It all started with this song.
I heard it played randomly when I went with my boss to guest speak at an office meeting. I recognized the song as soon as it came on. I frantically looked around to find anyone my age who would appreciate this song, but there was no one. So when I got back to my office I pulled it up on YouTube and said to the girls “Please tell me you know this song.” Turns out love for this song is VERY specific to people who were 8 years old when A Goofy Movie came out, because anyone who was younger or older than me by more than three years didn’t get it.
It got me thinking…why is that song so awesome? Why did I listen to it on repeat for an hour at work that day? The song itself isn’t that great but it conjures up specific memories and feelings associated with the magical age of eight. I started thinking about other things that have significant meaning and decided to create a musical time line of my life. Some of the music is good, some is awful, some you’ll recognize and a few are pretty obscure. But they all remind me of a certain time and/or event in my life. Honestly, there are so many more songs I could add to this, but I figured I was already asking a lot of you to go through 12 different songs. So here it is, my musical timeline. If you create one for yourself let me know, I’d love to see what songs represent important moments in your life.
Chantilly Lace by The Big Bopper
Life Stage- baby/toddler
The Story- My grandma and mom used to sing this song to me when they did my hair. I wore my hair in a ponytail A LOT and would always shake it when they sang “with a ponytail hanging down.”
Full House Theme Song
Life Stage- my whole first decade of life
The Story- I grew up watching Full House every Friday night (remember TGIF on ABC?) We were on vacation when the series finale aired and I told my mom I didn’t care where we were, we HAD to watch it. So we did, on the tiny t.v. in my great grandmother’s house. I cried.
California Girls by The Beach Boys
Life Stage- Elementary School
The Story- Obviously, this song was sung and became popular way before I was born. Nevertheless, I was a huge fan of the Beach Boys as a kid. I remember this one night me, my siblings and my cousins had a two hour beach boys dance party (there were six of us dancing in our teeny tiny condo…I have no idea how my parents survived that). I chose this particular song for the time line because I’m a California Girl and even as a kid, I took great pride in that.
Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid
Life Stage: Early Elementary School
The Story: I grew up in the Golden Age of Disney films. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King…I adored every single one and to this day I can still sing just about every song. When I was little I had a VHS of the Little Mermaid that my best friend copied for me when it played on the Disney channel. The video below shows my absolute favorite scene. Every time I would go to the living room window sill and squat down, and then when she pushes herself up on the rock I would push myself up on the window sill. Every. Single. Time.
Entertaining Angels by The Newsboys
Life Stage: Jr. High/High School
The Story: The late 90s early 2000s was the BEST time for Contemporary Christian Music. For the longest time that was all I listened to, not because my parents told me that secular music was devil music, but because I honestly enjoyed listening to CCM (thats what us cool church kids called it) and didn’t feel the need to listen to anything else. I liked a lot of different bands- DC Talk, Rebecca St. James, O.C. Supertones- but my favorite were the Newsboys and this song was the best. I remember when I got my first Discman, this was the first c.d. I played on it. Fun side note, I always hoped that I would learn to play the violin well enough to play this song. I never did, but this song holds fond memories nonetheless.
Star Wars theme song
Life Stage: Birth to present
The Story: I had a really hard time deciding where to put this in the timeline since its a song that runs through my entire life. Because Star Wars Episode I came out when I was in Jr. High, it put it in the Jr. High stage (although I love all the Star Wars movies, not just the new ones). Me and the sibs have been obsessed with Star Wars forever. I think its because my brother, who grew up in between two girls, would not let his life be ruled by princesses, Barbie and My Little Pony. So when he got to pick the game we played Star Wars and my sister and I grew to love it. I’ll never forget the day we reenacted episode I with our cousins, complete with homemade costumes that included socks for Jar Jar Binks’ ears and baby powder for Queen Amidala’s white face paint.
All Star by Smash Mouth
Life Stage: Early High School
The Story: There is plethora of “awesome” pop music I could have picked for this time frame- Britney Spears, N Sync, BackStreet Boys, etc. I chose this song because I have a very distinct memory of me at my cousins house, the summer before my sophomore year of high school, standing on the diving board rocking out to this song. That represents what that time period in my life was like…happy, carefree and super upbeat. Sure I had the normal high school angst involving boys, grades and best friends, but I was finally allowed to wear make up, I had super cute clothes, I was actually getting attention from boys and I was always super upbeat. It was that magic age where you are just old enough to start enjoying meaningful privileges but not so old that you have to start taking on meaningful responsibility. Oh to be 15 again…
Every song Clay Aiken ever sang
Life Stage: Late high school
The Story: Everyone has their embarrassing crushes, and this one is mine. Although at the time, I was not embarrassed at all. Everyone knew I was obsessed. My best friend and I (she was equally obsessed) voted for him every night on American Idol, bought his c.d.s and bought every magazine with his picture, cut his picture out and kept it in a scrapbook (okay okay, the picture thing was just me). We went nuts when we got tickets to his concert and made signs AND t-shirts. We honestly thought we were super cool. Until we got the concerts and realized that all his fans were our mom’s age. That realization drastically curbed our passion for Clay. And when we found out he was gay a few years later (yes, we were really so clueless as to have not figured it out sooner) that put the nail in the coffin of our crush on him. However, we still had a ton of fun at that concert and we bust out the Clay Aiken Christmas C.D every year.
Friends theme song
Life Stage: College
The Story: Even though the Friends series ended my senior year of high school, I didn’t start watching until I got to college. My senior year of college me and the best roommate ever had all 10 seasons between the two of us and honestly, its a wonder either one of us passed any classes. Its not an exaggeration to say at least one of us watched at least one episode every single day. We’ve watched it so much we will actually reference episodes and compare them to real life situations. Example- “O my gosh this is just like that time Ross ate all the maple candy and was super hyper!” O, and my husband and I are totally Monica and Chandler, and The Best Roommate Ever is the girl version of Joey.
Money Maker by Ludacris
Life Stage: College
The Story: I went through a hip hop stage in college which is best represented by Money Maker, a song I admit with embarrassment to knowing all the words too. Seriously it was hip hop all the time, in the car on our midnight runs to Jack in the Box, at our spontaneous dorm room dance parties, on the computer as I was writing my senior thesis, everywhere.
Blue Eyes by The Cary Brothers
Life Stage: Dating, being engaged and Marrying Joe
The Story: There is a lot of music that could represent various stages in our relationship, but this song best represents the whole story. Garden State, where we first heard this song, was one of the first movies we watched together. I’m all about pop culture, but Joe prefers entertainment thats a little more obscure. Garden State is a pretty obscure movie and The Cary Brothers are just one of the not so well known bands Joe has introduced me to over the years. So I felt it was only appropriate that this be the first song we danced to at our wedding.
Generous Mr. Lovewell by Mercy Me
Life Stage: Now
The Story: This song doesn’t remind me of any particular event, but rather a mentality I am trying very hard to live by. In a time when most people are poor, when everyone in the country is mad at every one else, when I’m super discouraged about where I am (or rather, where I’m not), when I’m missing my husband who works or goes to school every night of the week, when my dad who should be thinking about retirement is looking for a job, when people are dying here of fatal diseases and overseas of a war that just wont’ stop, this song says “hey, don’t get overwhelmed with everything negative and don’t feel like you have to solve every problem. Just lean on God’s love and give that love to one fellow human every day.”