Day’s Verse:
The Lord has looked down from heaven…to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Psalm 14:2-3

Have you noticed how certain music can recall certain events to mind strongly? Certain songs seem to have this power to draw me into a reverie of remembrance, often of bittersweet events. For instance:

  • Hearing Jars of Clay’s disc Who We Are Instead, particularly the song “Only Alive,” brings back a vivid memory of wearing a sweater Ian left behind when he went to London. I was sitting on the floor hugging myself, listening to that song over and over, unable to stop crying. Much of Ian’s tenure in London I listened to that Jars of Clay CD and now I can’t hear it without thinking of that seven weeks.
  • Hampton String Qartet’s HSQ Rides Again irrevocably conjures up the feelings and images of myself sitting in our apartment here A-term doing Calculus I problems. I just kept doing problems, sitting in that wooden chair, hunched over the table, papers strewn all over, HSQ playing on repeat until I memorized every nuance of every song.
  • Certain classical songs, particularly Pachelbel’s Canon, bring to mind laying sick on our old couch at home, wrapped in an enormously hideous but warm quilt. Mom always played “green music,” thus named because of the green CD cover, to help us calm down and feel soothed when we were ill.
  • Nearly all techno music makes me remember my Freshman year in college when I really got into that type of music. I listened to it constantly sitting at my desk, that typical college furniture, wedged between the wall and our mini-fridge. One song, Ferry Corsten’s “Be As One,” makes me think of a guy I got to know well that year, then lost all contact with the next year. We spent so much time together that first year – I did with several people – I felt sure our friendships would never end. That’s when I learned that moving two miles away put too much stress on those tenuous bonds, and that college friendships often mean less than a fall leaf’s blowing in the wind.

Those are some things certain music makes me think of. Do you have any particular music associated with certain events?

– KF –

3 thoughts on “Musical Memory

  1. Haha, that’s Ernie! Great picture. 🙂

    As for the music, I’m not sure that there’s music that reminds me events, but more of people. Certain songs definitely make me think about Mark (such as Amazed by Lonestar, and Come What May from Moulin Rouge). Some Blink-182 songs (older ones) remind me of freshman/sophomore year of high school, when I first discovered the band and fell in love with them. I suppose hearing Mmmbop would make me think of 7th grade, but I haven’t heard that song in a while, so. 🙂

  2. It’s unfortunate that you think that your friendship with Ernie means less than a fall leaf’s blowing in the wind. I’ve had several friendships fall by the wayside in my stay here at college, but even if I don’t communicate with them now, I view my time with them still just as precious, and it means a great deal to me. They were wonderful and meant a great deal to me then, and I attribute just as much import to them now. If you had a worthwhile time with Ernie, and if it left some kind of lasting impact, then to me it would seem more meaningful than you describe.

  3. Meh?

    The question is, what does “friendship” mean? Can it be meaningful if it’s brief? One-sided? Is it “better” to have friends who remain constant for years? Should you try to maintain relationships with people for years? Is it, as you say, better to at least have had friends for a while, then moved on? I have to wonder, because over the course of college I’ve formed and had broken too many friendships I thought would make a real difference. Perhaps I’m looking for too much or demanding too much from a college relationship, but I would ask my Clark friends not to have immediately given up on me when I moved nearer to WPI (for instance). Maybe I’ve just got too much new scar tissue to look at the situation logically.

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