They aren't necessarily my favorite songs, but they take me places if I hear them.
  1. Van Morrison - Jackie Wilson Said
    1992 (ish) I am dancing on the living room carpet with my little sister.
  2. John Hyatt - Child of the Wild Blue Yonder
    1996 (ish) - I am in the car with my family, driving to Cincinnati to see my grandparents.
  3. Fastball - The Way
    1997 - I am lying on a top bunk unable to sleep. It's my first summer away at camp. My new friend Claire suddenly takes a stuffed animal and turns it into a puppet that sings this song. It makes me happy and I go back to camp for 4 more summers.
  4. Boz Skaggs - Lido Shuffle
    1998 (ish) - My sister and I are sitting in the back seat of a rental car, my dad running an errand while on vacation (!) and, for some reason, we think this is the funniest song by the funniest named man ever in the history of the world.
  5. Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life
    1999 (ish) - I am in my bedroom, lying on the purple carpet, a boom box to my left and the Third Eye Blind CD jacket to my right. I am memorizing every word to this song for some reason, and it is particularly difficult because the words were written in the jacket (if you recall) in a spiral.
  6. John Mayer - Clarity
    2000 (ish) I am third row center at Mr. Mayer's concert at Tinley Park with my dad. He bought us the tickets as a surprise. My heart melts thinking about it.
  7. Counting Crows - Holiday in Spain
    2003 (ish) - I am in my bedroom, crying. I later print the lyrics to this song out as a lame attempt at a homework assignment to "find examples of personification in poetry."
  8. David Bowie - Magic Dance
    2005 - I am in high school, entirely sober, making an appropriately insane music video to this song with my best friends.
  9. The Beatles - Hey Jude
    2008 - I am studying Shakespeare in Oxford for the summer, living the drama nerd life I've always dreamed. My friend is singing this song at karaoke on his birthday, the crowd is crazy, I have no responsibilities, it's great.
  10. Huey Lewis and the News - Power of love
    2010 - I am in the living room of my college apartment, writing a script with my friend Tim. Whenever we need an energy break, we blast this song and dance around the room.
  11. Ke$ha - Your Love is My Drug
    2011 - I am in my room writing a play and find that this is the only song, for some reason, that energizes me enough to keep writing. I play it for hours. My roommate later comes over to me kindly and says, " really love that Ke$ha song...huh?"
  12. Rihanna - We Found Love
    2011 - I am on tour with eleven men and one other woman, doing a show about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. We are dancing at a bowling alley/bar in Oregon, probably (definitely, awesomely) making some patrons uncomfortable.
  13. The Dirty Projectors - Impregnable Question
    2012 - I am with my boyfriend in several Chicago apartments, playing this song (this album) for everyone we could. We are tangled on couches in our own apartments playing this song for each other.
  14. James Blake - Limit to Your Love
    2012 - My boyfriend becomes obsessed with songs and plays them over and over every day. It's sometimes great and sometimes not for me. This was one of those songs. It's beautiful, but I've heard it so many times now that I kind of hate it...
  15. Jessie J (etc) - Bang Bang
    2014 - I am at my good friends' wedding, one of the first I've attended, and the late night dance floor goes crazy when this song plays.