9 Songs That Evoke a Meaningful Personal Memory

Let me admit up front that no music was playing when I lost my virginity.
  1. 1.
    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.
  2. 2.
    Don't You Forget About Me -- Simple Minds
    This 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...
  3. 3.
    Never Surrender -- Corey Heart
    It 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.
  4. 4.
    Lionheart -- Kate Bush
    I'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?
  5. 5.
    Metro -- Berlin
    At 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.
  6. 6.
    (They Long to Be) Close to You -- The Carpenters
    My 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.
  7. 7.
    Dear God -- XTC
    My 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.
  8. 8.
    Here You Come Again -- Dolly Parton
    I'm nine and riding in my parents' station wagon, getting hooked on hooks for the first time.
  9. 9.
    Mandy -- Barry Manilow
    If 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.
  10. 10.
    Silent All These Years -- Tori Amos
    In 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.