There’s nothing like music to make you remember the details of your youth. Every song has a moment attached to it. You remember where you were when you heard it and who you were with. Then of course, there were the moments when you realized with your girlfriend or boyfriend that this was “our song”. It doesn’t take more than a millisecond for our brains to see ourselves back in time. It’s like Google has nothing on your musical memory. These are the sweetest moments. Even the break-up songs bring a smile(well, maybe that’s an overexaggeration).
My FHB found a new “oldies” station that transmits from Long Island and we listen to songs on his cell phone through our bluetooth speaker . Pretty romantic, huh? Tonight over dinner we listened to John Denver’s “Sunshine on my Shoulder” and we talked about back in the day, what the song meant and how young we were. We weren’t together then, as he is a bit older (by four years, which in music memories is a whole high school or college history difference). We had other relationships, which I just see as rehearsals for now, and the music evokes summers and concerts and the other reality, that many of the folks whose songs came over the airways, never got older. They will be forever young. We can all name the actors, singers and songwriters who tempted the fates, through driving too fast , living too hard, and whose rise to fame might have been too much to handle. The belief that we all had that we were untouchable and that life was right in front of us, to grab onto. We were appropriately shocked and sad when they left. Then we grow older and here we are.
The strange thing about “oldies” (the music, not the people) is that each generation has their music and their memories. My parents grew up to the sounds of the Big Bands and their relationship with the music of the thirties and forties made its impact on their lives, through the prewar years, during the war, and post war times. We had Vietnam and the music of change, in knowing who we were, and who we weren’t. We were that generation that questioned the values and motives of the generation before us. There were those of us who wanted peace and equality and the music played to bring us together and raise our voices for freedom and injustice. I write now and I remember then. I hear the harmony of the Mamas and the Papas and the gravelly voice of Janis. I can bring it to my head and to my heart and sigh. I don’t feel older when I hear the voices and the songs. It takes being transported back to the sixties and seventies when I sang along with John Denver and felt the beat of the Doors. It’s not even melancholy despite the passage of so many years. I don’t remember a lot of stuff that I probably should, and never was good at remembering the artists and sometimes the lyrics. But I can hum along and Google the lyrics and sing the songs of my growing up. I can sing in the car with my FHB, and we both recall the songs we didn’t have together the first time around, but are grateful to have it now. Moving and grooving. It’s nice to go back in that time machine, but knowing what I know now, that I didn’t know then, I’m happy to be where I’m at and who I’m with. So for those of you who knew the lingo…..Get your groove on, don’t freak out and always remember to say “Goodnight, John-Boy”.