On a recent drive into the country, I had the pleasant opportunity of testing XM Satellite radio, free of charge, through a promotion.
Surfing through the channels, which range from 24-hour baseball to news, children’s music, Broadway tunes, and loads of various other music channels, was like a trip down memory lane, as each song brought different people to mind, places visited, and experiences lived. I couldn’t help but pick up the phone, hoping to reach one or two of my friends who came to mind as a result of a specific song.
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It’s remarkable how just one song, a distinct lyric, even the beginning of a recognizable melody can transport you back to a time and place so very far from where you are when you hear the piece.
To many people, music is as important in their lives as food. I once met a New Zealander, aptly nicknamed Kiwi, who woke up and turned on the tunes before brushing his teeth or putting on the coffee. He couldn’t start his day without some music to set the mood.
Some people, especially during those first years living away from mom and dad, love to listen to music to hang out at the end of the day, and then fall asleep to it. And of course, there’s nothing better to set a romantic mood than just the right type of music. Perhaps it’s Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye, some chill out Ibiza-style tunes, or Time To Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli. Music is as particular and personal as it gets — more so even than choosing your favourite movie, or eating your favourite foods.
Thanks to XM Satellite, I was reminded of my grandparents and old movies while I listened to the soothing sounds of the ’40s; visions of my mom and dad dancing the jive in the living room as the ’50s came through; two high school friends, as The Rolling Stones played as part of the ’60s lineup; a trip to St. Kitts where we met some members of Kool And The Gang, as their songs came out of the ’70s; step aerobics classes with a girlfriend, as Lisa Stansfield represented the ’80s; and laughing on the beach in California with my best friend as I heard the Spin Doctors play in the ’90s.
Each song held special meaning for me, a tie to a relationship that was, which may now still be, but differently. I laughed, I cried, and I enjoyed being transported to different times and places. Ask anybody, and they’ll be able to tell you what song was playing when they first danced with their partner at their own wedding, or better yet, the first love song that ever affected them. From classical to reggae, from jazz to hip-hop, from rock to the blues, music can affect your mood, get into your subconscious, and connect you to the moment.