While compiling my list of memories for the memoir I want to write, I’ve been on a real reminiscing journey lately. I’m very much enjoying this trip back in time and, maybe it’s because dementia runs in my family (maternal grandpa and my mom) and I’m realizing that it could also be my destiny, but I do want to appreciate and enjoy my memories while I can still revisit them. After all, our memories are uniquely ours and a compilation of who we are, aren’t they? Two people can experience the exact same thing and have completely different memories of the event. And, interestingly, music therapy is used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients because it does this very thing – promotes memory, helps recall emotions and reinforces their sense of “self”.
When you hear certain songs from your past, do they it immediately cause a rush of memories for you? I think we all have songs that do that for us and, in many cases, they’re reminiscent of the years of our youth, most notably our adolescence. I wonder if it’s because those are, generally, our most defining years? Here are a few of the songs that instantly take me back to the good, the bad, the best, and, some of the worst, times of my life…
Hello, Mary-Lou (obvious), Ricky Nelson – 1961
House of the Rising Sun, The Animals – 1964
Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys – 1966
Whiter Shade of Pale, Procol Harum – 1967
Ode to Billy Joe, Bobbie Gentry 1967
Sugar, Sugar, The Archies 1969
Close to You, The Carpenters 1970
I Think I Love You, David Cassidy 1970 *teen heart throb!
One Tin Soldier, The Original Caste 1971 *from the powerful movie “Billy Jack”
Alone Again, Gilbert O’Sullivan 1971
Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin 1971
Tiny Dancer, Elton John 1971 *a favorite to this day
Go Away Little Girl, Donny Osmond 1972 *another heart throb!
Puppy Love, Donny Osmond 1972
Smoke on the Water, Deep Purple 1972
Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl, Looking Glass 1972
Band on the Run, Wings 1973 *high school!
Drift Away, Dobie Gray 1973
Daniel, Elton John 1973
China Grove, The Doobie Brothers 1973
Sweet City Woman, The Stampeders 1973 *my first ever concert
Seasons in the Sun, Terry Jacks 1974
One of These Nights, Eagles 1975 *really, anything by the Eagles!
Midnight Blue, Melissa Manchester 1975
More Than a Feeling, Boston 1976
Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac 1977
Jet Airliner, Steve Miller Band 1977
Double Vision, Foreigner 1978
Sad Eyes, Robert John 1979
Sail On, The Commodores 1979 *University days
Without these songs, my memories wouldn’t be as vivid, as strong, or as visceral. I hear them and, immediately, am taken back and can remember things like what I was wearing, who I was with, and what we were doing. It’s rather amazing that music has such power.
I invite you to take a few moments (if you can limit yourself to a “few”) and take a trip down your own memory lane with the music that defined your life – just “Google” your favorites, close your eyes and enjoy…..
I’d love for you to share yours!