Music is the soundtrack of your life. – Dick Clark
The other day, I was sitting on my couch having a glass of wine with a friend. We were talking about music and she mentioned Nirvana. All of a sudden I had this weird time warp experience. I was transported back to the early 90ies, to a room in the McNair barracks in Berlin. I was dating a very kind but wrong for me G.I. and spent many weekends in Berlin listening to ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’, drinking too much Jack Daniels and eating Ruffles with onion dip.
The song made no sense to me. Love made no sense to me. Life made no sense to me.
Looking back at that period of my life makes me squirm. I was so much not myself. I was so much in search for something outside of me. Something or someone who could fix me or fill this hole in me.
Then again, it also makes me laugh because I think we go through learning phases like this during our entire life.
And in each phase, experience or year, there is a song that time warps you right back there.
I want to share my sountrack with you and invite you to think about yours.
1978: By the Rivers of Babylon – Boney M
I am 9 and this is the first 45 vinyl I buy with my own money on a local market. It is the only single I have for a long time so I play it over and over again singing along loudly and mostly phonetically as I have no clue what the hell they are singing.
1979: Massachusetts – Bee Gees
I am 10 and in my parents home where I am sitting on a swing my Dad has put up in our basement (yes, the basement). He has his workshop there and while he is fiddling and inventing things, I am swinging to music from this one red tape I have with 70ies songs. Needless to say that I became a fan of the Bee Gees. And while everyone else is swooning over the handsome Barry Gibb, I have my first girl crush on Robin.
1980: Who’ll come with me – The Kelly Family
I am 11. My parents rent out rooms for tourists. So each summer I have to leave my room to relocate to the basement (that basement again!) where we all sleep together in one room. Not much privacy… But I remember having a Kelly family feeling about all this. I play a lot of pretend games about being an Indian, living in a circus or a pirate family, having many siblings. I am hooked on this song and remember asking my older cousin to write out the lyrics for me so I can understand what the story is about (I don’t speak English yet).
1984: Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen
I am 15 and going to the local high school. I buy this album of Bruce because it is protesting and rocking and screaming. I discover his earlier albums (such as The River) and can lose myself in his stories. I’m also a big fan of Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams.
1985: Chain Reaction – Diana Ross
I am 16. And although boys are becoming interesting, I am still a girl at heart. I have two friends with whom I set up a whole dance choreography to this song. Every free minute we can be found in my parents’ garden repeating our moves.
I am 17. I am living in Holland with my grandmother. I love U2. I save every little penny to buy this album. Then I record it onto tape so I can listen to it on my Walkman while cycling through the park on my way to the station to take a train to go to school.
1988: Need you tonight – INXS
I am 18 and living on my own in Luxembourg city. Woohoo! I am sharing a flat with my Swedish roommate from Malmö. We both work in the same hotel and go out dancing in Club Nicolas and Casablanca in town. We dance to this tune from INXS a lot!
1990: Amoureuse – Veronique Sanson
I am 21 and living in Paris with my first serious boyfriend, a French cook who tries to teach me all about French cuisine and love. We go out on Sunday nights (his only evening off) for drinks near Montparnasse where they play live music. Each evening, this song is played and little did I know that this story would show up again later in life.
I could go on until 2020, but I also realize that when we are younger, songs seems to stick more.
Is it because the experience was more memorable? Or because we remember more from way back, than from last year?
To me, the last few years were a big blur music wise. I can no longer point a song to a certain year.
I only know that I am a total fan of the Afternoon Acoustic playlist from Spotify. Guess I’m getting old.
My sons however introduce me to their favorite songs, songs that will become the soundtrack of their lives.
So I guess, the music keeps playing and creating time warps.