9 Songs That Evoke a Meaningful Personal Memory
Let me admit up front that no music was playing when I lost my virginity.
- •Let 'Em In -- Wings (kids, that was Paul McCartney's post-Beatles band)When I was a boy, my mother told me this was her favorite song. It stuck with me -- both the song and the inadvertent hint that she had a life before me.
- •Don't You Forget About Me -- Simple MindsThis was our "class song" when I graduated high school. We had to vote for one, and I remember being so relieved when it beat out "That's What Friends Are For." But in truth, the song that most takes me back to high school is...
- •Never Surrender -- Corey HeartIt played nonstop during my senior year and seemed to capture the sense that everything in my life was about to change. Like Corey, alll I was asking for was just a little more time.
- •Lionheart -- Kate BushI'm at college in Boston, walking to class, listening to Kate Bush croon in her dramatically kooky way about England. What could be cooler than that... other than a girlfriend?
- •Metro -- BerlinAt a summer journalism institute between my junior and senior years of high school, my roommate played this and "Dark Side of the Moon" every night to help him sleep. I didn't mind; it helped me sleep too. I shouldn't play it while driving.
- •(They Long to Be) Close to You -- The CarpentersMy brother and I won 2nd place singing this in a summer camp talent show. I was eight and played the guitar. The funny part of the story is that the seven-year-old who won first place sang "Afternoon Delight." He must have thought it was about nap time.
- •Dear God -- XTCMy college roommate turned me on to XTC and this bit of genius in particular. I thought it was both the coolest and the ballsiest song ever. I still do.
- •Here You Come Again -- Dolly PartonI'm nine and riding in my parents' station wagon, getting hooked on hooks for the first time.
- •Mandy -- Barry ManilowIf Barry Manilow songs were the soundtrack to my childhood, this was the main theme. My mom played it constantly. Barry was like a distant family relative who came and gave without taking.
- •Silent All These Years -- Tori AmosIn 1991, I saw this song on an obscure music video channel and thought I had personally discovered Tori Amos. (Remember, this was well before Google). Thinking she could use the encouragement (but more likely attracted to her), I wrote her a letter while at work saying it was the most moving song I'd ever heard. When her album came out a few months later, I felt like a knucklehead. But the song still blows me away.