Nostalgia and Music

I don’t know if it’s because of a lot of changes in my life at once, but I’ve started looking back at a lot of memories. For me, a surprising amount of good and bad memories are tied to music. It’s amazing to me that just hearing the opening notes of a song can bring a vivid image to my head.

For example, every time I hear Every Time We Touch by Cascada, I remember band tour my junior year when we went to Texas. I’d sit next to Trisha on the bus and share her headphones while we listened to it on her CD player. It reminds me of laying under the table in the library at the school we stayed at playing truth or dare, hot days on the bus driving from venue to venue, and having fun at Schlitterbahn Water Park after all of our concerts were over.

Anytime I hear a song by FM Static (especially Hey Now), I remember nights talking to Josh on the phone over the years, him singing those songs to me, and more recently, singing the songs together while driving. It makes me think of laughs and tears and joy and my incredible luck.

Burn it to the Ground by Nickelback reminds me of college, hanging out with my friends Katelynn and Jerry, blasting it on our way to Napa to get food or buy anything we couldn’t buy in St. Helena. Other tracks include Fake It by Seether, Re-education through Labor by Rise Against, and Second Chance by Shinedown. (It’s pretty apparent who was choosing the songs *cough* Jerry *cough* but they are proud parts of my music collection as well).

When From Yesterday by 30 Seconds to Mars plays, I almost always contemplate skipping it because it makes me sad. In December 2006, my friend Seth Cox was killed in a motorcycle accident in Sacramento. He had that song on his MySpace page at the time and it’s been there ever since. Every time I hear the song now, I think of the picture of him on his page with his arms outstretched standing on the hood of his Suburban, ready to take on the world, and he never had the chance to.

I only recently discovered the name of Dog Days are Over by Florence and the Machine. My roommate Oniqueh had that song on her phone as her alarm, so most mornings I would wake up to hearing it play. It makes me think of all the hilariously fun times we had as roommates, long talks at night, taking photos for Facebook with Top Ramen in hand, and the craziness that would ensue when her best friend Hillary came to visit (including trips to In-N-Out and them dancing around our room in wigs).

The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s songs always bring back memories of childhood, waking up on Saturday mornings for church to hear them playing, and having potluck after church with my family. Saturday afternoons were always one of my absolute favorite times of the week, sitting around with my aunt and uncle, cousins, and parents, talking and laughing until our stomachs hurt and tears ran down our faces. We talked everything through together, the serious, the hilarious, the stressful, the happy things. This is part of the reason our family is so close, and those songs always remind me of that.

Music can be a powerful catalyst to memory. What music brings certain memories to mind for you?


4 thoughts on “Nostalgia and Music

  1. cutelover555 says:

    Every time we touch reminds of my school years 😛 me and a bunch of my friends dancing like crazy 😀 good days.. I wish I could go back…

    You are right music takes us back into that time… No promises takes me to my confusing depressing stage of my life when I was unable to make a decision in my life to choose my best friend or the person with whom I had unintentionally fallen in love with …. 😀

    Theres a list I dont wanna go on but I really agree 🙂


    • Samantha says:

      It’s amazing how even after you think you’re over something that was depressing or sad music can bring it all back for that moment. Thank you for stopping by and sharing 🙂


  2. Mark Petruska says:

    I work in the music industry and recently wrote a post about how music has that magical ability to transport us back to a certain time and place in our lives…it’s so true! I cannot hear “Any Way You Want It” and NOT think of growing up in Ohio in the ’70s. Great post!


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