Let Me Take You For a Spin…

Music means different things to different people. Most people know at least one song that triggers a powerful memory in their lives; I thought I’d share just a couple with you today.

When I was seven or eight-ish, I was in ballet and tap classes weekly. My ballet teacher gave us an assignment one week: to choose one of our favorite songs and choreograph a short routine to go along with it. We were inviting the parents to come into our studio two or three weeks later, to watch. If you know anything about me, you won’t be surprised to know that I totally procrastinated on that task. In fact, though I did pick the song, I didn’t even put together a routine; I decided to wing it on Parent Night. I went to the middle of the studio, butterflies going crazy in my stomach, and then set out onto the longest three minutes of my life to date. My arms flailed as I twirled, leapt, and sashayed around the room, pretending that the parents were in awe at my abilities instead of just in awe from the shock of my lack of preparations. It was my earliest memory of procrastination, a tradition that is still a huge part of my life. The song? Barry Manilow’s “Mandy”.

When I was almost thirteen, I was invited to a Halloween party at the home of a girl who was in my Sunday School class. I didn’t know her very well yet, because we had just met at the beginning of the school year, and I didn’t know more than a couple of people who would be at the party, so I was a little nervous about it. Her house was quite large, and I remember walking into a crowded family room where much of the crowd was hanging around the tv, watching a new-ish channel called MTV, or Music Television. I sat down on the couch and watched my first music video. It was fascinating to me, the way the band was playing up to the camera; I hadn’t seen anything like that before. I was hooked. The song? Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up”.

When the older boy was a toddler, he LOVED to sing. Because I listened mostly to music that I enjoyed in the car, he built up quite the repertoire of popular songs, parts of which he could sing on command when he was in the mood. I loved those days. Here are a few lines from a few songs, the way he sang them. Click to see what he was singing:

“Hold my ham”
“It’s enough, for came and bag o’balls”
“I’m the cereal”

What songs totally take YOU back?

Oh, and if you want more, I’m the Guest DJ today at Music Savvy Mom! Go on over there and check out my Top Ten List! (and don’t be shy…send Ri YOUR top ten list!)



  • kathi

    I love your son's versions of those lyrics 🙂

    Songs that take me back somewhere? "You Are The Woman" by Firefall and "Lido Shuffle" by Boz Scaggs will always take me back to freshman year in college, to the dorm (Allison Hall at NU). "My Eyes Adored You" by Frankie Valli, "December, 1963" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and "Fanny Be Tender" by the Bee Gees take me back to the summer after senior year of high school. I really did rock way harder than that, but for some odd reasons, those are the songs that stick in my head. Funny how that works, no?

  • BeautifulWreck

    I have longs of songs that mean things to me.

    Bon Jovi songs for one. I think I made out and had sex to all of those from the late 80s and early 90s.

  • Heather

    this made me smile, and made me want to get out the music. thank you. i really needed that tonight.


  • k a t i e

    I love that Mandy was about his dog 🙂

    I used to sit on top of the refridgerator (how did I used to get up there…!?) and listen to Mum's music – Great Balls of Fire was my personal favorite, but we always listened to 'grown up' music – and sing along as I watched her prepare dinner. Whenever I hear a 'golden oldie' like Roy Orbison, it reminds me of those times.

  • Meeko Fabulous

    Supersonic by JJ Fad totally takes me back to elementary school!!! Why? Cause the 'S' is for Super and the 'U' is for Unique . . . But I digress . . . 🙂

  • surprised mom

    The Oldest used to sing her own interpretation of songs as well. I enjoyed both her singing and her version of what she thought she heard.
    The girls had a performance like yours, but it wasn't them unprepared, it was their "teacher's" interpretive art. Hmmmmmmmmmm.
    I was a Barry Manilow FAN. A lot of his songs bring back memories.

  • Huckdoll

    Holy cow…tons of songs bring me back. Anytime I want to go back to any moment in my life no matter how long ago or whatever, there is a song.

    That said, I wouldn't expect nothing less from you as we're kind of musical kindred spirits 😀

    I might bite this idea from you for a post – it was THAT good.


  • LceeL

    My favorite 'go back' song is Cat's In The Cradle, by Harry Chapin. Right back to when the kids were young.

  • Momo Fali

    I used to go in our half bathroom with my tape recorder (because the acoustics were better in there) and sing "Memories" and "Rhinestone Cowboy". I was awesome.

  • Dea

    I LOVE your son's lyrics – sounds like my goofy boys! <3

    Oh man, I have a lot of songs. My earliest is "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder – my mom sang this to me my whole life. Awww…she even danced with me at my wedding to it.

  • secret agent mama

    I often use music to transport myself to another time. Almost nightly I pick stuff to listen to that reminds me of a certain night or time. It is truly amazing what sounds (and smells, too) can do to a person's mind. And heart.

  • Prefers Her Fantasy Life

    There are all kinds of sneaky ways to get us to date ourselves. Sorry, I'm taking the 5th too. I will say that now, when I listen to the Drop Kick Murphy's I tend to floor the gas petal.

    Hey, it was good to meet you at Blogher.