15 Songs

4 Jan

I realized, at some point, that the only way to explain what happened to me up until now, is to sit down and listen to every song I ever loved. I realized at some point, that people can only handle this in very small doses.

This is what I mean; the only way I can feel things the way I did then is to hear the music I was hearing then. This is what I mean; it takes me back there, all the way. So I’ll put my iPod on shuffle songs and show you what I mean.

1. Give Me My Month/ James Blake- I’m sitting on my bed, sophomore year. Fall. I wondered what it meant, and I wondered if I should like James Blake more than I did, but I felt bored.

2. The Blues Are Still Blue/ Belle & Sebastian- I’m walking around the new house which is different, but comfortable. Everything is hope. I’m 10 years old. I’m learning that I can sing, and I read the lyrics from the booklet and dance until the CD skips.

3. Transatlaticism/ Death Cab For Cutie- I’m a 14 years old, a freshman in highschool. It’s February, and I feel lost. I’ve been writing quotes all day, and none of them say what I want to say except for this, because they’re all too simple, or complex, or specific. “I need you so much closer…” but it doesn’t do a thing.

4. Spies/ Coldplay- I’m 15, and sitting at home on my computer singing along. I also sung this while walking to the library. God know, the people in my neighborhood probably think I’m crazy. The first time I listened to Parachutes straight through was in 7th grade, though. This part of my memory is missing, oddly.

5. Girls And Boys In School/ Neon Trees- The summer after freshmen year, my best friend would put this CD on repeat in her room. We would listen to it maybe 6 or 7 times while we talked about anything we could think of. By then we were mostly talking about things we regretted, and things we couldn’t figure out. The next summer we played this song and danced like crazy people on my roof. Because by that time we didn’t hardly care.

7. Shawnee Town/ Home Remedy- This is a bluegrass song form my favorite band that used to be at a bluegrass festive we went to every year in late February. It was by far my favorite weekend of the whole year. Just my dad, my brother and I. When I was 8 years old, I started staying up past midnight with the jam session and requesting songs. There were maybe 15 other people all over 65. Everybody had an instrument but me, so I’d Irish dance every once in a while because they all loved that. It was such simple joy, and yet the music was so sad.

8. On A Bad Day/ Kasey Chambers- I’m 12 years old, and I’m camping with my brother and my dad on the lake. That’s the week my dad tried to teach me how to water ski. It was actually one of the best vacations I ever went on. This is when I realized that I really liked my brother. I think it’s also when I realized that he was pretty much grown up.

9. Tangerine/ Led Zeppelin- I’m 14 and waiting in the airport before my trip to Europe. That was the only summer I ever kept a diary, and God knows, I never want to read it. I remember that I used to sign of every entry XX, Tangerine. That was the first time I ever listened to Led Zeppelin, and at first this was the only song I liked. I figured somebody had to be the one who remembered times like these, so it may as well be Robert Plant and I.

10. Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!/ The Beatles- I’m 15, and it’s the summer after freshman year. This is when the Beatles made me really happy. Not that they don’t now, but those days were hopeful. I thought I’d finally figured it all out because I had a hobby (theater), and people I liked. And people I admired. Everything makes you happy when you have hope and feel like you have a purpose. Even Radiohead.

11. On The Atchison, Topeka and The Santa Fe/ John Denver- I’m 4 years old and my dad is playing train songs while we clean our apartment. God knows, we loved our train songs. At four, I think I loved everything.

12. Kill the Director/ The Wombats. It’s September of 8th grade, and I’m at my best friend’s house. I went there every day after school to eat her cereal. This day we both felt too angry to eat cereal, so we played this song loudly and danced wildly. Angrily. The we both sat down and ate our Honey Bunches of Oats and talked about the hopes we had for our next thrift store trip.

13. Last Dance/ The Raveonettes- This is only maybe a month later. My best friend is at my house, and it’s late at night. This was during the short period of time during which my mom let me have a computer in my room. We watched the music video and made fun of the effect, but both secretly thought this song was beautiful.

14. Pigs On The Wing (Part One)/ Pink Floyd- The first time I listened to this was when I was home alone in June 2011 during a thunderstorm. I thought it was beautiful, the way every cynical romantic does. I guess THAT’S what I am.

15. Save it For a Rainy Day/ The Jayhawks- I’m 11 years old, and my whole (huge) family is on the way to the fish fry at my school. I felt happy then. Just the simple kind of happy where you feel pretty and special and entertained but you also aren’t expecting much. All I needed to be happy was a bit of Americana and fried fish.

So you see what I mean? This music is the only way these moments return, and without it they’re gone forever. That’s what I mean when I say that I love music; that it holds all the little bits of me.


One Response to “15 Songs”

  1. Karin Elaine January 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Wow. This was amazing. I basically just tried to get the same message across in my new post, but this was so much more speaking. I love it.

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