Lorrie Lynn: Remembering through music

Lorrie Lynn: Remembering through music

Lorrie Lynn

You know those songs that permanently embed specific people, moments, and even entire sections of your life into your memory? The ones that take you back to everything in ways nothing else ever could? Well, this week I’d really just like to take a minute to not only express how obviously important they are, but encourage everyone to jot them down somewhere and make a list of them, no matter how well you think you know them now. I realize the randomness of such a request (yes, and a weirdly sensitive one coming from me, at that) but in all seriousness I do think it’s an extremely important and underrated practice in taking time to listen to those specific songs.

At the risk of sounding grossly cliché, one of my greatest appreciations in regards to music is the timeless record it keeps of our individual lives. For a good seven years of my life I journaled constantly, and while it was good for me to an extent, journaling isn’t for everyone and that type of retrospection can be absolutely exhausting. I realized today that I can get the same amount of information about my freshman year of high school from a playlist I made during that time that I would from that old leather journal I kept and chronicled my life so diligently in throughout 2010 and 2011, and after the initial shock of that realization, I had to go back and really listen to those songs and let all of the memories wash over me. 

Ew, feelings, I know. But really, hearing those familiar words and feeling those melodies flood through your body is a pretty enormous wake up call. It may be a good feeling or it may be terrible. You could end up feeling happy and upbeat when the 4 minutes and 17 seconds are over (“Moth’s Wings” – Passion Pit), sad and exhausted at the final strum (“Hear You Me” – Jimmy Eat World), or maybe just simply appreciative in your freshman honors English teacher’s taste in music (“Do You Realize” – The Flaming Lips). In any case, it all ends up serving as a motivation I think most of us, no matter what age, could use. Painful as it often is, it’s important to retrospect and recognize which experiences have made us who we are and which ones we’re going to let determine who we’ll be, and reliving those nights or years through these songs is a huge part of that.

So go get on iTunes or Pandora or Spotify or whatever you use and find those songs. Listen to them. Be happy, be sad, be rubbed raw, be numb. Remember. Let those memories challenge you and maybe even battle with the now as both worlds of the past and the current collide, and let yourself know you’re better for it all as you move forward and listen to new favorites you’ll use as markers for 2013 within the years to come.

What do you think?