The other day I was idly scrolling through the songs on my iPod looking for something other than Lana and Marina to listen to, and I started thinking about where I first heard a lot of the songs, and why I decided to download them. I realised that I associate a lot of them with a particular occasion or person, so I thought I'd talk a little about some songs which I've attached particularly powerful memories to.
American Pie - Don McLean
This is probably one of the songs which is most firmly embedded in my memories, as my dad used to sing it to me when I was very little to help me get to sleep. I never knew what it was called or who sung it, and when I was about six I remember thinking my dad had made it up just for me! A couple of years ago I rediscovered it and have since memorised all the lyrics, which I think are just so interesting and loaded with cultural references. It's almost like poetry that you need to read a good interpretation/lyrics meanings site to actually understand it, but when you do it's that much better and more enjoyable.
You Can Close Your Eyes - James Taylor
My dad didn't sing to me that often when I was little, but this is another one he used to sing, perhaps more than American Pie. It's so soothing to me, even now, and I like to listen to it if I'm ever having difficulty sleeping.
Someone Like You - Adele
I will always and forever associate this song with my wonderful best friend Orlaith (who I know is reading this, ahaha). It's one of the first songs I remember hearing her sing, years ago with my other best friend on piano, and the first time her incredible talent really hit me! Since then I've heard her sing a lot more, including her own songs, and I know more than ever that she will go far with her musical career.
Young and Beautiful - Lana Del Rey
Who am I kidding, there was never going to be any way I could ever talk about music on my blog without mentioning Lana! I listened to this non-stop round about this time last year when I was writing my extended essay on The Great Gatsby and its film adaptations, initially because it's part of the 2013 film's soundtrack (which incidentally remains my favourite adaptation). I came to associate it with the love story between Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, and I think it encapsulates a lot of the themes of the book and films really well. So for me, Young and Beautiful is the musical equivalent of Gatsby, which is one of my all-time favourite novels and films and has an importance place on my bookshelf.
Hundred Dollar Bill - Lana Del Rey
This is the song I listened to non-stop for several days with my best friend Eimear on our trip to Iceland last year. We spent an awful lot of time in the bus, travelling from one part of the island to another via the one and only main road, and so I had plenty of time to educate her on Lana's unreleased material. She absolutely loved this one, so it became part of our routine to listen to it a few times at the beginning of every bus drive before we got onto any other songs - although the subject matter is hardly relevant, I will always associate Hundred Dollar Bill with snuggling up in our sleeping bags with chocolate and staring out at the stunning (albeit bleak) Icelandic landscape.
Stolen Dance - Milky Chance
Here's another one from Iceland - this is the song that was permanently on in the background as the seven of us in our cabin lazed around, eating Icelandic doughnuts and oreo milka. I'm not even that much of a fan of it as a song, but sometimes when I want to remind myself of the awesome times we had together I listen to it and it all comes back to me.
Hey Soul Sister - Train
This was pretty much the soundtrack to the summer of 2011. I don't know my memory is entirely accurate here, but I remember lying on the grass at school with my friends during lunch, talking about nothing and singing along to the lyrics. I also remember Orlaith singing it, a lot better than any of the rest of us could!
These aren't necessarily my favourite songs, but if I hear them on the radio or in a shop or wherever they're the ones that will make me stop and take a little trip down memory lane.