Songs that Trigger Memories

Do you have songs that trigger memories from different stages of your life?  I think most everyone does, just different songs for different stages in different lives.  This is my list of songs that trigger my memories…

  • I’ve got you Babe by Sonny and Cher, 1965
  • Downtown by Petulia Clark, 1965
  • Help me Rhonda by the Beachboys, 1965
  • King of the Road by Roger Miller, 1965
  • California Girls by the Beachboys, 1965
  • Eight Days a Week by the Beatles, 1965
  • These Boots are Made for Walking by Nancy Sinatra, 1966
  • Barbara Ann by the Beachboys, 1966
  • Yellow Submarine by the Beatles, 1966
  • Daydream Believer by the Monkees, 1967
  • Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, 1967
  • Green Green Grass of Home by Tom Jones, 1967
  • Hey Jude by the Beatles, 1968
  • I’m on the Top of the World by the Carpenters, 1969
  • Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, 1969
  • Sugar Sugar by the Archies, 1969
  • Jerimiah was a Bullfrog, by Three Dog Night, 1970
  • Cecilia by Simon & Garfunkle, 1970
  • Stairway to Heaven, by Led Zeppelin, 1971
  • For Baby For Bobbie, John Denver, 1972
  • Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple, 1972
  • Song Sung Blue by Neil Diamond, 1972
  • Sweet City Woman by the Stampeders, 1973
  • Sister Golden Hair, Tin Man, Lonely People, I Need You and most others on the America album by America, 1975
  • Two out of Three ain’t Bad,  Paradise by the Dashboard Lights and most of the others on the Bat out of Hell album by Meatloaf, 1977
  • The Gambler and Lucille by Kenny Rogers,  1978 and 1977 respectively.
  • Forever in Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond, 1978
  • Magnet and Steel by Walter Egan, 1978
  •  Take the Long Way Home, Give a Little Bit, Bloody well Right,  Goodbye Stranger,  and Breakfast in America  from the  Breakfast in America album by Supertramp,  1979
  • Can I Have this Dance by Anne Murray, 1980
  • Centerfold and Freezeframe by the J. Geils Band,  1981
  • Turn around Bright Eyes by Bonnie Tyler,  1983
  • Footloose by Kenny Loggins, 1984
  • Jump by Van Halen, 1984
  • Bring me a  Higher love by Steve Winwood, 1986
  • Nothing’s Gonna Stop us now by Jefferson Starship, 1987
  • Wind Beneath my Wings by Bette Midler, 1989
  • She Drives me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals, 1989
  • Eternal Flame by the Bangles, 1989
  • Black and White by Michael Jackson, 1991
  • Everything I do by Bryan Adams, 1991
  • Show me the Way by Styx, 1991
  • Hero by Mariah Carey, 1994
  • Can you Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John, 1994
  • Candle in the Wind by Elton John, 1997
  • I get Knocked Down by Chumbawamba, 1997
  • I Believe I can Fly by R. Kelly, 1997
  • Five people in my Family from Sesame Street, 1970 sung in 90s
  • I Love Trash by Oscar on Sesame Street, 1970 sung in 90s
  • Raise a Little Hell, Girl in the bright white sportscar, Here for a good time not a long time, Santa Maria, Janine, Baby woncha please come home, and most of the other Trooper songs, 70s and 80s.  sung in boat at cottage
  • Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, 2006
  • Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake, 2006
  • Photograph by Nickleback, 2006
  • Umbrella by Rhianna, 2007   Derek
  • I Need You Now by Lady Antebellum, 2010, trip to and from Florida

Growing up in the 60s, even though my mother had six kids to look after and raise, I have fond memories of her singing to her favorite songs.  Her favorites included Sonny and Cher’s “I’ve got you Babe”, Petulia Clark’s “Downtown”, Roger Miller’s “King of the Road”, Tom Jones’ “Green Green Grass of Home”, and Kenny Rogers’ “Lucille” and “Gambler.”   Anything by Neil Diamond was also a favourite of hers.

My earliest recollection of singing my own favorites included “Help Me Rhonda”, “Barbara Ann” and “California Girls” by the Beachboys,  “Eight Days a Week”, ” Hey Jude” and “Yellow Submarine” by the Beatles, and “Jerimiah was a Bullfrog” by Three Dog Night.

In my early teens, I loved “These Boots Are Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra and “Cecilia” by  Simon and Garfunkle, in fact, I had a friend named Cecilia Boots in grade seven that I used to tease with those two songs.   Around the same time, my eldest brother got an electric guitar.  “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple was the only song he could play, so that became annoying quite quickly.

In my mid-teens I loved anything by America with “Lonely People”, “Tin Man” and “Sister Golden Hair” my top picks.   My eldest sister was old enough to purchase the album, so I was able to listen to the songs over and over.  “Sister Golden Hair” by the Stampeders was another favourite at that time of my life.

In my late teens, during my dating years, songs like “Magnet and the Steel” by Walter Egan and most of the tunes from Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell album were my favorites.  Supertramp’s Breakfast in America album was also a favourite with songs like “Take the Long Way Home”, “Give a Little Bit”, and “Goodbye Stranger” the lyrics to which my friend Leslee and I would belt out while she was driving us around in her baby blue Camaro.

“Centerfold” and “Freeze Frame” by J. Geils Band and “Turn Around Bright Eyes”  by Bonnie Tyler were popular in my early twenties.  I particularly remember my niece singing “Turn Around Jedi” when she was about three and Return of the Jedi, a sequel to Star Wars, had just come out at the theatre.

“Can I Have This Dance” by Anne Murray was the song we chose for the first dance at our wedding in 1984.  Also popular that summer and played at our wedding as well as several of our friends’ weddings was “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins, “Jump” by Van Halen, “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen, and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper.

“Bring Me a Higher Love” by Steve Windwood, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop us Now” by Jefferson Starship and “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles bring back memories of a trip to Texas in the late 80s.   I can still picture a staff member of a restaurant in Ohio dancing around the salad bar to Bring Me a Higher Love.

Around the time my first son was born in December of 1989, “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins and “When I see you Smile” by Bad English were my favourites at the top of the charts.  After my pregnancy problems preceding this birth, this last song was very symbolic to me.

Although they were released much earlier, songs like “Five People in My Family” and “I Love Trash” from Sesame Street bring back memories of trips with our young boys in the early 90s.  Other songs popular that remind me of those years are from the Lion King soundtrack by Elton John, including “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”, “Hakuna Matata” and “The Circle of Life.”   Michael Jackson’s “Black and White” brings back a picture of my eldest son marching around the house behind my husband as he warmed up for his curling games with our middle son in a snuggly on his back.

When I was very pregnant with my youngest son in the summer of 1997, his two older brothers and I loved to belt out the words of Chumbawamba’s “I Get Knocked Down” while driving in the car with me barely fitting behind the steering wheel.  Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” brings back a sadder memory of the same summer when Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car accident.

On the same sad note, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison and “Lady in Red” by Chris de Burgh remind me of my dear friend Suzanne who died of cancer in 2001. These two songs were her favorites.  “Angel” by Shaggy invokes a picture of her young son singing with my sons as we rode in my van.  They could not believe I knew all the words because the song was a remake of a much older song.

Shortly after the turn of the century, we purchased a cottage followed by a new boat. Trooper’s greatest hits were favourites (still are actually) in the CD player as we cruised the lake in the boat.  All five of us know all the words to “Raise a Little Hell”, “The Girls in the Bright White Sportscar”, “Here for a Good Time, not a Long Time”, “Janine”, “Two for the Show” and most of the other songs on that album.

Later in that first decade of the new millennium songs like  “Photograph” by Nickleback and “Umbrella” by Rhianna were popular tunes my sons (and their mother) loved to sing.  The songs “Crazy” by Gnarles Barkley and “Sexy Back” by Justin Timberlake were at the top of the charts as I drove back and forth to visit my father when he was in the final stages of pulmonary fibrosis in 2006.

“I Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum reminds me of a trip to Florida in 2010 and merengue, bachata, reggae, salsa, and Latin tunes (unfortunately I cannot remember the names of the songs, but would remember them if I heard them) bring back memories of family trips to Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

I hope I haven’t bored you with my trip down memory lane.  So many songs, so many treasured memories. What are the songs that trigger memories for you?