On the way home at lunch today I heard this Clint Black song (State of Mind) playing, the chorus goes like this: “Ain’t it funny how a melody can bring back a memory, Take you to another place in time, Completely change your state of mind.” I thought about how true those words are. How many times have you my dear reader, heard a song and smiled? Thought of a lost love? A lost loved one? Or just had a song encompass a period of your life? I have a few of these songs, and I thought I would share them.
I grew up listening to country, and a lot of my songs are country, but not all. First up is the Judds song “Grandpa.” It of course makes me think of my Grandfather, who is 84 now and showing his age. I can first remember hearing that song while driving East out of Mojave with my mom one night when I was a little kid. Probably going home from one of our 30 mile one way grocery runs. Even as a young child I thought of my Grandpa, and I remember my mother getting very sad while listening to the song.
Another song that makes me think of my Grandfather is “Red River Valley.” Conjures up memories of him and I sitting around the campfire in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, or out on the Mojave Desert floor, and listening to him play his harmonica.
Anything by Waylon Jennings makes me think of my mom. My mom went to a Waylon concert when she was younger and I remember her doing house work in a black Waylong Jennings Tshirt for many years, until it fell apart on her I think.
“Route 66” by Nat King Cole. This song makes me think of many long drives in the middle of no where with my dad. I have been up and down old 66 though California and Arizona with my dad a few times, and I swear I have been to every small town diner in all of Southern California with the man. At some point he would find a radio station and that song would be on, or something from the big band era. First time I really listened to the lyrics of this song, we were headed down to the Imperial Valley, I was in Jr. High, it was at night on some lonely highway, and I can just remember how the song made me smile.
“Hotel California” bye the Eagles. My best friend from the down I first grew up in learned to play guitar in Jr High, and this was one of the songs he could play really well. Well back in Jr. High your favorite DesertGuy could actually sing half way decently. One night, maybe 8th or 9th grade, we were walking down the street to the store for spaghetti fixens. He was playing his guitar and I was singing and we were getting honked at and clapped at by people going by. Later one came Nirvana and a lot of the mid 90’s music that we hate to love.
“Maggie Mae” by Rod Stewart, one of my moms songs, and probably the first song where it hit me what he was actually singing. I bust up laughing at the first part of the song.
“People are Strange” by the doors. I have gone through a lot of depression in my life. This song encompasses a lot of those times.
“Rodeo” and “Friends in Low Places.” Huge drinking phase in my early 20’s, these songs always seemed to be on at some party or at the bar.
“Teddy Bear” by Elvis. I once dated a girl who’s dad was (and might still be) an Elvis Impersonator that did Karaoke shows in small town bars in Iowa. I got on stage in this little dive bar (best home made potato chips ever!) and we sang this song to her.
“In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” by Frank Sinatra and ” More than a Memory” by Garth Brooks. Those two songs remind me of the worst two heartbreaks I ever had. Both by the same woman.
“Time of Your Life” by Green Day. The class song of the class of 1999, couldn’t get away from it. Still makes me think of graduation.
“American Pie” as sung by Don Mclean makes me think of the great djmatticus. Not sure why, can’t attribute it to an event, it just does.
I am sure there are more I could think of if I had time, these are just the big ones. Give them a listen sometime, you might like them.