I do like me a good list, and in turn, I do like certain music to have a story to it. So when I saw that the lovely Kate Takes 5 had started a linky about songs that brought you right back to a certain time and place, then it wasn’t really something I could ignore. So in the midst of all the tinsel filled Christmassy stuff, I may as well throw in a bit of nostalgia, none of which is Christmas related, just so I don’t lose the grinches among you.
Music is incredibly powerful, like nothing else it can set off emotions and thought tangents and bring you right back to the raw feelings, whether they be happy or sad. There are entire albums ruined by being linked to ex-boyfriends, for example, songs that will never be thought of without thinking of the hangover the following morning, and songs which make me laugh to think of the memories that are so ingrained in them (one song with a particular line “hiding our trust like frightened refugees” doesn’t feature in this list, but I’m right back in 6th year Ordinary Level Maths, writing notes and quoting cheesy 90s pop music with my girls any time I hear it).
It’s been difficult to narrow it down to five, but I did have to in the end so I’ve gone with the ones that instantly throw me back in time, vividly, any time I hear them come on. Notably, I’ve left out the ones that were on repeat in the Supermarket I worked in as a teenager, because nobody wants to relive that trauma – so much Avril Lavigne mixed with ads about discounted potatoes and eggs. Anyway, I digress.
The Songs That Transport Me Back To A Time And A Place
Life is a Highway – (Rascal Flatts version)
This song is the summer after the Leaving Cert, driving around in Jess’s car, music blaring, this basically on repeat, going nowhere in particular but just enjoying our freedom. I was working two summer jobs coming up at close to 50 hour weeks so my free time was spent relishing that freedom, and as I was underage and unable to go clubbing like others my age, my freedom was this. Heading to the park, the beach, just random road trips and often winding up in the cinema seeing whatever crap was on, just to get something to do, relishing our time together before September would see us separated. Though I don’t really speak with that group anymore as we fell out of touch, as happens after years go by and lives go on, it’s still a time of my life I look back on really fondly, and every time this song comes on it makes me smile.
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
First year of college, first semester. Lady Gaga was everywhere, and I frequented a club night called Freakscene quite a bit. This song featured very heavily. There may have been a boy involved in why it featured so much, but that’s a tale for a different day. Still makes me want to get up and dance, and head out with the group of friends I was out with back then – just dancing to cheesy pop music and drinking and living life with no consequences.
Angels – Robbie Williams
The weekend before my 21st birthday I received my exam results from my repeat exams from my finals in college (and passed) on Friday, on a bus up to Dublin, to a Robbie Williams concert. I’d gotten tickets through a lottery system for a gig he was putting on for charity after promising he would be back to make up for technical issues in 2006. I was accompanied by my Robbie-mad aunt, who has clearly rubbed off on me, as I was VERY excited to go. We were warned to not be too hungover the following day, as I was sharing my 21st party with my brothers 18th and my Dad’s 50th, so it was kind of one of those things I couldn’t really duck out of – this wasn’t a problem as this wasn’t the kind of gig we were going to need alcohol for. Despite his lateness on stage and the constant worry that his wife, overdue her baby, would go into labour any minute causing him to have to run offstage, his performance was stellar, he was in amazing form and the crowd of 15,000 was intimate and enthusiastic and the atmosphere was unbeatable. He didn’t sing Angels until the encore but it was sung by the 15,000 strong crowd as well and it was POWERFUL. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing (and am dying to see him again), Angels will always be the song that will stick in my mind. That, and the sardine can which was the Luas on the way back from The Point…
Note: This isn’t my video footage, but it is from the exact gig so maybe you can see what I mean by the atmosphere.
Pompeii – Bastille
Back in our wild baby-free days, myself and himself decided we’d head off to a festival in far-flung Donegal, Sea Sessions, and camp for three days. In the rain. The couple who suffers together, stays together, right? Overall, it was great craic, and the headline act that year (2013) was Bastille, and this song was everywhere. The crowd were mad for it. The rest of their set was great, but it was very clear that most people only knew one song so they really did make the most of it – and this was the song being echoed over the campsite for the remainder of the weekend, even as people put their tents back together (yes, tents collapsed in the wind and rain, ours was one of the only survivors. Rocking this camping thing). Every time I hear it I’m transported back to the campsite, the beach, the drinking cocktails from the tiki bar, the walking along the cliffs in the wind (and the sheltering in the cinema to see Despicable Me 2 when the weather got SO bad on Sunday everything shut down for most of the day). It was a really good time and one I hope to relive at some point soon in the future!
All Of Me – John Legend
The last one is a bit of a sentimental one. I first came across this song when it was played on a mid-season finale of Grey’s Anatomy, before it got MASSIVE and played everywhere, and so was listening to it quite a lot at the end of my pregnancy, when I was in hospital with pre-eclampsia and not much else to do except read, do endless puzzles in those magazines which all have very tabloidy stories in them, play Sims and think about what was to come, and what was happening right now. I used to stick in my headphones to try tune out the sounds of the ward and this song really resonated with me and the feelings I had towards my partner and my unborn son. After he was born, it was one of the only songs which would calm him down and put him to sleep. I especially love the acoustic version, so calming and sentimental to me, right back to those hazy baby days.
So those are my top five songs which bring me back in time to a different place, vividly reliving parts of my past, good and bad. What are yours? Let me know in the comments below!
If you’ve liked this kind of post, or would love to add your own to the collection, check out the linky hosted by Kate Takes Five here.