Do the iTunes Shuffle
I opened iTunes recently and started thinking about the way songs come in and out of our lives. Some stay with us for a few fleeting moments; we enjoy the rhythm or melody and then let them fall by the wayside.
Others stay with us forever. They punctuate the past, then hearing a few notes brings us right back to that place and time.
In the spirit of this melodic monologue, I put my music on shuffle and resurfaced the memories of each song.
The Beastie Boys – “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” Riding to school in Brother’s P.O.S. car, where the passenger seat doesn’t lock in place. Pulling to a stop, I slide forward. He makes me wait in the car until he’s far enough away for me to exit the car without us being associated with one another.
Chumbawumba – “Tubthumping.” I’m in elementary school and my mom just started allowing us to listen to Top 100 radio. This isn’t anything like The Eagles or The Beach Boys. It will be years before I understand what “pissing the night away” means.
Hall & Oates – “Private Eyes.” What can I say about Sir Hall and Sir Oates, besides the fact that I love them? I clap along every time I hear it, and although I don’t recall the first memories, I will always think of the “Psych” promo with this song as the backdrop.
Journey – “Don’t Stop Believing.” (I shit you not.) My favorite song of all time. I’m singing in the back of my mom’s van, dancing at a fraternity party, on stage at formal — always screaming the words, adding my own hand motions and dancing like nobody’s watching.
Cobra Starship – “Good Girls Go Bad.” Drinking heavily and scanning the bar for the next guy to buy a round. Shouting over the music to my girlfriends about where the night will take us and not giving two shits about having to wake up in five hours.
LFO – “West Side Story.” Back to middle school, I think rhyming “can’t seem to find a damn thing wrong with her” with “Veronica” is pure lyrical heaven. I’m still smiling from their concert with Britney Spears, my first. There’s nothing like being a Lyte Funky One.
Johnny Cash – “Ring of Fire.” My grandparents’ old house. It’s coming from a record player, because the song just doesn’t make sense blaring from an iPod. Beautiful words with a painfully true message. I tap my feet to it every time.
The Dan Band – “Lady.” Aside from being my introduction to The Dan Band’s cover songs, I adore this one for a very solid reason: Vince Vaughn’s drum solo. Reliving the glory days a la “Old School” wouldn’t be complete without it.
The Fray – “Over My Head.” Freshman year of college and I’m wishing I went to a school where I knew someone, anyone. The acquaintances at USF aren’t enough to make me stay, yet. I cry alone the first night in my dorm, because my roommates don’t talk and I hate Tampa.
Michael Bolton – “When a Man Loves a Woman.” For my money, it doesn’t get any better than this. OK, OK. All cheese, no meat. Love his hair and think this song is too ridiculous to not have in my repertoire.
It’s no consolation to the 1,903 songs that weren’t chosen, but these 10 represent a small piece of my musical life. They tell their own stories without my experiences tacked on and I’m sure anyone reading has their own memories tied to each song. The harmonies and hooks may all be different, but one common thread remains: Life isn’t complete without a soundtrack.