Everyone loves music. (well almost everyone)
Through out your life, I’m sure you’ve run across more than a few songs that “chill you to the bone”, move you so emotionally that you are plagued by a rash of bodily goosebumps; then there are the songs that read like a storybook, a memoir of your life so to speak. Your super ego suddenly begins to rev into overdrive, “This song was written about me… for me!”
There are also the songs that your family, friends, and lovers assign to you and associate with you- one could easily argue that these songs hold more meaning than the aforementioned. Why is that? The answer is really simple-that someone thinks enough about you to connect the song’s story with your own story and character-words are the most powerful weapon available to mankind.
What I’m about to do is invite you into my little corner of the world by use of music association. It is also my invitation to you to interact by sharing your own experiences. The first list of “top ten songs that describe your life” are songs that were “assigned” to me by friends, exes, and family,or are songs that describe my relationships with each individual- a mutual affiliation. The order of the songs will be compiled from my earliest memories to the most recent.
Enjoy! And remember, be sure to add your own memories!
- Bonnie Raitt, You Got It- My first “real” best friend Laura, whom I met at age 12, when a young woman begins to change. This became our “friends forever” promise. There wasn’t a thing we wouldn’t have done for one another, and the song, which came from the soundtrack to the movie Boys on the Side was “our story.” See for yourself…
2. Aerosmith, Crazy- This one will always hold a special place in my heart. When I hit 7th grade, the Seattle grunge scene was in full swing and I was part of a group of “skate rats” who were more popular than the “jock” group. (This is undoubtedly because of the trend at the time, most of “my clique” has since gone on to conform to the standards put forth by society-I, and possibly a handful of others, may be the exception) Even the cheerleaders were skater chic. That year I formed a serious bond with one of the girls in our group. Her name was Tristan, and both the song and the video were the epitome of who we were at the time. She was Liv Tyler and I was Alicia Silverstone.
3. TLC, Waterfalls- In 8th grade my “juvenile delinquent” period began to take full effect, and I found myself suspended from school indefinitely. Where I lived, when that happened, you were sent to a school by the name of ALC, where you’re closely monitored and begrudgeingly receive the honor of standing in front of a judge. Said judge then places you on probation, which then opens the floodgate into the land of chaos. There was one particular teacher at the school that saw me for who I really was, and called me out on all my bullshit- he said to me,”You’re like that song, don’t go chasing waterfalls.”
4. Soul Asylum, Run Away Train- I did continue to chase waterfalls until around the age of 17 or 18, along with my first best friend Laura and the rest of our inner circle. (Not the same circle from 7th grade, most of them had transferred schools and we had already grown apart.) We went through a phase (a bad one) where we became so truant at school we had the law chasing after us- for us at that time, we were not going to give into anyone else’s rules, we lived by our own, and so we made a swift decision to bail on the situation. We spent nearly a week going from state to state until I got so sick I was on the verge of pneumonia-that was the end of that. *NOTE- This song still gives me goose bumps to this day, and even as an adult I can still see myself running away…
5. The Verve Pipe, The Freshman- Sadly, this song marked the end of an era. I got to the point where I knew things had to change. My being a “rebel without a cause” was causing me to lose the majority of my teen years-spending frequent time in juvenile hall, a month long stint in a group home, and rehab. Rehab came after the unthinkable happened, when I was forced to open my eyes to the reality of mortality. Mixing booze and pot, a friend of mine, who had just been at my house the night before, died in a tragic gun accident. A year later another friend was lost to alcohol and pot while driving through the countryside-they flew off the side of a ravine crashing into a tree at a high velocity. Was this really all worth it? No. I had to go a separate direction, and my friends weren’t ready to follow. They would always stay in my heart…
6. Hole, Violet- It wasn’t hard for me to find a new group of friends, I’ve always been outgoing- My next stop was Coolsprings Galleria, where we became known as “mallrats.” (We were given this name by the security guards, and this was BEFORE the movie Mallrats ever came about.) We were large in number and as tight a group as any could be; we were the self proclaimed “brat pack.” About a year into this phase of my life a new girl moved into town. Our well known spontaneity, and often obnoxious behavior made us the perfect match. We were inseparable, even earning a trip together to a modeling convention where we were to meet agents and learn the trade. (It didn’t work out for long in case you’re wondering.) There was an incident however, that occurred right before she moved back to her home state-miscommunication caused her to dub Violet my song, from her to me. I’m still not quite sure why, or what exactly happened.
7. Sublime, Wrong Way- This could easily be construed as an insulting dedication, but there is a simple explanation. Every girl has been here. I briefly dated a guy, and I just could not reciprocate his feelings for me. He did reiterate though, that there were only two lines that truly reminded him of me…”A cigarette rests between her lips but I’m staring at her tits it’s the wrong way.” Classic, right? Then there’s this blatantly hopeless line, “I gave her all that I had to give but she still wouldn’t take it, oh no.” Sad, I know. (Can you detect the sarcasm here?)
8. Madonna, This Used to Be My Playground- This song is one of my favorite songs of all time, and is significant to my life in a number of ways, but this song, for this list, is a mutual song between myself and my true best friend of over 13 years-“G”. The one best friend that has never wavered, never disappeared-no matter how far away we might be. I remember growing up, my parents always told me-“You’ll be lucky to have one true friend in your lifetime,” and of course at the time I thought they were crazy. If I only knew then what I know now about this world we live in… A few years ago “G” and I went through a test, and we passed with flying colors-then he was offered a chance to go to grad school in Hawaii and he left. Nothing has been the same without him, but we are still there for one another, always in each others thoughts and hearts. “Our playground” will always be the fondest of my memories, and even in death we will know each other-He is my soul mate. Here’s to you dear friend.
9. Pink, Stupid Girls- First, I have to say. anyone who knows me knows that this particular thought process has long since been a characteristic of mine, an “obvious from the moment you meet me” one. The funny thing about this song association is that my sister brought it to my attention before I ever heard the song. She asked me, “Have you heard Pink’s new song Stupid Girls?” “No”, I answered with a hint of curiosity in my voice. “You have to hear it, everytime I listen to it, it reminds me of you.” “Ok,” I said. She popped in the cd and skipped to the proper track. It made the rest of my day a glorious one.
10. Garbage, You Look So Fine- This is the hardest one for me to acknowledge, and it will be cut short in terms of storytelling. I met my twin-soul,Erika, (which is very rare) in February of 2006 and she was taken from me on September 14th 2007. Garbage was one of her favorite bands, and in fact we hit it off in a forum discussing “best songs to have sex too” She mentioned a particular Garbage song (which I won’t get into) that had been a song choice of mine previously. That was only the start of something that was to become bigger than either of us could ever imagine. Erika loved making mixed cds, as did I-It was our way of expressing our feelings for one another. (In the words of Diablo Cody, “Nothing says true love like a smoke-colored Sony cassette with handwritten liner notes”, or in our case silver colored cd-r’s.) By the time the second mixed cd arrived in the mail, she had let her guard down and let me know that this cd contained a compendium of “sappy love songs,” one of which was the song “You Look so Fine.” My fondest memory however, was when we were in Florida together-she was laying by the poolside and wanted to go get some tunes. she asked me,”What do you want to listen too?” “It doesn’t matter.” I shrugged. “I know what to get, it’s a surprise”, she grinned. She hurried back out with cd in hand. Glaring at me with a tinge of seriousness she said,”Don’t look.” I smiled. What came next was, of course, the song “You look so fine.” “This is my song to you, it will always be our song,” she said.