusing down the road, getting almost 3rd degree burns in the San Diego sun, shoveling handfuls of quarters into a parking meter only to realize it was after 5 p.m. and therefore no longer necessary to pay, getting lost in the really bad part of Los Angeles…I could go on!

“Free Fallin'” – another all-time favorite, but who doesn’t love this song? I also really like the Stevie Nicks version of it. Of course, among other memories, I think of Jerry Maguire when I think of this song. Which is sad, because I’m really NOT a Tom Cruise fan. (Except for Top Gun! Which reminds me of…“Take My Breath Away”.)

My current favorite artists and bands are The Fray, Dave Matthews Band, Snow Patrol, Journey, and Michael Buble, whose songs remind me of my boyfriend. (Someday we WILL go to a concert!) And of course all those songs that remind of me of girls nights…although I can’t remember them off the top of my head…

And the song that prompted this trip down memory lane? Lullaby by Shawn Mullins. I first heard this song on a trip to St. Petersburg, FL when I was 15, and I loved it. On my way to the mall today I turned on the radio, which I rarely do, and I heard the acoustic version, which was awesome. I loved it. Another acoustic version of an already awesome song? Matchbox 20’s Push.

So now that you’ve heard about my eclectic music tastes, tell me, what’s on your soundtrack?

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