I’ve mentioned before how much I love music, and the magic it possesses. I love how listening to one song can take me to a specific person, or transport me somewhere else entirely. For as long as I can remember, I’ve analyzed every little thing: things I have an interest in, or even things I find myself repulsed by.
Music is definitely one of those things.
I remember this one time, when Brianna made the comment, “you know, not everything needs to have a meaning behind it.” It was meant to be snarky at the moment, but it almost flattered me that she caught on to something that I did. I can’t help myself; I just kind of do it without thinking about it. Analyzing things, like music, has happened so often, that it’s become unintentional.
Music comes to me in so many ways, whether it be on the radio, or a friend introducing it with, “you’ve got to listen to this.” I could probably connect a song to just about any person that I knew, but these are some connections that came to me pretty instantly.
I Hope You Dance, Lee Ann Womack. When I think of my mom, I think of this song. It isn’t a song we listen to together or anything, but I used to say that I would dance with my mom to this song at my wedding. She was the one that put me into dance classes when I was little, and she’s been a dance partner of mine at every party we’ve gone to together. A whole bunch of different songs come to mind when I think of my mom, but this has always been the most meaningful one. If you’ve never heard it before, it’s basically a female version of My Wish by Rascal Flatts.
Landslide, Fleetwood Mac. Nobody would probably ever connect these two, but I think of my dad when I hear this song. One day, I remember this song coming on in the car on the way home after my dad picked me up from Iona. He turned it up, and started singing along. I remember being so confused. “I actually really like this song,” he explained. Something about him liking that song made me see him in a different light, because I was so used to Classic Rock Dad. I really liked a couple songs by Fleetwood Mac at that point, but I never really listened to Landslide until that car ride. Now, it’s one of my favorites, and I always think of my dad. I wonder if he finds the song relatable, since his firstborn was in college at the time. Or if he just really likes it.
The Prayer, Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. I have a confession to make…I really love this song. The first time I heard it was in an animated movie called Quest for Camelot, but the second time I heard it was on TV at Nan’s house. She was watching Celtic Women, which is a filmed concert, and some lady was singing the solo version from Quest for Camelot. Both versions of the song are so beautiful, but the solo version of the song is from a mother’s point of view to her child, rather than from a person to their romantic love interest, and Nanny loved both Bocelli and Dion, so every time I hear it, I think of her. Danny Boy also really reminds me of her, but for some reason, this song stuck with me.
Shrek Karaoke Dance Party, Cast from Shrek. Brianna and I were obsessed with Shrek as kids, but the one part we would watch over and over and over again was the Shrek Karaoke Dance Party. It was basically a medley of well-known songs, sung by the cast of Shrek. If you had the VHS, it came on after the ending credits; if you had the DVD, it was in the special features. We had both. One summer, while Joanne was watching us, we watched that five-minute segment probably fifty times in just one day. So now even if I hear just one of the songs from that compilation, I am reminded of my most annoying sibling. But in a good way.
Get Low, Todrick Hall. My youngest sister, Caitlyn, and I love Todrick Hall. For anyone who doesn’t know who he is, he’s a triple threat and a YouTube sensation. The man can sing and dance his little heart out, but he also rewrites lyrics over remixed music, and creates his own version of well-known worlds (that are usually Disney-themed). He’s amazing. Get Low is like a hip hop parody of The Wizard of Oz, and it is so good. Cait became quickly obsessed with the song when Todrick released it, and introduced it to me, so now I think of her every time I hear it.
You’ll Be in My Heart, Phil Collins. I love Tarzan. The Disney version, obviously. I was more obsessed with this song than any other one from the film. One night, when Heinrich was a little baby, he was being fussy when my mom was vacuuming the living room, so she asked me to pick him up. He literally would not stop crying, and as an eight year old, I wasn’t really sure what to do, except to bounce him around and sing (badly) to him. My mom literally never sang to us as kids, so I don’t know why that became the thing I did, but I started singing that song from Tarzan, and it miraculously got him to calm down. I never told him about that, but I hold that memory close to me, because it was the first time I felt like I bonded with my baby brother.
Gold Forever, The Wanted. Around the same time I got into One Direction, I was also really into this other boyband called The Wanted. They were basically the bad boy, older version of One Direction, and I loved them. My cousin, Rebecca, also loved these guys, so for my seventeenth birthday, she surprised me with tickets to see them in the city. We went with her friend, Justin, and his girlfriend, Jessica, and had the best time. It was the first time I went to a concert without either of my parents, and it was also the first time I was going to a concert for a band that wasn’t from my parents’ generation, so it was a big deal for me. It was so memorable. I loved every second of it. The song, Gold Forever, was a song that Beck and I would sing to each other, and was my favorite song of theirs. It became Our Song.
Rather Be, Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne. The summer this song came out on the radio, I was high-key obsessed with it. At this time, my cousin, Justina, and I used to drive around wealthy neighborhoods and basically window shop houses together for hours. This song was on the radio so often that every time we were in the car, this song would play. The two of us would jam out to it while looking at houses or going to Taco Bell, which was very often. It became Our Song.
OMG, Usher. In my middle and high school years, I would hang out with my best friend, Jeanette, after school just about every single day. In either our freshman or sophomore year of high school, Jeanette got this professional camera that we used pretty often. I don’t really know what made us do this, but one specific day, we decided to play music in her room and start dancing around. Nette put her camera on a tripod and recorded us dancing to a couple of songs including OMG by Usher. Both of us acted like such fools in that video, but we had so much fun. This isn’t necessarily the first song I think of when I think of her (it’s actually Hero by Enrique Iglesias…don’t ask why), but I actually gave myself whiplash that day, so it was worth mentioning. Good times.
America’s Sweetheart, Elle King. I got so obsessed with this song a couple years back, and like the little jerk I am, I thought that nobody else knew the song except for me. That is, until my best friend, Amanda, played it on her phone one day, while we were crafting. This song (along with You’re Welcome and Shiny from the Moana soundtrack) always makes me think of her when I listen to it now. Elle King even says a couple things in the song that kind of remind me of Amanda in general, so it low-key became her theme song of sorts from me.
Long Live, Taylor Swift. Okay, if you haven’t noticed by now, I really loved the two years I had at Iona. A lot of the time, I wished that I didn’t have to leave that place, but I had no choice. Towards the second half of my freshman year, my friend and RA, Tyler, was putting on a musical that another friend of his, Dale, wrote that was made up entirely of Taylor Swift songs. My friends and I became a part of Tyler’s crew for the show, and quickly made a whole bunch of other friends during the making of the show, called It’s A Love Story. Most of us became tightly-knit because of Tyler and IALS. The day of the last show, Tyler gave each of us a picture of the cast with a custom message on the back for everybody, and emotionally, had this song play before letting the audience in auditorium. That group of people is such a special bunch, and I am so proud that I got to be a part of it.
You’re Gonna Miss This, Trace Adkins. Speaking of Tyler, towards the end of my freshman and his senior year at Iona, he played this country song for me. I don’t think I have ever cried so hard in front of someone before until then. He was the quickest friend that I have ever made, and in those eight months of seeing him so often, I had learned that we were not different people in the slightest. Hearing him sing this song to me made me so emotional, I remember thinking how rude it was of him to do that to me. I didn’t know this song that well until Tyler played it, and now every time I hear that song, I get a little teary-eyed and miss him a little more. How dare a song have that kind of power over me?
And as for me? I feel a little indecisive. Probably the most straightforward song that I can think of is The Amanda Show theme song.
Some songs that I do find super relatable for me are Not Today by twenty one pilots, as well as Uncharted and King of Anything by Sara Bareilles. But if I wanted to be a little more real with you here, I’d say the song that hits the chord hardest is called When He Sees Me from the musical Waitress. When I first heard that song, it was sung by the singer/songwriter, Sara Bareilles, on her album called What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress. Hearing that song for the first time was really hard; it felt like someone actually took my own personal thoughts, dramatized them a bit, strung them together, and put it out there for people to hear. And I don’t know how I feel about that.
Prompt: Do any songs you know make you think of yourself or certain people in your life? Tell us about them.