music memories

This afternoon I was feeling a bit nostalgic so I opened up Spotify and selected a few of my old favourites to listen to as I worked.  I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s with parents and brothers who were all very much into music with quite diverse tastes.  I did a lot of music at school so, as well as what we listened to at home I also learnt older songs from musicals and jazz songs.  Being exposed to so many different types of music from such as young age I think I have developed quite a varied taste in music – 20s jazz, 80s pop, 90s rock, folk, hip hop, R&B, electronic music… there really are not many types of music I don’t like.  Some of it is definitely cringe-worthy and I wouldn’t admit to liking in public, but I submit that those guilty pleasures are balanced by some pretty cool artists!

Today as I listened to two bands I was completely in love with as a teenager, Gin Blossoms and The Wallflowers (I forgive you if you have never heard of them or forgotten they ever existed!), I thought about how music triggers memories.  I’m pretty sure that most people experience flashbacks when they hear particular songs.

I hadn’t listened to “Found Out About You” by Gin Blossoms for many years, but as soon as it came on I had a clear memory of being at home with a terrible flu as a teenager, and my granddad coming to ask me if I wanted to take a ride with him to pick my mum up from work in the city.  I went with him and I took my Gin Blossoms cassette tape (you’re also forgiven if you have no idea what that is!) with me to listen to in the car – my poor granddad didn’t get a choice!  I remembered it as if it happened yesterday and not more than 20 years ago!  And having that sort of memory which included my granddad who passed away several years ago was really quite nice.

When Daniel and I chose our wedding dance song there really wasn’t anything else we could choose but “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds as it already held so many memories for us.  We had seen Ben Folds live together many times and had once stumbled across him doing a rehearsal in Kings Park with the WA Symphony Orchestra the night before one of his shows which was amazing – it was like getting a private show!  We always felt that the lyrics of that song were so beautiful, one of the most perfect descriptions of what it’s like to be in love.  There’s this one bit in the song that always, always makes me cry.  It goes like this:

Next door there’s an old man who lived to his 90’s and one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days and passed away
I’m sorry, I know that’s a strange way to tell you that I know we belong
That I know, that I am, I am, I am the luckiest.

Argh, just writing those lyrics has made me teary!

So, although we toyed with the idea of using an old song that could be played by the jazz band we had at our reception, in the end we had to go with Ben Folds.  Now it reminds me not only of our wedding day and the numerous times we’ve seen Ben Folds together, but also of the very sweet bartender at the resort we stayed at in the Maldives for our honeymoon who asked us on the first night which song we’d used for our wedding dance and hunt it down it and play it every evening when we went to the bar for a drink!

I know music isn’t always a priority what with all the other things you need to organise for a wedding.  But it’s something that will actually be with you for the rest of your life.  Trust me, your kids will at some point want to know what you danced to at your wedding and every time you hear that song you will feel as if you are there all over again, so I really suggest trying to find music that means something to you already even if it’s not necessarily a wedding-y song (as long as the lyrics aren’t too inappropriate!).  At the very least, make it something you will be happy to listen to years down the track!

Now, in case you’re needing some inspiration here are links to Found Out About You by the Gin Blossoms (definitely not appropriate lyrics for a wedding song, but one of my all times favourites!) as well as our wedding song, The Luckiest by Ben Folds being performed live.


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