Music evokes many memories depending on song choices

Kali Lingen

Kali Lingen

A song can evoke a memory. A memory so strong that it takes your breath away, takes you over until you are completely lost in the moment. For me, there are a few songs that stick out in my mind and take me down memory lane.

“Let it Be” by the Beatles will always remind me of my mother. She used to play it on the guitar and sing it to me when I was a child. To this day, the song brings a smile to my face. When I hear it, I can’t help but think of my mom, the smell of her perfume and the innocence of being a child. Life seemed so much simpler when “Let it Be” could solve everything.

When I hear the beginning beats of “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, I am taken back to the summer before freshman year at SDSU. I was dating a guy from my hometown who, at the time, I thought was the greatest guy to walk the earth. I was mistaken about him, but when I hear “Wonderful Tonight” I can’t help but remember the smell of sunscreen, movie watching and slow dancing. For the longest time, I wasn’t able to listen to this song I love so much because of the memories.

The Spill Canvas has been one of my favorite bands for about five years. In May of 2008, my boyfriend moved to Washington, D.C., after his graduation from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. The weekend of his graduation, when we went anywhere in my car, a mixed CD of The Spill Canvas was playing. The day he left, I got in my car to drive home and The Spill Canvas’s “Self Conclusion” was playing. It is one of my favorite songs and every time I hear it, I remember driving down Interstate 94 through St. Paul and Minneapolis crying. Now, when I listen to the song, it is bittersweet. I still love the song, but it makes me a bit sad hearing it.

My absolute favorite song is “Better Together” by Jack Johnson. I can be having a horrible, stressful day and if I just listen to that song, it puts me in a better mood. The song reminds me of when I first bought Jack Johnson’s In Between Dreams album in the spring of 2005. I was a barista at a coffee shop in my hometown and people always knew when I was working because Jack would be playing. I know every word to “Better Together” and it has ranked highest on my iTunes top-played list for four years.

Music is able to ignite emotions and memories within me. I think it is truly amazing a song can flood my soul and bring a memory back so strong, it feels like it is happening all over again. I don’t always want to remember everything associated with a particular song, but it’s nice to have a mental flashback for three or four minutes.