This year, at the college, I was asked to teach one section of the Orientation class that all incoming freshmen are required to take. I said yes, even though I'm not a fan of orientation classes. Personally, I think they are a huge waste of a students time and money; however, since I wanted to be more visible to students, I agreed to behave myself and teach a section. Yesterday and today, we had filled the days with activities for the kids to do.
Today, we had a lot of different speakers to listen to. Some, I enjoyed, some I did not. One of my favorite sessions today utilized Music as a way to reach the kids who are a different generation than most of the college staff.
The speaker shared that most of us can hear a song and it will trigger a memory, like a first year of college, or a party or a first kiss. She had gone around to various college staff and had asked them what song reminded them of their first year of college--or of something that happened during that first year of college. She then had the kids guess which song went with each staff person. Most of the music was from the early 80's through the early 1990's. Two were from the 1960's. Every song on today's list was classic rock.
Which made me think about what song would remind me of my first year of college. My song wasn't classic rock...my song was classic country. Alabama's Feels so Right. Or maybe George Strait's Amarillo by Morning. Both songs were from the same year and time. Both were among my favorites.
But I also reflected on different songs, or singers that I've listened to over the years and that I like. We always had music on at some time or other at our house. Mom and Dad had a pretty extensive album collection. Steve and I used to play their records all the time. Our favorites were Jimmy Dean, Johnny Horton, Roger Miller and Tex Ritter. All sang story songs. Mom also had a lot of folk song albums from the folk music trend of the 1960's. So I also listened to Peter, Paul and Mary and Steve and I both liked the New Christy Minstrals.
My Mom's little sister, Sandy, is 10 years older than I am. So when she babysat us, we'd listen to her music. And, after she got married, many of her albums were left at Grandma's. I listened to them all the time...the Beatles, the Monkees, Three Dog Night.
But as I got into high school, I primarily listened to Country. NOT the twangy stuff, like Hank Williams...I have never developed a taste for Hank; in fact, one of my least favorite songs is Hey Good-lookin'. I'd rather listen to chalk screeching across a chalkboard than listen to that song. Some songs, I liked until they were tied to bad memories. Like the song You'll never walk alone. I liked that song until it was sung at my cousins funeral. Now, when I hear it...it reminds me of that day and the fact that I had to attend the funeral alone.
One of the albums that we wore out in high school was the Urban Cowboy soundtrack. On 8-track. And the Oak Ridge Boys Elvira. That song reminds me of my Senior Trip, as we sang it to one of our sponsors, Eldora. (yes, we changed the name as we sang.) That song also reminds me of staying with Sandy and her family. Royce was 2 and he loved that song. Sandy finally had enough and forbade us from playing it. But, I did listen to some rock...Queen, and some Kiss, and even the Carpenters and Barry Manilow and Disco...
In college, I still listened to Country, but I also began to listen to more rock with my friends. I'm still primarily a Country fan, but I have listened to some of the music my kids like. Andy listens to a lot of Christian Rock mixed in with his Country music while Miss Kat likes a little bit of everything, but she favors Rock, some Rap, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. I've corrupted them a little, because I've taught them to appreciate some of those folk songs and some older country (like Garth Brooks...yep, guys, he's old news.)
So, I guess it's true, that music does have strong ties with our memories. It was really fun to think about what songs are tied to my memories today. So, now I ask you...what songs and singers are special to you?