Soundtrack to my Youth

Thursday, 14 January 2016


Music can be a powerful memory trigger.  A song can remind you of a person from your past, a specific event, a place you've visited, or a time in your life.  The other day I listened to an album that I hadn't heard in over a decade and was surprised to find that I still knew all the words despite the fact I hasn't listened to the songs in 10 years and had pretty much forgotten they even existed.  It got me thinking about other songs that hold strong memories for me and I decided to put them together in a blog post.  So, here's a list of 7 songs from my teens and the memories they represent.
Maroon 5 - Secret (spotify link)

First up, a song from the album that inspired this post - Maroon 5's Songs About Jane.  I used to listen to this album pretty much daily when I was in first year uni, I was absolutely obsessed with it.  There's a couple of songs on the album that I've fallen in love with all over again having re-listened to it recently, as well as Secret another few faves are Shiver and Harder to Breathe.

Secret however is the one I'm going to focus on.  To put it bluntly, it reminds me of sex in first year uni.  There's a line in the song that goes "I know I don't know you, but I want you so bad" and I remember the first time I heard it I thought "wow this is HOT".  I thought it would make the perfect soundtrack to the ultimate one-night-stand.  

Now it never did become the playlist for a one night stand (how awkward would that have been - "oh just hold on a sec while I stick this album on and skip to this song..."), but it did get played quite a lot during "special moments" with my first year uni boyfriend.  Saucy.

Billie Piper - I Dream (spotify link)

Onto a more innocent memory now.... I Dream (or any song from Billie's Honey to the B album   really) reminds me of many an evening spent in my bedroom at home in my early teens.  Sitting on my canvas chair listening to the album on full blast though my huge headphones.  In the dark, with my purple lava lamp on.  I used to imagine that I was performing the song in our school talent contest - my classmates going wild "oh my god - I didn't know Lynne could sing like that! I must immediately date her!".  My pop dreams never came true though unfortunately.

The Beatles - Hey Jude (spotify link)

Another school related memory. One year our school put on a Beatles night concert with all the different musical groups performing (big band, woodwind, guitar group, junior and senior choirs etc).  It was a brilliant show, one of my favourite ever high school memories.  I was in either the junior or senior choir at the time, I can't quite remember which, and we were performing a couple of songs in the show including the big finale - Hey Jude.  The last performance was structured so each group was brought on stage bit by bit, so starting with just a coupe of people and then ending with the full cast for the final "na na na na na na na" verse.  It was really powerful and I remember feeling full of emotion by the end with everyone singing at the top of their lungs.  Whenever I hear the song now I still get tingles.

Outhere Brothers - Boom Boom Boom (spotify link)

Another school show related memory.  At high school we did a Stars in Their Eyes show at the end of the summer term each year.  It was tradition that the 6th years would do a big group act, and when it was our years' turn we left it really last minute to decide on a performance, so didn't have a chance to properly rehearse it on stage.  So on the night it was a bit of a mystery to the teachers as to what we were going to do.  Little did they know that we'd put together a racy routine to Boom Boom Boom, including a part where the guys lay on the ground doing the worm with the girls stood over them doing the "booty slap" move.  The look on our head of years' face when she saw us perform it in front of the whole school was a picture.

Britney Spears - Toxic (spotify link)

From one music legend to another.... I remember the exact moment I heard Toxic for the first time.  It was in my first year uni flat, sitting round the dining table in the kitchen having pre-drinks before a night out at the Cav.  My flatmate Anna had the In The Zone album and was raving about this song on it called Toxic.  She played it for us and I distinctly remember being completely unimpressed.  Anna was like "how can you not love this song?!  It's amazing!" and I was all "it's....ok I guess".  I was obsessed with it like a week later though after a few more listens.  I'm sorry I ever doubted you Queen B.

Avril Lavigne - Things I'll Never Say (spotify link)

This song reminds me of walking the corridors between periods at high school, listening to the Let Go album on my mini disc player (remember mini disc players?  They were popular for 5 minutes before the iPod came out).  Fighting through the crowds to get to my next class with Avril's whiny teen angst ringing in my ears, you couldn't get more cliche teenager.

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out (spotify link)

Take Me Out - along with The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger and The Killers - All These Things That I've Done - remind me of every night out at uni ever.  During my first and second year you couldn't go out to the Cav or the Big Cheese or Stereo or City or wherever without hearing this song.  It brings back memories of drunkenly jumping about on the dancefloor with my friends, singing along at the top of my lungs - or quickly downing bottles of WKD so I could get on the dancefloor in order to drunkenly dance to the song.  Classic 2003.

So there's 7 songs from my teen years and the memories they represent.  Let me know in the comments if these songs hold any particular memories for you!

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