We all go through phases in our life where we prefer certain songs and albums over any other in our collection. They rarely stay our favourites, are constantly changing, yet we tend to have those songs that stay in our heart because of the deep connection we create between the music and the memories from the time when we heard them.
It’s very similar with television programmes, adverts, films and even smells; our brain places the memory deep into our subconscious but uses the senses of sound, taste, smell, sight or touch and usually a combination, to give that distinct connection.
I have many songs in my memory bank, all connected to happy, sad, exciting, hard or easy times in my life. Here are my top 10 in no particular order: –
1. Proud – Heather Small
This was the song played at our sons leaving assembly in his last few days before leaving the Infants. They all stood in a curved line, holding hands with a teacher either end, all singing the song to the parents and each other. They also had a small presentation where they received a book each with their name inside as a little leaving gift. I couldn’t have been prouder of what our son had achieved and what we had all overcome during his time in the lower key stage 1 years 1 & 2
2. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
This has a few memories attached to it, mainly as it’s the last song Lee Evans sings at the end of some of his comedy gigs and to see it in person is awesome. Another was a time when it was played at my sister’s wedding; my sister, my cousin, my husband and I were dancing, singing, and acting out instruments and actions which we also have a few photos for. That was also the evening when my husband drank a little too much wine, mixed with rich food and he was already on the toilet when he decided he needed to throw up! It was very late evening/early hours, he hadn’t locked the bathroom door and lovely Gran decided she wanted to use the bathroom. He managed to hold the door with his foot and muffle a noise to alert her that it was occupied then he shuffled back to our bedroom and I had to go and clean the plug-hole (which was inevitably blocked!) and rinse the sink (basin) so that Gran could explode in the toilet as opposed to her temporary bed. Oh what a night that was.
Obviously, this has a great deal to answer for – The Main Street Electrical Parade is from a very early memory from holidays in Walt Disney World, Orland Florida and was one of the sparks helping to ignite my passion for all things Disney. I was about 6 or 7 years old, our parents were divorced but they took us together on holiday which my father paid for because he also loved Disney so much. He’d already been once or twice alone and once we were old enough he took the first opportunity to take us; which later led to four visits: three with our mother and then I went with my father on his honeymoon (yes, I know!).
We have since taken our own children four times and each time we plan, look at the rides and maps to increase the excitement and play Disney albums to build up the anticipation. I love to see their faces and lose myself in their excitement 🙂 reminding me of my childhood.
4. Pack Up – Eliza Doolittle
Another school memory from a Christmas play: Mary and Joseph were on a journey and a lonely Angel who hadn’t yet found her wings was travelling a similar path. She packs up and moves around until towards the end, she gains her Angel wings. This was our sons first major part and he did very well standing in front of the parents with his hands down his front staring off up to the ceiling but managed to tag a long behind the others with a similar part and he said his words, even if a little delayed and after the others. He made me smile.
This was a time during my schooling when I attended an Outdoor Pursuits Centre for a week, called Trewern. I’d been on a few occasions and by the time I left I’d totalled four visits all with wonderful memories. This song plays an important part for one of those visits, it was a song played a lot and I met a wonderful girl (or young woman) who I looked up to and became my friend during some of those lonely times when I was in my teenage years trying to fit in and find my place. She wasn’t a friend as someone who I saw out and about but someone who looked out for me during our trip and invited me to join an outdoor pursuits centre within my school grounds. I made new friends, joined in with activities such as sailing, wall climbing, trampolining and even weight lifting. It was somewhere I could go where I felt like I belonged and where instructors didn’t make me feel stupid and pushed me only as far as I showed I wanted to be pushed. The other thing about the Trewern trip was a chef called Craig Hyatt who I had a silly crush on, that lasted a good few years. The teachers knew about that and even made me get my picture with him which I have in my school album.
6. Robin (Hooded Man) – Clannad
Robin-hood was a programme from the 1980’s that I loved to watch on the weekend when I was at my Dads house. I loved the theme tune and remember my Mum had the Clannad cassette tape which was in the car; we always listened to it when we went out and about. I must have been only about 7 or 8 years of age and my Mum at that time had a blue Ford Cortina which got stolen one day from a car park while she was out shopping. The Police later found the car but the cassette stereo had been taken and along with it that lovely cassette tape of Clannad. I remember telling one of my work colleagues about this story and last year in November when I decided to leave work after 16 years, he brought in the Clannad CD for me as a personal leaving present. It’s safe to assume that I’ve transferred that album on to my iPod and my favourite songs other than this one, is Darkmere and Lady Marian.
7. Missing – Everything but the Girl
This is one of the songs we played a lot during my first year at work – as above I managed to survive 16 long years at the company and had plenty of fun, happy times, hard times, struggles and love. I started off working as a machine mailsort operator and did the horrible shift of 12:00 till 20:00 hours; which is not socially the best time when the clubs I attended or friends I hung around with were going out then. My life became me and work, work, work, work – but during those years I met my husband, we got married, had two beautiful children and I gained a great deal of respect from the Managing Directors for my hard work and worked my way through the company via various routes including Forklift and Reach-truck driving, Warehouse/Stock Control, Print, Machine Enclosing and Client Relations. With our son having Autism, our daughter having personal issues and I no longer enjoying what the company had evolved into and wanting to progress further into a new career: I chose to take redundancy and stay at home to give better care and attention to my family – which was needed far more than I could offer with that job.
8. Deep Forest – Deep Forest
Going back to the above place of work, this was something introduced to me while I was helping out doing overtime in another department – I ran night shifts in Xerox and Laser Jet printing and Deep Forest was a CD that another colleague enjoyed and brings back many happy memories of the times when working for a small family company was brilliant.
I love the Mamma Mia film but that isn’t the reason I love this song. It was played at my sisters first wedding when I danced along on the dance floor remembering ‘Muriel’s Wedding‘ (film). That day also reminds me of being with my Grandfather and I more happy memories with him and my other Grandparents than I have of any other; although now I have children of my own they are surely surpassing that list.
10. Baggy Trousers – Madness
While I was still at school, my friend got herself a boyfriend who belonged to a rough youth club run by a lovely Scottish man called Jock. We’d go there every evening at 18:00 hours when it opened and watched films, played table tennis, darts, listened to music and played pool. One of the many albums played over and over was Madness and my favourite was Baggy Trousers where a few of the lads mimicked the band and walked/danced around silly. As the months went on and my friend drifted to the outside world away from the club, I went on my own and got on with the staff – I always found it easier to speak to teachers and club staff!?!
The pool table was free and we just flicked the switch to get the balls out and play – I was very good at pool and played in the Borough Youth Pool competition where I won the silver (which I was very gutted over as I accidentally potted the black on a rebound but was otherwise destined to win). We also had a tuck shop and only a few of us were trusted to go in and serve, using the till to make sure no other members received goods for free, which happened on more than one occasion. This was also another place that helped to progress my socialising skills, although they still aren’t great, I learnt to stand up for myself and not be afraid of my direct, sarcastic and abrupt personality.