Songs are like mini books. A book can help you escape the mundane of life and cheer you up. But it takes time. Sometimes I need to read for an hour before I forget where I am and feel like I’m living in the world created by the author. A song? The right song? It can take you away with a simple chord progression.
There are songs that cheer you up because they are light-hearted and the chorus is addictive. There are songs that remind you of a certain time period of life. And then there are songs that take you back to one moment of time. It isn’t necessarily a perfect moment. Sometimes it’s a painful moment.
Here’s a short list of some songs that make me time travel.
Fast Car by Tracy Chapman. There’s a popular remake of this song on the radio constantly, but the remake does nothing for me. The original song, though? That song takes me back to driving in my then boyfriend’s car around Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The sun was shining and we had the windows down. I can almost smell the water and feel the wind in my hair when I hear this song. I haven’t been in touch with that boyfriend for over twenty years. I don’t care. It was a beautiful moment and I’m keeping it.
Friday I’m in Love by The Cure. This song doesn’t bring happy thoughts. Don’t get me wrong. I love this song. But the very last conversation I ever had with a good friend of mine was about this song. It seems like such a stupid topic for the final conversation with a friend. But I didn’t exactly expect her to be killed when a truck driver didn’t notice the traffic on the Autobahn was completely stopped and rammed into her car. I still can’t listen to this song without thinking about her and tearing up. It’s been six years.
Als ze er niet is by De Dijk. I was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany when I met my Dutch hubby. At the time, this song by the Dutch band, De Dijk, was super popular. Whenever he and his friends got drunk (which was often!), they’d start singing it at the top of their lungs. I had no idea that the lyrics of this song would tell my love story. You see this song talks about how a man doesn’t know what he’s missing until she isn’t there. When the hubby’s service time was over, he went back to the Netherlands. We made some loose plans about seeing each other, but we both knew I was heading back to the US soon as my tour was nearly over. It didn’t take long before my then boyfriend was taking me out to lunch and asking if he could follow me to the U.S. Twenty-two years later we’re still putting up with each other. So everytime I hear this song, I remember my hubby and the other Dutch men walking me home from the bar drunk off their asses singing this song at the top of their lungs. Spoiler alert: None of them can carry a tune.
Soak Up the Sun by Sheryl Crow. We bought this album at a used book market in a quaint Italian village in Tuscany. Whenever I play this song, I see the hubby and us drinking coffee in this tiny coffee house near that book market. I have no idea what town we were even in. I don’t care. It’s happy memory.
Anyone else have songs that can make you time travel?