A Life in Music


You know that sensation when some indescribable smell catches you by surprise and almost physically rips your inner being back to the school dinner hall, that triggers those long repressed memories, or reignites forgotten emotions. It stops you in your tracks doesn’t it?

Music can do that too can’t it? You hear that song and remember how you hooked into that one lyric that spoke so articulately about how you felt when you looked into the eyes of that amazing person you fell in love with as a teenager; or how eloquently another tune expressed your utter rage and hatred of them when they slept with your best friend (or, er, something….)

I love when that happens, the good and the bad. It reminds me that life isn’t just about now and preparing for the future, it’s about the history of memories, the accumulation of experiences that has coalesced into the person you are today. The past can often end up carelessly discarded if we let it, and the story of our lives left dusty and unread in a psychological attic.

As an exercise in reminiscence, I took a musical audit of my life and thought about all the songs that have been part of the backdrop to it. These aren’t my favourite songs necessarily and there are even a few that I cringe at. There are also a few amazing songs missing that I desperately tried to conjure a good reason to include, but couldn’t. They are chronological as they took to the stage, not necessarily as they were released, and they range from the childish naivety of my 1970’s, through the barely repressed aggression of disorientated youth, to the introspection of adult and then parenthood.

I wonder how many of them are in your list? If you were born in the early 70’s there will probably be a few that we’ll share.

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1 Comment. Leave new

Nicola Bumpus
March 14, 2014 4:21 PM

Coincidentally, I am currently going through my cd collection to throw away ones that are scratched or unplayable. I am getting the same vibes & feelings from some of the tracks. Some remind me of my Ealing days, people, places or events. Poor Lee gets a story or two. If I’m alone, then it’s a little smile, laugh & sometimes a tear. I love how personal music can be.


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