5 Random Songs, 5 Random Memories

24 Jul

Whilst I was walking in the pissing sunshine (aside: In London we have ‘pissing rain’ when it is unrelenting, unpleasant and leaves you drenched, in Denver we have ‘pissing sunshine’ which has more or less the same affect) listening to my music, I started wondering about the relationship between songs and memory. I know that some songs, like smells, are intrinsically linked with certain times, places, people etc. So much so that if that song comes on the radio it can take you right back. So I set myself a challenge, for every song that randomly shuffled on my IPhone I had to think if there were any memories associated. Once I opened myself up to this idea I found that every single song had really strong associations (If you’re bored one time, give it a go, it’s amazing the things that get triggered.) So here I have decided as a small experiment, and a way to waste half an hour, I am going to put my Itunes on shuffle and whatever 5 song comes on I’m going to put down my associations. Yes this is very self-indulgent, yes no one else cares, yes it is navel gazing and yes it’s MY blog so eff off!

1. Sam’s Town – The Killers

Right so this one’s easy, I used to listen to this whole album when working at the behavioural neuroscience lab in York. During the 10 weeks I spent at the university that summer I worked on a study of reptilian behaviour. So it was me, a tortoise called Moses and a maze. I remember singing along to this song whilst sitting in the tiny spare room we used for the study. Moses was slowly inching his way around the maze whilst I recorded his movements on a clipboard. I remember the smell of the small electric heater we used, a bit like burnt toast, and of Moses, who smelt a bit like dried fruit! Bless him, he now lives with his owner in Vienna… oh and he turned out to be a she! I do still miss my little transgender tortoise *sniff*

What Ever Happened – The Strokes

Two memories here! One is of being a spotty 16 year old and downloading this song off Napster, I remember it took about 3 hours to download each song and I was constantly terrified of the cyber police breaking through the window and arresting me. The other memory is of THE BEST NIGHT OUT EVER ™ at university. On this fabled night me and two of my good friends from university went to see ‘Marie Antoinette’ at the cinema, ate Mcdonalds and went to an indie club… I can’t say why it was SO great but all three of us agreed that this was the most fantastic night out! I know we drank a lot, decided that ‘We Are Your Friends’ by Simian was our personal friendship song and I tried to pick one friend up and dropped her on the dancefloor. Students are very simple creatures. This song was on the ‘Marie Antoinette’ soundtrack which I borrowed off Alex (one of the two friends) and this is how I have this song today.

3. Waiting for the 7:18 – Bloc Party

One rainy British summer I worked at my dad’s office for a few weeks to make a little money. One of his coworkers would make copies of his CD’s for me and Bloc Party was one of them. I’d heard them before but this was the first album I owned. I used to listen to this song on the 30 minute tube journey from Tufnell Park to Barbican, squashed like battery farmed chickens with the rest of North London! The work was dull, my hands were always covered in papercuts and covered in dust, but it was an all right time… getting excited about Fresher’s week, seeing my friends, meeting boys… all that. This song pretty much sums up being a 19 year old student for me.

4. Beautiful – Athlete

I got this album for my 17th birthday, I remember it being an extraordinarily sunny day (rare for my birthday) and I think I remember wishing I could go to a music festival, except I had school and no money. Instead, I was revising for my AS Psychology exam with this playing in the background. Nothing too profound just a warm summer evening after a day spent pretending to revise with friends on Hampstead Heath.

5. Can’t Stop – The Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Now this I really remember! I used to listen to this album at my friend Carmen’s house, we would sit in her bedroom and draw these hugely intricate drawings of mice… It all started in an English lesson I think, but we would just sit and draw these really strange Where’s Wally/Waldo style pictures of mice. We also were trying to make a house in the style of The Borrowers and a cardboard version of all the Houses of Harry Potter. Yeah we were weird and geeky but those summer nights were great, we’d order in a pizza and just make things all day with this album playing in the background.

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3 Responses to “5 Random Songs, 5 Random Memories”

  1. Samantha/ The Happy Coeliac August 20, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    You are forgetting the entire Tom Jones anthology and the mouldy-breaded Bulgarian truck driver…

    • commandpluszed August 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

      Oh god, I didn’t forget I just repressed it!

      For those who don’t know me and Sam hitchhiked to Morocco for a charity… whilst crossing over into Spain we almost got killed, chopped up in little pieces and made into Bulgarian soup by a quietly psychotic truck driver. No joke. And worst of all the last thing we would have heard would have been ‘whats up pussycat’… So yeah music can also have seriously unpleasant associations.

      • Trish May 10, 2017 at 11:55 pm #

        canilore – it’s a massage stick … there’s a link in the post. plastic stick with little plastic rings on it that you roll on your muscles – one of those ‘hurts so good’ things. very good for sore muscles!

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