A trip down memory lane high school style

Since, in a moment of insanity, I signed up for NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, I have been trying to find things to write about every day for the next month.  In the last few months, I have been following Stasha’s Monday Listicles link ups. I have seen some amazing lists and I will admit, I’m a bit nervous throwing my list into the mix. It looks like fun though, and I love reading all of the lists, so here goes.

10 songs that bring back memories of high school

I am a person that can be brought back to a time, a place, a memory, by the first few notes of a song.  This is both a blessing and a curse, as songs that carry tough memories can come back the same as ones that carry great memories.  I have some of both kinds from high school, and today, I’m going to share a few with you.  Won’t you join me on a trip down my musical memory lane?

1. Black Velvet by Alannah Myles

Every time I hear this song, I think back to our band trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba for some Canadian music festival.  It is 1990, and we are on a school bus driving for what feels like a week.  I had heard this song on the radio, and have become obsessed, in typical 13 year old girl fashion, with it.  My goal of that trip is to find it on cassette so I could listen to it on my Walkman.  Plus, I have my first “boyfriend” and I think that it would make an amazing slow dance song.  I never did manage to find it on tape, but I still love the slow, sultry beats of that song, and it brings back good memories of that trip.

2. Hold On by Wilson Phillips

The year is once again 1990.  I am now in Grade 9, and love to hang out in my best friend Tammy’s basement bedroom, listening to Wilson Phillips, reading magazines like Sassy and secret copies of Cosmo.  We have the Wilson Phillips tape playing, and we are singing along in harmony with each other, trying to decide who would be most like Chynna, Carnie and Wendy.  We think that we are so cool, and that each of the songs on that tape speak to us louder than anyone could possibly realize. We are giggling, laughing so hard we are crying.  This is the epitome of teenage friendship.  I hear that song now, and all of a sudden, I am 14 again.

3. (Can’t Live without your) Love and Affection by Nelson

These boys were the heartthrobs who occupied my 14 year old heart.  I am smitten by their clean cut, but still bad-boy looks and their long blond hair.  I wonder who would be nicer, and a better boyfriend – Matthew or Gunnar.  I even have a poster of the two of them, in their leather vests and jeans, hanging on the ceiling over my bed so that I could look at them as I drift off to sleep.  This is one of the songs that plays in my head as I go about my day.  It is embarrassing now, but I know that everyone had a musical crush, or two or three.

4.   Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice

I am in Grade 9, and one of my best friends surprises me with a stocking that she made for me.  It is filled with candies and a little Gund teddy bear, and other things that are mementos of our teenaged friendship, and at the very bottom of the stocking is the Vanilla Ice cassette tape.  I am thrilled.  The song is popular and it is one of the best songs to dance to at the school dances. I don’t think that there are many other good songs on that tape, but now when I hear it, I think of my friend Kristine and the fun we had that year.

5. Losing My Religion by R.E.M

This melancholy song, and all of the others on the Out of Time album, touched a part of my teenaged soul.  This is my sad song, the song I listen to when life is not going my way, as it so often doesn’t when you are a 15 year old girl.  I find comfort in the sad lyrics of Michael Stipe. The rhythms  soothe my soul and make my heart feel a little bit lighter.  And when I am not so sad, I listen to Shiny Happy People and realize that things aren’t so bad. To this day, Losing My Religion is one of those songs for me.  I have never quite figured out why or how I connected to it in such a strong way, but this is one that’s never quite left me.  I have memories of rocking my newborn son to sleep in the middle of the night, singing this song to soothe both him and I. Many people have done covers of this song, and most are fantastic, but none will ever compare to the original.

6. Are you gonna go my way – by Lenny Kravitz

The year is 1993, and I have been asked to go and see Lenny Kravitz in concert in Vancouver with my boyfriend.  We had been going out all summer, and I had broken up with my long term boyfriend of Grade 10 and 11 to go out with this boy.  I really thought that this boy was special and that we were a great couple.  Unfortunately for all of us, my ex-boyfriend came back in the fall and it turned into an ugly love triangle that you could only find in high school.  The concert was amazing, and the energy in that arena was like nothing I had ever experienced before.  Lenny had the stadium rocking and everyone standing and singing along.  Even the opening act, Blind Melon, and their lead singer Shannon Hoon urinating on the audience couldn’t spoil the night.  It was magical, and to this day, one of the fondest concert memories I have.

7. Mony Mony by Billy Idol

This was the consummate high school dance rebellion song.  I don’t know if this happened in anyone else’s school, but during the chorus of this song, everyone would yell “Everybody get laid get f’ed” at the top of their lungs, much to the chagrin of all of the teachers and parent supervisors in attendance.  They always tried to get the DJ not to play it, but they did anyways, probably for the sheer amusement value.

8. More than Words by Extreme

This song stayed around all through high school and long past.  I was in music, both band and choir, and this was the one song that all the boys knew how to play on the guitar and serenade the girls with.  I was at a party with some of my high school buddies many years later, and sure enough, out came the guitar and they started to sing this song.  I guess it never really got old and was one of the ultimate romantic ballads of the time.

9. November Rain by Guns ‘N Roses

This one is a sad memory for me.  Between Grade 10 and 11, 3 of my friends committed suicide.  This song was played at the funeral of my closest friend who had died, someone who was a part of the very tightly knit group that I hung out with.  Her death was a surprise, and it wasn’t.  At the time, we all loved Guns ‘n Roses, and this was her favourite song.  I wonder, sometimes, if I am the only one who thinks of Candice when I hear it now.

10. Smells like Teen Spirit  by Nirvana

This is one of those songs that impacted me greatly as a teenager.  Grunge was becoming big in the early ’90’s and flannel and Doc Marten’s were all the thing.  There was something about this music that grabbed a hold of me, and has never really let go since.  The death of Kurt Cobain on April 5, 1994 rocked my world.  I can remember where I was at the moment I found out about it.  I was in my boyfriend’s bedroom, in the basement of his house, sitting and listening to music on the radio.  The DJ broke in to the song to make the announcement, and I remember the stunned feeling that I had. It’s sad that Kurt will never know just how much he influenced the lives of so many kids but his music will live on, especially in this song.

I have so many other songs and memories, but this was an awesome trip back in time.  I hope that it brings a smile to your face like it did mine, while I was writing it.

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16 Responses to A trip down memory lane high school style

  1. Sharon says:

    Funny how I knew every one of those songs. I find that music and smells bring me back like nothing else. I can’t even listen to ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ thanks to my first boyfriend dumping me when it was being played on every radio station known to mankind.

  2. Great music list – it could apply to my high school years, too. I have to say though that Black Velvet is my least favorite song of all time – I don’t know why I dislike it so much, but I always have. I love thinking about music memories. I have so many of them alone and related to my husband or kids.

    • onecrazykid says:

      You don’t like Black Velvet? I actually know a lot of people who don’t. There is something about that song, people seemed to really love it or totally hate it. It’s funny, I heard it again recently, and had all but forgotten about it, and remembered how much I liked it. It’s not your typical song though, never was.

  3. It is great the way you approached this weeks list topic. I remember all these songs! I was so sad when I heard K.Cobain died. No idea why but it really made me sad.
    Sounds like you stories to tell. And believe it or not, someone else mentioned Billy’s song to be the center of their dances. Must be a PNW thing 🙂

    • onecrazykid says:

      That is SO funny that someone else mentioned that song. I was talking to my husband about it, who grew up in another province, and he had never heard of that. I think that he thought that I was nuts. 😉

      Thanks for letting me play along!

  4. I agree. It still amazes me how quickly when I hear the notes of a song on the radio, I am transported back to another day/time. I always think of 90210 with Losing My religion. Ice Ice Baby still makes me smile even now!

    • onecrazykid says:

      Oh yes, 90210. I loved that song before the show, but I totally remember it. I’m the same way with Ice Ice Baby. How many of us from that era (ooh, I cringe slightly saying that) can still sing along with all the words?

  5. Isn’t it amazing how even the first tune of a song can take us back to a time in our lives w/in a millisecond?? I too have my own memories with a lot of the songs you listed above. Great list!!

  6. karmavore says:

    Oh… REM – love it!

  7. I did my list the same way. Vanilla ICE on HGTV STILL cracks me up!

  8. Cookie's Mom says:

    Ice – Ice – Baby! Yes! I remember ALL of these. I’m with you — music brings me back everytime! Great List!

  9. themomalog says:

    Hi from Listicles (-:
    So great to see your list up here! I *love* Losing My Religion and Black Velvet. All the songs you listed bring back so many memories. (-:

  10. mamamash says:

    Gotta. Getta. Gund.

    I so remember that. And Losing My Religion. Sigh. Memories of sneaking out to sit by campfires with older boys.

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