Music: The Mini Time Machine

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Music as a time machine

Yesterday was a music filled day for me. First of all, on Wednesdays I have choir, but I also listened to a lot of music during the day, which, even though I love music, is kind of unusual. Most of the time, I listen to podcasts. Which I love. And I feel like there is never enough time to listen to podcasts during the day. I want to listen to all the podcasts! Just like I want to read all the books! And in general do all the things, which is impossible, but doesn’t keep me from trying it anyways.

So yesterday, when I was listening to all the music, I was listening to a throwbacks playlist from the 2000s. I feel like it’s some sad rite of passage that songs I listened to in high school are now played in grocery stores and are on throwback playlists. But whatever, I enjoy it, so I don’t care.

But listening to that music, I felt like I was back in high school, driving in my car to see friends or go to school or something. It took me back. And then in choir, we sang Hymn 440, which you might be familiar with as being “On Eagle’s Wings.” I sang that song a lot in grade school and so it takes me back to that time. (The Doxology has a similar grade school invoking effect for me.)

There are so many songs in my life like that. As I write this post, I’m listening to the Harry Potter soundtrack and that takes me back to so many happy memories of time spent with my dad and with my friends. The song “I’ve Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas takes me back to my summer in Korea. The song “God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts takes me back to Nick. Then, “In Christ Alone” takes me back to our wedding day. The “Baby Shark Song” takes me back to summer camp. (Our version was slightly different, but close enough 😉 )

Each of my kids has a labor song – one song that I listened to continuously while I was in labor with them (which was a looooooong time). When I hear those songs (“Beautiful Things” by Gungor and “All My Fountains” by Chris Tomlin, respectively) it takes me back to the day they were born and all the emotions I was feeling on that day.

I could go on and on with songs that I hear and trigger a memory. Because music is that powerful. It really is like a mini time machine, the way that it’s linked in our memories. I have things that I sung in choir years ago that I still remember. That I still sing sometimes. Yesterday, on that throwback playlist I had songs that I hadn’t heard in years and yet when I was singing them, I still remembered. almost every word. Music is really powerful. The right song can trigger  memories and change your mood. If I’m having a bad day, I just throw on “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift and have a dance party.

What songs trigger memories for you? Or what songs are your mood lifters?

Photo from KarenBraga at MorgueFile 

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