Thursday, December 29, 2011

Elvira, It Goes On and On

December 29, 2011
What was the soundtrack of your year? Of your life? Which songs most strongly represent the various eras of your life? What songs were playing for the most crucial, formative moments of your life? Or, if the chronological approach doesn't work for you, which songs best capture the different facets of your life? (Childhood, Love Life, Adulthood, Loss, Growth, Career, Happiness, Sadness, etc.) Please elaborate.

Early Childhood
  • Animal Stories as told by Uncle Lar' and L'il Tommy
    were required break while doing chores in my pre-kindergarten days. My dad and cousin would lean against the stanchion separators and listen to these stories then go on with their work. Quiet was mandatory. We still call my brother, Tom, L'il Tommy
  • Oakridge Boys - Elvira
    This is the first song I can remember singing along to. Oomp papa, Oom papa, mow mow.
  • George Strait - Ocean Front Property
    The first song where I questioned the logic of the lyrics. I was old enough to figure out there wasn't any ocean front property in Arizona. 

Middle School
  • Tiffany
    This goes right along with Poochie and my mysterious sweatshirt.  

High School
  • Chad & Jeremy  - Summer SongOne of my dad's favorite songs.  Always worth a listen.
  • Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting For YouThe first song I can remember all of my piano-playing classmates learning how to play. And for a time it was the only thing played on the school pianos, beating out even Heart and Soul.
  • Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound of SilenceFor some reason, when attempting to write a speech about this song, I had a glimmer of enlightenment about the meaning of the song and then it disappeared.  It was the first time that I had ever felt meaning slip through my fingers.
  • Bonnie Rait - Something to Talk About, Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares to You, and Seal - Kiss from a RoseThe songs I remember playing incessently on Z104, the Top 40 station of my high school years, while I attempted to do my homework and figure out how to fit in with my high school classmates


    • Dvorak - Symphony #9 and Green Day - Dookie
      One of my study tapes had the symphony on one side and Dookie on the other.
    • Violent Femmes - Blister in the SunThis is the song that one hears when walking around campus on 'Dillo Day.  It seems to summarize the sense of being young, with friends, and in the sun. Though, really, that's not what the song is about.
    • Pulp Fiction Soundtrack
      The standard at all college parties of the time, or at least with my friends. This is still one of my favorite soundtracks.  Right now, Son of a Preacher Man is running through my head.
    • Prince - When Doves CryFor some reason, this was playing on the radio the summer I walked a lot, trying to get rid of my anger at working at a fast food restaurant
    • Smashing Pumpkins
      Pearl Jam and Nirvana may be the "true" grunge rockers, but it's the Smashing Pumpkins that are my favorite from this era
    • The Beatles
      The Beatles came into my life in college. Revolver is still my favorite Beatles album

      Post College
      • Van Morrison - Jackie Wilson SaidThe first time I had my heart broken this had been our song.  I wasn't able to listen to this song for years afterwards
      • Semisonic - Closing Time and Joan Osborne's Relish
        Music from the Norris Center Bookstore, where I learned that the music could be more important than the job.
      • Ben Folds Five - Song for the DumpedJust a great song for when a relationship comes to a nasty end

        First Years in Minnesota

        • U2 - Joshua Tree and Beethoven's Symphonies (MnOrch's version are great)
          Music that I listened to obsessively the first years I lived in Minnesota

        Getting to Know Jon
        • Dresden Dolls - Coin Operated Boy
          I heard this song on The Current one day.  The next time I see Jon, I tell him about it.  He starts singing it to me. While not the most romantic song in the world, it makes me think of my husband every time I hear it
        • Ben Folds with the Minnesota Orchestra
          It was the first time I heard "The Luckiest." Folds is an amazing musician and his performances with symphony orchestras are wonderful.  Also, he makes a great Sonny.
        • Shatner - Real
          The discussion about Coin-Operated Boy actually lead me to Shatner's Common People, which lead to Has Been. My favorite song on the album is Real. 

        Marrying Jon
        • Dave Matthews Band - Crash
          Slow-dancing with Jon shortly after we got engaged 
        • Ben Folds  - The Luckiest and Gracie
          The dance with my husband and the dance with my dad

        Recently I have been obssessing over listening to:
        • Mumford & Sons
        • The Avett Brothers

        Now that I've gotten through this, I realize I can't think of any songs I associate with my mom. Well, except Elvis, there's always Elvis.


        1. Re your Van Morrison comment: I still can't listen to the Cure's "Letters to Elise" -- even in the privacy of my own home. It's sort of embarrassing, really.

        2. Wow - brings back memories. You can tell we're the same age, and went to college @ the same place, since those songs are definitely the soundtrack to my experience as well. Still love Smashing Pumpkins as much as ever. And LOVE the shout out to Elvira, also one of the earliest songs I remember loving! Fun post.