Music and Driving

There is no doubt that the heady combination of music and driving can embed memories which are not easily put away.

Just a few minutes ago, a song came on the radio – ‘Where the Streets Have no Name’ by U2.

A good song, a long guitar intro, a catchy Edge riff, lively all-in-all.

But for me… well, it never fails to transport me. Back to 1991 Kensington, London W8.

Unable to get employment in my chosen profession after a year away in Australia, I went working as a builder’s labourer on an office-refurbishment project. Our mission was to rip out the third floor and put it back in differently.

It was a Saturday afternoon and me and the three other guys had worked hard, beating down plasterboard stud partitions with sledge hammers. Dusty, blister-inducing work.

We should have gone on until five but the boss had headed for Romford so we packed it up at 3.30.

I was heading for High Street Kensington tube to go home when Terry offered me a lift.

The other three were heading east and they could drop me off easy at Hyde Park Corner.

We piled in the car, me in the back, turned on to High Street and off down past the Albert Hall, Hyde Park sitting airy on the opposite side.

And then the radio came on and that U2 song was just starting and the lights were all green in front of us and all the Saturday-afternoon shopping people looked so good.

We cruised down along the park, sun shining, windows open. A hard days work done, money in pocket, and the prospect of Saturday night in London stretched out promisingly before us. And we smiled.

And that was it.

I’m sure they dropped me at the station. I’m sure I got home, showered and ate. But I don’t know.

All I know is the song and the drive and the feeling.

And it comes back every time I hear the song.

I guess it always will.

171 comments:

Graham Langdon said...

The year after I graduated high school I was supposed to go to college, but because my parents forgot to send in the deposit, I found out in June that I wasn't enrolled for September. It was a huge blow. I nearly went crazy that day.

When September rolled around, all I could do was drive an hour to the college I "almost" went to, and hang out with my friends that I should have been there doing it with.

And every time I made that hour drive, the first song I would listen to was "Hey Ya" by OutKast.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=XvIw5ZqC1ms

Now, whenever I hear that song, I remember September 2004, and the feeling of driving to college feeling like really I had been robbed of the experience.

Entrepreneur said...

The power of music is really amazing. It can make sad days sadder, happy days happier and like what you said, just a great transporter.

Jennifer Robin said...

There's songs that do that to me too, most of them a little earlier though, from the mid seventies when I was dating my first real love. It never fails to take me back to the excitement of that relationship, the first kiss, the proposal of marriage. I'll never forget the moments that go along with those songs.

Suzanne said...

I don't really listen to music while driving too much but I just sort of have a tune in my head most of the time and hum while working, shopping, etc. Not always the same tune either ... depends on my mood that day.

theaffiliatepost said...

Hi Ken,

Great site and a terrific post. Not only do I love that song but I myself have driven those streets with that blasting from the windows of my little volkswagen. The power of music is something that should never be inderestimated as it can take you back in time!!!!

JunkieYard Dot Com said...

Yeah, you're right! The right song at the right time will makes us remembers the day that we first heard the song. And it's a magical moment. How can a song brings out the memories that we almost forgot? It's just like a dream. ;)

Jennifer said...

I love that song. I have so many songs that bring back such specific memories from so many years ago, it is amazing the effect that music has on the mind. I actually wrote about this once in a post and how it wound up being very funny http://connectwithyourteens.blogspot.com/2008/03/american-idol.html All I can say is music is the best and the people that are able to create great music are geniuses.

kml said...

Trisha Yearwood sang a song titled: The Song Remembers When. It explains that feeling as well as your post. We can all relate!

Annie said...

I mostly listen to country music when I am in the car alone. That is when I can sing like Carrie Underwood and pretend that I don't suck at it!

nemo said...

Great song!
I've also got many songs that transport me back in time. I love how music (like smells) has that effect on the memory...
My first holiday in the mountains in South Africa - Enya
My first slowdance - Bed of Roses
Staying up all night dancing in my room at 14 - Lemon Tree (LOL..)
There are so many... I don't drive yet, but I'll definitely be listening to music when I finally do, it makes the journey that much more enjoyable.

frostygirl said...

It is amazing how songs can effect you like that, you are transported back to the exact day you heard it, who was with you and where you were! Wonderful hey? The same thing happens sometimes when you smell something too, in a flash you are somewhere in your past experiencing the moment.

Poetikat said...

I know what you mean. There's a weird song called "Baby Judy" by the Hawaiian Pups that does that for me.
I can't fail to think of a wild ride down Yonge St. (the main drag of Toronto, Ontario). My girlfriend was driving and I had my head out the window, hooting and hollering at folk on the street. The song was blaring on the radio.
Of course, this had nothing at all to do with the drink and joint-end that had fallen into our hands at the party we had just left. Nothing at all.

(This was 25 years ago, so I can safely confess now.)

Kat

Acadia said...

The song: Personal Jesus, by Depeche Mode will always make me think about driving from Old Orchard Beach, ME back to Portland in an old MB 560 SL with friends. It was the conclusion of one of the most enjoyable days I ever spent.

Hey Ya by Outkast makes me think or driving a moving truck from PA to FL, as no matter what station we tuned to, it was on.

Eric said...

I have a similar memory from a U2 tune - "Wire" - from the album The Unforgettable Fire. While I was in Airborne school back in the '80s.

Mike said...

Oh man, great topic. Any time I hear "Hotel California" by the Eagles, I'm transported to a Mazda RX7 on a hilly dirt road in Northeast Georgia. The sun was shining, life was perfect, and then we skidded on some gravel, ran up a hill, wiped out a barbed-wire fence, and got cursed and yelled at for hours by my best friend's brother after he found out what we did to his car.... oops.

Louie said...

The car stereo is one of the most essential part of a vehicle(for me anyways) . Without it, it's just umm.. dull.

Saphrym said...

Songs have a way of doing that. Memories come flashing back like little photo albums showing me where I've been. Each song shows me a different album. "True Companion" by Marc Cohn reminds me of my wife. I sang it to her as my wedding proposal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnaC6cgUmXc

"Iko Iko" reminds me of high school when I was finally coming out of my shell. One of these I'll share the lyrics that the boys sang in the back that made the girls giggle in the front. Coming out of my shell was not necessarily a good thing. ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D21nsqe0F-4

Nostradamus said...

Well, I was waiting to hear when the pretty "Bird" would appear? Where's the woman that made you melt?

U2 is Great, but they also sang "She moves in Mysterious Ways".

My fondest memories of the past seemed to always end with "And then I saw her and her eyes met mine and thennnnnn....."

You Just" got home, showered and ate".

ê¿ê said...

Some songs just grab you by the heartstrings and won't let go. I have several that take me back to moments in time, but won't bore you with them here.

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Gary R. Hess said...

I played football in high school, and every stadium we played at the band would be warming up before the game while we were stretching and warming up. Well, every stadium except one. That stadium instead played music over their speakers--I loved it.

Well, one song particularly stands out: Mr. Boombostic by Shaggy. It made no sense! All the others songs were either Metallica, ACDC, or some other hard rock/metal band.

So now, whenever I hear Mr. Boombastic I think of the days of playing football in high school.

ettarose said...

My song is Nights in White Satin, by my beloved Moody Blues. I was fifteen and in love for the first time. My boyfriend and I went to a dance that summer. The lights were low and we were slow dancing,when that song came on. I will never forget that night. He dumped me later that summer and to this day, I boo hoo when that song comes on.

Steve v4.7 said...

During my late teens and early 20's cars and music comprised about 80% of my existence and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was on heavy rotation playing at chromosome damaging levels. I hear the song now from time to time and I find myself transported back- wondering what ever happened to those friends and that car. The scene was much like this one from Wayne's World:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=nTheG--2NE0

AvidReader2008 said...

Ken, Again your prose evokes great memories. I really appreciate your work. We must be of an age because U2 underscored many moments in my coming of age. Funny how music of our early life tends to evoke the strongest memories. I heard that you stop gathering musical trivia in your brain around 26. Anyone agree? Thanks again Ken for great writing.

Regards, Avid Reader of PlotDog press

Dana & Co. said...

I heard this song in the Dublin taxi and the driver said to me: "This is the road from this song"....just thought I should mention it.... now this road has changed a lot....

Lisa said...

When particular songs from the eighties come on the radio, flashes of high school hit me. For just a little while, I'm young again. It's summertime, and we're driving around in the car, singing at the top of our lungs.

glam said...

I LOVE to drive with the music blasting, windows down, annoying all in hearing range, lol. Especially Blondie's "Call Me". :)

But, there is a song that so brings back memories of a beach, a lover, and a certain summer........every time I hear it, like you, I am taken back.

Kent said...

For me the song that is most connected to driving in a car is Elton John's "The Bitch is Back." I had the opportunity of driving my dad's 1972 Firebird Formula 400 with a sweet 4 barrel carb that literally stood up and roared when you put your foot down. I'm sure I'm lucky to be alive as I have memories of ignoring speed limits, other cars, and personal safety as I raced up Sunset Blvd. from Pacific Coast Highway, music pounding away and all the bravado and naivete of youth behind the wheel. Even now I find my right foot involuntarily pressed downward when I'm driving and hear that particular song, saved only by the fact that the family minivan quickly brings me back to reality.

StanHayes said...

Whenever I hear Matchbox Twenty, it transports back to this relationship I had with this psycho girl. She used to pump up 3 AM and scream at me at the top of my lungs. It was a maddening time and I'll never forgive Rob Thomas for it. Or myself.

Flisha said...

I don't have a car yet but I will soon... I hope!

My dad's car is a rundown and beat-up Toyota Corolla from the 80's and the radio's broken.

But when I get my car I'll sing to every song off Natasha Bedingfield's album "Pocketful of Sunshine".

Everyone should listen to it. It will reduce road rage.

Debbie-the-Mom said...

I love that song! I often drift off into memory lane every time I hear an old tune. The only that sucks is when a song brings up a painful memory. Isn't it weird that a song can be so powerful?

Øyvind said...

I drove from Oslo to Bergen once and got real tired at the end. After 7 hours driving they played "I drove all night" with Cindy Lauper. I sang along with all of my voice and woke up.

I love that song.

Angelika said...

That is a sweet story. Music really can transport you back to a different time in your life (good or bad). Which is why I use music to change my mood. ;-)

Caledonian Jim said...

10 years ago, for a very short time, I stayed on the same street in Dalkey, Co. Dublin as Bono .

We kept getting woken up at 2 in the morning by hordes of German tourists asking " Do U2 live here ?", to which I used to reply : "Yes, the wife and I do - now go away !"

Then the money ran out and we came down to reality .

TOCCO said...

I totally understand....A song can transport you anywhere! Brings back good and bad places.... Let It Be... reminds me of the summer I was so grounded and couldn't do anything!!!!
Thanks for your post!

TOCCO said...

I totally understand....A song can transport you anywhere! Brings back good and bad places.... Let It Be... reminds me of the summer I was so grounded and couldn't do anything!!!!
Thanks for your post!

Sam Freedom said...

@Graham - Oddly enough, "Hey Ya" makes me feel like I've been robbed, too. ;)

@Ken - it's cool how your story actually matches the song too, like you were so in the moment it didn't even matter what the names of the streets were.

The same thing happens for me when any of those big hair rock songs from the late 80s comes on either the radio or one of those TV commercials where they sell the compilations.

Like "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger, "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor, or "More Than a Feelin'" by Boston.

The moment I hear those I'm instantly transported 20 yrs ago to the back of a van on the beach down in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and it's like I'm bangin' all those hotties all over again.

Then when the music stops, I jump on MySpace or Craigslist and do the same thing all over again, except in my house, in order to create a similar rush of good memories for 20 years from now.

Great post, brother! Hope my comment was right in line with the Sam Freedom phenomenon for ya. ;)

Megan from Australia said...

Hey Ken
I LOVE the emotion of music and its ability to reignite the emotion whenever the song is replayed. I love that music changes energy and mood and despair that it is not used more often as a form of therapy.
I have several songs that go on when ever I need the proverbial boot in the behind!!!! Just hearing them motivates me to change my thoughts.

Congratulations to you for being the first entrecard bomb survivor.

Monkey Tale said...

Funny how that works. There are songs I can relate to when driving and sometimes even reading a book.

Kelly said...

Randy Newman's Short People... summer of '75. I'm 5'5", I was casually dating a guy who was 6'9". He sang that song to me one too many times. He was a jerk for many other reasons, too, but every time I hear that song, I'm forced to think of him. Gah!

Anonymous said...

first true love, and he moved away. REO speedwagon Babe I love you. I always think of him when I hear that song, and remember the heartbreak of him moving away.

Amy Lilley Designs said...

The first thing I did when I got my 'new' car was to fill it w/ a few of my favorite CD's, crank up the sound and sing along...it AMAZING how certain songs have such powerful staying power in our hearts...the only other thing that I have that has an equal, if not more powerful memory tug is SMELL!!!

Omar Abid said...

i like music when in car, especially when it's not me who drive :)

Unguided said...

Everyone has a similar song it seems. Be it good, slow or fast, they lift and take you, only you somewhere. Mine is "50 ways to leave your lover" by Simon and Garfunkel. Without exception, it takes me to 1992, to a house I had lived then.

Cecilia Sherrard said...

With or Without You... U2...

The lyrics are powerful and hit me personally... Long distant relationships don't always work out and it's as constant reminder of what could have been...which is a Tiffany song from the 80's that I sang on stage in the 4th grade alone when my father was dying of cancer...I can't hear that song today without tearing up...

I always listen to the radio when driving and know every word...It's half the reason I love driving to begin with...As I get older, almost every song has a unique meaning, memory or reference.

Your story put me there with you and I can totally feel how that song and time meshed...

Kathy said...

Ken I am a George Strait, Big and Rich and Rascal Flats kind of listener. But you give me some Eagles and I will cruise at 90 MPH!

Congrats on being the First!

Pisio808 said...

My story is a little too long to share here as I do not want to bore any one, but there is a particular song, "In This Life" performed by "Iz" (short for a Hawaiian artist), that every time I hear it I flash back to my wedding, and the funeral for my father. Time literally stops for me as I recall the most important birth in my life, and the most significant death so far...

I smell a blog entry...

Pisio

mirage2g said...

Great movement in the photo there...

I noticed that too, the Last Song Syndrome always almost comes after you one in a car!

A. said...

They do say that if you revise for an exam to music, you will recall that work much better if you have the same music playing again. If true, it's a good reason not to revise to music as you won't be able to reproduce that in an exam situation. Revision is therefore best done at a desk. I never did.

Lucky Girl said...

Randy Newman's "Short People" brings back disturbing memories for me, just like it does for Kelly. In fact, most songs that stir up memories for me seem to stir up the bad ones. Maybe I need to make sure there's music playing during happy moments.

otilius said...

getting caught up in the music can be a good way to miss your freeway exit, too...or a reason to stay in the car, even after stopping in the driveway. :]

Talen said...

Whenever I hear The Rain Song it brings back memories of driving through the countryside to an old farm field we all used to hang out at. Excellent time and the song always brings it back.

Now when I hear it while driving I wished I was heading there again.

BSA said...

Music does seem to attach to the chemicals in our brains, coming to the forefront with those memories. My guess is you had worked hard, the energy you had (wasn't youth great!) and the overall environment made for a pleasant feeling.

Cheers!

Sheila said...

"Nights in white satin" for me. Strangely I can't remember where exactly I was, though I can see it in my mind's eye and hear people talking around me.

moneyloveandchange said...

I'm a huge Phish fan, so any song by Phish while on the road reminds me of the good old days of being on tour (preferably in the pre-hiatus Phish days!)

The general feeling of being on an adventure is a great one!

Remi said...

I usually do not listen much to music while driving. However, I always keep with me a library of the 10 songs that marked me most during my life. When facing some challenges in the office or at home, I quietly listen to them. Inevitably, I feel uplifted and ready to fight!

Thanks for your post!

The Creative Butterfly said...

Nice. I'm glad I found your blog. Good Job!

Babs (Beetle) said...

Yes, there are many songs that transport me back to re-live a moment in my life. No matter how many years go by, the moment stays the same.

Music can be very powerful as a memory trigger!

Pinay Mommy said...

hello ken!

i have many songs in my mind. some makes me laugh, some makes me cry. songs and matching memories is quite dangerous (if bad memories). you get too much emotions rushing in.

was here!

Marlaine said...

A few bars of The Rolling Stones' Satisfaction always takes me back to the summer I was 16 which was spent riding around with my cool boyfriend in a convertible. Ahhhh...to be that young and carefree again!

Two Write Hands said...

I love U2. But I also love watching the lights turn green down a long city street. The first time I experienced that, it was very liberating for this small town girl.

Lou G. said...

If you pay really close attention to a awesome song while you drive,

You can notice that everything in life almost moves and revolves around the rhythm of that song.

I love listening to music in the car, it reminds me that life is a big clock with tons of gears; constant intricate motion to create one result.

WhoIsMarc? said...

Hi Ken, excellent writing here. I do have the same sentiments with you. Truly music brings life in our daily routine. Life can't be all the drama it is without it. Music is also life for me that without it I am non existing in this earthly world.

Great job Ken!Thanks for touching me with your creative writing.

Lee said...

The song that transports me is The Who's Tommy. When I was in college in 1971, I was part of a group at Northern Illinois University who performed Tommy the first time on stage. It was such a huge success that we also did two performances that summer. Hearing that song on the radio reminds me of driving my summer employer's car back to campus for the performance. For whatever reason, my dad wouldn't let me use his car, so my boss gave me his. Dad wasn't too pleased, but I was over 18, so there wasn't much he could do about it. He wasn't paying for school anyway.

fool said...

99 Tears always reminds me of my teen-age years at the roller rink!

Stine said...

I love U2 as well, but a perfect driving song for me is Meat Loafs "Paradise by the dashboard lights" - A must for a girls' night out in my day...

Matthew S. Urdan said...

Nice post, Ken....music and most experiences are inextricably entwined. You hear a song, and you are transported back to a moment in time, to a party, to an old relationship, to an awkward high school experience, to a funeral, or to the time when you shared your first kiss.

Driving and music have been intertwined for me since I can remember. My mother is from Detroit in Michigan. My father from Oshkosh Wisconsin. Twice a year we would circumnavigate Lake Michigan visiting grandparents in Wisconsin, and grandparents in Northern Michigan in a small town with a big vacation feel--Charlevoix.

It's crazy, but although I hated those long hours in the car packed in with my three brothers who were all fighting with me or each other or our parents about something, the thing that held us together was music. First it was show tunes from Dad. Oklahoma, A Chorus Line, Annie. Soundtrack after soundtrack.

Then it was Lynn Anderson and "I beg your pardon...I never promised you a Rose Garden, along with the sunshine...there has to be a little rain sometime..." I particularly remember Rose Garden coming on the Radio passing through Chicago and the big Red Lips Neon Sign for some product that has long since been defunct.

Later, after my parents got divorced, we took road trips and because our parents felt a little guilty, we got to play some of our own music instead of showtunes. On one long trip, I got to play two eight track tapes--ABBA's Voulez-Vous and Olivia Newton-John's Totally Hot. Oh yeah, we were making a dent into showtune monopolies. And later, after I turned 16 and began to drive, then I got to have my way half the time and ABBA's "The Album" was featured on every trip.

To quote Mary Hopkins: "Those were the days my friends, the days that never end..we'd sing and dance...forever and a day...Lalalalallala, lalalalalala, those were the days, oh yes those were the days!"

Thanks for the post...You see how it's taken me back already.

And congratulations Ken for being selected for EntreCard's first comment rush!

Phloydius said...

To this day, when I hear songs that I remember listening to as a teenager, I remember things associated with that song that I don't think I would have otherwise remembered. And it is always little things...

Good Post!

Lisa said...

You know, its funny how we all have a song that brings back memories. Heck, I even remember the video for this song!

Roselle said...

i also put on some music whenever i'm driving. i don't like the loud and noisy ones...mellow music i prefer to make me more relax to concentrate in driving.

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...

69 comments! Did you win the EntreCard comment bomb??!!

I agree, music and driving transport me...sometimes so much that I tailgate the hot guy in the car in front of me...

Roxy

SueEllen Cowan said...

Isn't it amazin how so many of us have music memories? So many songs remind me of special times and it is so nice to just go back in time when the music plays!

Fitz said...

I totally get what you're saying. I can listen to That's Just the Way it Is by Bruce Hornsby on the radio and remember my first job very clearly (not glamorous, but in way too much gory detail). Amazing how songs can trigger such strong memories, isn't it?!

Great post!
--Fitz

Alan Bamboo said...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=I2sjAnu_5ek

I remember when I thought Ride on Time by Black Box was the best thing I ever heard. I actually just listened to it on youtube, haven't heard that one for years. Still sounds good.

pamibe said...

I know exactly what you mean; just about any 80's tune will transport me... It's 'oldies' today, I guess. ;)

Kim @ What's That Smell? said...

We were in Winslow Arizona once in a 10 day adventure across country from Illinois to California via Michigan, South Dakota, Arizona and a bunch of states in between and couldn't put our fingers on why it sounded so familiar.
As we were leaving Winslow the next day, a song came on the radio and one of the lines was "standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona" - Take it Easy by The Eagles.
That song brings back memories of that trip.

Eric said...

Driving with soothing music on radio keeps us more relax even during heavy traffic on our way home from work.
Singing along with your favorite song while driving also helps us enjoy, have fun and feel relax.

Patricia Rockwell said...

I seldom listen to music while driving--more often I listen to audio books. They can transport me too, just like this song transported you.

Bruce said...

I love to listen to my favorite radio station while driving. The right song will just make all the difference and make the drive a lot more pleasant.

Majik said...

There have been many songs that bring me back to the times when I was with a car load of friends going for a road trip. The radio always had us singing along for the most part of the journey. At least until we got out of range of the station.

Its funny how a song can bring back a memory or a feeling. "That song" by Big Wreck always reminds me of those times.

narissa said...

music also makes us remember stories i our lives just like what photos do...

narissa

Search Engine Panel said...

So very true. Often times music brings back a setting, time, and place to when we've first heard a song, and so often it's from the radio.

Great narrative!

Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near You said...

There are songs that come on the radio 25 years later and I am transported back to a certain time & place and I find that amazing - that it can hold such a spot in your brain for that long.

CyberCelt said...

Music carries our memories. I may not remember anything else that was happening in my life when a certain song was playing, but I remember the feeling of the song. You are right, it does last forever. U2 holds its own memories for me.

Melo said...

Music and songs keeps me awake during those nights where I need to cram in as much work as I can or else be scolded by boss for not doing so. :(

kexbrown said...

I am always transported to 1974 when I hear the song "Radar Love." I was driving a Ford Pinto with the windows down and the music up.

It has a great beat and even today I love listening to it on my iPod. I still turn it up and blast it as loud as these old ears can take it.

Plus, I am not driving a Pinto anymore.

vikki said...

Well, for one I don't drive but I always carry some music (my iPod) with me. Anyhoo, it's true that people associates music with some events in their lives, happy or sad. Happens to me a lot of times. :)

Silla said...

The chorus of "Because you loved me" by Celine Dion reminds me of my best friend when I was a kid, and how she would always help me.

Unfortunately I always feel sick in cars, so the only thing going through my head is "OMG, how far till the next stop?!" :P

chilly said...

Oh boy, the music can take you to another world of your own. There are still a couple songs that when I hear them, theres no moving until I hear the whole song.
Music like laughter is good for the soul.

Karen Zemek, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Whenever I hear the song "Always" by Atlantic Star I think of my husband, Gerard. He called in and requested it be played for us early on in our relationship and recorded it so we could have it. I thought it was very sweet of him. We played it quite often.

The Webloglearner said...

Now I am back with this post actually on. I saw all the explanations at the forum and all the reactions.

This post on music and driving is really great. I can imagine the things being told. Although I dn't have a similar experience, there are always things/events/moments that I associate with some songs that I hear.

SurfJedi said...

I have several songs like this. Each era of my life has a sound track it seems. When I hear "I Stand Alone" from Godsmack it reminds me of the crazy year I spent in Bakersfield. There are many great songs that have hit me like yours over the years.

tashabud said...

I love U2. My favorite of the group is "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". It's not tied to anything in the past, but I still like it.

Elton John's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" reminds me of the first time my husband and I met.

Listening to a particular song that has links in my past will definitely stir back up my feelings and emotions of so long ago. So if I want to reminisce the past, I go ahead and listen to the oldies, but goodies songs.

Jane said...

Music touches our soul in a way that no other entity being or subject does.
Many MANY times a song will come on be it the radio in the car, shopping center, tv, wherever and it immediately transports me back to a moment in time that was filled with happiness like my wedding or with complete sadness - my mothers funeral.
As I said Music touches our soul like nothing else.

I love that song by U2 as well.

lina said...

I love listening to sappy songs while driving at night, when it's raining. Just fits the mood. :D

Paul said...

music is great while driving, especially after a tough day at work. if the right song comes on it can change your whole day right there and put you in a better mood before you get home.

Connie said...

Your description of how music can touch us is fantastic!

It's awesome when a song can transport you in time. The feelings I get from certain songs are like yours. I guess that's why music is so universal.

evilwoobie said...

I listen to the same music every time I go to work, while on the bus. It's funny how I always well up when I get to Josh Groban's You're Still You. More than one fellow passenger got freaked out by my tears. I can't help it, it reminds me of my grandma.

Sweet Mummy said...

I was just a little girl, riding with my dad down a back road on the way home from somewhere. I can still see the place... I was just at the age where I was really starting to pay attention to the words in songs. My Dad listened to country music, and the song playing was by Crystal Gale. I remember it so clearly probably because I was so confused. How could a donut possibly make your brown eyes blue? "Don't it make my brown eyes blue" I think is the name of the song, but whenever I hear that song I am 8-years old again with my dad beside me trying to explain why singers don't always annunciate very well. It's a great memory!

Roxiticus Best Blogs said...

Oooh, I am comment #99, almost there!

Roxy

Dude World Order said...

Totally agree!
I have to stop listening to rap music that is angry, coz it make me angry....

ROHIT said...

i love english song but i prety happy with indian music it give me
hapiness that i searching after work.

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...

Oh, by the way, did the EntreCard people tell you that you have one year to write a nice thank you note (calligraphy optional) to each of your commenters?

Roxy

Bong (JB) said...

Music and road trips, they do go together. Our was AC/DCs Highway to Hell. :D Kidding.

It's either Air Supply or Little River Band or Dan and Coley.

jenn said...

for me it is "always something to remind me" by Naked eye ( i think that is who it is) i moved around a lot when i was a kid and for some reason the very last day in the house we were moving from, finishing up the bit of stuff up to be packed, that song will always come on the radio.

purplefrog said...

Yeah, there are alot of songs that remind me of certain times in my life..Like in highschool,getting married,watching movie/tv shows,personal times and playing with the kids.

Vixen said...

Fantastic post. You are not going to believe this, but some people don't get the "music and driving" thing! I did a post about a year ago or so and some people didn't have a special driving song. I do. Well, I have too many to list. Some bring back memories like yours does...maybe I am too old now since I have several of those. And some are songs I only really adore whilst driving because I can turn it up and sing at the top of my lungs without witness.

Congrats on being the comment rush!

chato said...

"love English song" LOL for me it's the grove... but what ever rocks, rocks


Congrats your just been bombed!

RollerKaty said...

One of my favorite songs from my teenage years is "Nightswimming" by REM. I used to sneak out of my window onto the roof of the garage and illicitly smoke cigarettes with this song playing softly. I would revel in the summer evening and think dreamy thoughts about whatever boy I had a crush on at the moment.

This song always brings me back to my senior year of high school, and the roof of the garage.

Techie Guy said...

Sometimes I would just sit and listen to a song and stare at nothing in particular. Songs have a way of envoking strong memories and emotions inside me that I just lose touch of reality for those few moments.

It is a great feeling for sure.

the smoky one that has a gun and a ton of cash from the internet said...

Is that smoke in front of the picture? And if so, what kind? Who doesn't love to listen to music and drive! Great Post. Go Entrecard!

THE MOM WITH BROWNIES said...

As I drive down the road listening to the radio, as soon as the boys of summer come on the radio I immediately roll down the windows, turn the volume up and turn into my 19 year old, tanned, 80's hair self belting out the lyrics.

Man, I do know what you mean.

Shelly M.
The Mom With Brownies and
Serious Blogger
www.iwillblogforever.com

dani said...

Great post, It's weird how the brain associates certain tunes and times.

JP said...

There are several songs like that for me. Not always with driving, but it takes my back to some place and time. Believe it or not, sometimes certain smells do the same for me as well.

Contamination said...

I love singing Elvis in the car...

Loud!

abelle | Only in Silence said...

For me, the song I Finally Find Someone by Bryan Adams & Barbra Streisand always makes me remember the time when my husband and & I were younger and just starting early in the relationship before we got married. Now, we already have a ten-year old son!
Plus the songs Can't Touch This & Too Legit to Quit by MCHammer & Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice reminds me of high school days and old friends. (Yes, I'm that old) ;o)
Happy blogging, Ken! ;o)

Carole said...

Well this wasn't while I was driving, but every time I hear Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond I am transported back to my childhood - I'd come home from school and if I heard Neil Diamond I knew Mom was cleaning the house. She's wear this Japanese style bandanna around her head as a sweatband and we'd call her "Ninja Mom". She's have that Neil Diamond blasting to help make the housecleaning go quicker. My Mom is gone now but hearing some good ol' Neil Diamond can take me back for a couple of minutes anyway...
Great post, I'll have to check out your blog regularly!

SN-UM said...

What should i say.

SmallWorld Reads said...

Amazing how powerful music is. I'm not sure anything else, except possibly smell, can bring back an exact place in time.

Josh said...

I think everyone can relate in some way to hearing a certain song and being reminded of a moment in life where that song seemed to take hold permanently in our minds.

Shen said...

Songs really had attached memories because music had been a part of our life for a very long time and whenever we have emotions like anger, love, hatred and more we associate it with music. Just like me memories do come when I hear I Am The Wind or The Greatest Love of All or Hero..

Guardian Angel said...

A simple but carefully chosen post, and can relate to everybody.

I cannot sing well but I can say that I am a great lover music, from our local ones to foreign. I do not know this song but I know a lot of foreign songs that can make me smile and inspire me.

One song that really inspires me a lot is What a Wonderful World by the late great Louis Armstrong. I don't know but besides it really touched me when it was played at the highly critic movie - Good Morning Vietnam, I got chilled every time I hear it.

I was greatly inspired to be stronger, happier and more grateful that in spite of all the problems, our world is still wonderful in general.

Thanks.

catfish said...

I completely feel you Ken.

It was the summer of 1984. After long hours in the ocean riding my body glove, two friends, my step dad, and mom pile into our Datsun.

We head down Pacific Coast Highway back towards Los Angeles when Don Henley's Boys Of Summer comes on the radio.

"And i can see you

you brown skin shining in the sun

you got your hair combed back
sunglasses on baby"

I cuddle into my corner of the back seat, and watch the waves roll onto the shore and just feel content. The lyrics and melody floating like a seagull.

Now every time I hear that song it takes me back to that day. When nothing was more important than a summer day on the beach with friends.

fragileheart said...

What a lovely memory Ken. I can't even begin to count the many songs that bring such memories back to me. One of my favourites though has to do with a performance I did at school with a good friend. It wasn't so much the actualy performance but all the hard work to make it great. And of course, everytime I hear that song that feeling just comes rushing back!

Conflict and compromise said...

I am totally blown away by the number of comments you have. My blog is new, and it's like being alone on an island. I'll have to read your posts daily. Maybe your writing magic will rub off on me.

Now as to the song, the title of that song brings to my mind the number of times I have driven around lost because there were no stupid street signs. But I do know what you are talking about. Sometimes a song just takes you into a zone. And I could definitely see this song doing that because it sort of gradually builds up intensity. And there's just something about listening to the music in the car as your racing down the street.

Breezie said...

The year was 1975, Los Angeles, CA.

I was married to John at the time, and we had not been getting along for some time. We had no children, so we figured it was just time to end a 5 year marriage.

On Sunday, he drove me to the LA Airport and the song on the radio was by Carol King "Its To Late Baby".

I don't hear the song to often anymore, but when I do, it transports me right back to that Sunday in 1975.

PhiRatE said...

U2 are a bit like that, I remember being at a party once and some idiot put me in charge of the stereo and I was looking at it thinking "None of these people will like the kind of music I like", and there were a couple of people there with me and an older, wiser guy said to me "put on the Joshua Tree, everyone knows it, they'll be singing along in moments"

So i thought "sure, why not" and flicked it on. Damn if he wasn't right, within the first song the whole place was cheerfully belting out lyrics, me included. It's an album that is so engraved in my mind and that of my friends that we don't even realize we know it so well sometimes.

Every year, on the first sunny day of spring, I put that album on and declare the beginning of summer :) Yay for U2!

Waterrose said...

I've had the same experience and actually that U2 song. I remember watching MTV (before it was unwatchable) and really loving the video that went with the song.... there are many other memory evoking songs as well.

Maitri Libellule said...

Congratulations Ken!

I have long admired your blog and I know exactly what you mean about music and driving. I sing along. I dance in my seat, and have often had the experience of everyone in other cars around me looking at me as if I'm nuts! (Well, I do take medication for it!)

You just better hope you're not driving next to me on the road when the song, "I will survive," comes on. Phew! The very thought even scares me! Ha ha ha!

Great job!

Maitri
Dragonfly Cottage

Three P's in a Pod said...

Such well written prose!

I find I enjoy thinking back on my memories almost as much from songs about the past as I do songs I can remember from the past. Being a country listener, the Mark Wills song "19 Somethin'" always makes me remember my early teenage years - Rubic's cube, Stretch Armstrong, Star Wars, Pac Man...:D

Guttu said...

Music got healing power. And I love music for this reason. The post is about U2 song and my favorite english song is by U2.
Stuck in a moment..
Every time I hear it somehow I feel better.

Berry said...

I love to listen musics while in a car to relieve stress of traffic congestion

Angie said...

I grew up with music, unlike my hubby, and so when I hear songs like, Linda Ronstadt's When will I be loved, or Amanda by Waylon Jennings or, one of my Dad's favorites, He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones, I am a kid again.
I feel through music and some nights, I'll close myself in my office and play my favorite tunes and sing at the top of my lungs. Hubby has learned to deal with it, even though (sadly for him) he doesn't understand it!

sir jorge of culver said...

i don't drive much, but i totally see what you're saying man...or maybe i'm just missing something...i don't know...great post. i'm now a subscriber.

Jailbird said...

what a great post - music, sweet music all brings me back to happy and sad memories. Setting information to music makes it so much easier to learn. I think I have some Beatles songs to play now! Congrats to the E community for making the comment bomb a success!

bonoriau said...

I love drive and listen music ...the power of music really fantastic, especially the music we really love.

Cromely said...

There's nothing quite like music to to frame a roadtrip.

Every long road trip I began (when my GF isn't in car) begins with Meatloaf. Bat Out of Hell. That's what sets up the highway just right.

I think I wore out two cassettes of that album before making the CD switch.

banji said...

I guess there's just a song for everthing. I actually has a list of song to be played just when I'm driving alone. With the mrs, I can't sing my lung out.

Most of the song I sang is local. So I'm not going to bore you with the name of the song.

One particular song that will bring back memory to me is one of the first boyband - NKOTB, and back then I always use the songs "Happy Birthday" by them for all my birthday wishes :p

JABacchetta said...

Music really is powerful. A good song will push me through a workout, or even cause me to go a little too fast when cruising.....ok, a lot too fast.

I've found that music, and scent are very powerful in bringing back memories.

Dave King said...

A couple of years ago I drove back overnight from Pembroke. I have not done a long drive since. Music helped to keep me awake, and some of the pieces played on that trip still come back to me at odd moments, for no apparent reason.

Jim Murdoch said...

Not that you need any more comments at this point but what the hell... For me it's sitting in a hire van in the middle of Princes Street, Edinburgh with AC/DC turned up full bung on the ghetto blaster. One of those truly great-to-be-alive moments.

Offgrid said...

That's the greatest thing about an iPod and the iTunes Store - Now whenever I hear old song and want to listen to it again to bring back some memories I log on and for 99 cents I'm transported back in Time. I guess my iPod is like a cheap Time machine. I've created a blog called ipod-catalog where I'll start posting links to some of my favorite music.

Jenaisle said...

Hi Ken, such a deluge of comments...but I want to add mine anyway.

There is one song by Hoobastank entitled "The Reason" which has a sentimental value for me.

I often "sing" this to my hubby during times that we had our small "squabbles".

The lyrics goes this way:

The Reason

I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
Thats why i need you to hear

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is You [x4]

I'm not a perfect person
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you
-end-

The melody and tempo is lively which evokes a totally different feeling everytime I hear it.

Also, whenever I listen to "The Bread" songs - Everything I Own, If,Diary-I remember another place and another time and I became nostalgic.,,

Songs and the emotions they evoke from people.

Your post tugged at my heartstrings. Thanks for sharing.

Elle said...

Wow, Ken! Look at you! Music and driving- perfect together. I think that's one of the reasons I went into radio out of college.
I once had a boyfriend who didn't groove to tunes while behind the wheel. A red flag I should have paid attention to!

Catherine @ Sharp Words said...

Belatedly dropping a comment (well, I do have a patch over one eye at the moment and shouldn't really be using the other to look at a computer screen). I think one of the most evocative songs for me is 'Don't You Forget About Me' by Simple Minds - it's dancing in a tiny nightclub in Plymouth at the age of 17 with a load of other 6th-form students I'd never met before that week but had a brilliant time with.

Matthew S. Urdan said...

Ken,

In this case, going back to our previous discussion, it would probably be best not to make one response to all these comments and cut and paste it on everyone esle's blog. hehehe. ;)

G'day!

Ken Armstrong said...

Thank you all so much. I'm going to be round your blogs in the near future, so watch out.

As a writer, I have been lucky enough to reach an audience with my writing in a number of ways.

Yesterday Graham Langdon and the Entrecard Community provided me with a glimpse of an extraordinary new way and I really am most grateful and touched.

As they used to say in 'The Beverly Hillbillies'...

'Y'all come back now, y'hear?'

Debbie said...

so many songs, so many memories. It seems that a song will come on the radio just as I am in need of cheering up or want to remember something special. Great reminder Ken, as always.

Contamination said...

Just another comment, because I can! Hi.

Jack said...

I always work to music. It's music or a picture that usually serves as my inspiration for a topic. I fought any association with music when very young. My parents insisted that I play an instrument and sing. I've thankfully recovered from their meddling.

Jack @ http://time-less-image.typepad.com/comics_legends_and_lore/

Tina said...

I love the way music can invoke memories or create them. Music is truly powerful stuff! I cannot imagine life without it.

Gina said...

I have vivid memories of listening to Led Zeppelin back in the 80's in a car full of friends. Any time I hear Led Zeppelin, it takes me right back to when I was 17 again.

Fiendish said...

Wow, your blog has really hit the big time here. Just to quote Tam, who quoted Milhouse, "I knew the dog before he came to school." ;)

I've posted on the subject of music being linked with memories before, and can only express my awe. Great post.

Lady Rose said...

I love cranking up the radio when a good song comes on, especially one that brings back memories - I sing along and "car dance". I'm sure the folks passing by think I'm totally nuts but who cares - it's fun. :)

One of these days I'll get a car with a cd player - now that will be fun!

wngl said...

Actually I think this is why cars were invented, so we could listen to music while driving.

Jenai said...

I don't have a memory of that song in particular but I do have songs that really make me cry and I feel like a washed out washing machine. Especially as I am in love with a Chinese guy and I hear a song about rice love mice when we are apart..it kills me.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fragileheart said...

Hey Ken, was that cool photo there yesterday when I wrote my comment? It's pretty nifty!

Beamer said...

I guess I can add to the fray. Nice Post. See if Blogger has a heart attack.

Beamer

PS: Lets see you respond to every comment. LOL

Shaxx said...

If I do not listen to any music in my car, I would simple fall asleep at the steering wheel...

J. C. said...

All Joshua's Tree is masterpiece. I feel the same about almost every song on that album. They were my teenage idols and the first big band to have a concert in Sarajevo, right after the cease of the disaster. I was there and it was an unique. Imagine yourself living in a hole for 4 years and then you get up and go to see U2 concert. I will have to find that 96' U2 Sarajevo concert somewhere on line and remind myself about it.

Rachel Fox said...

How many comments!! Time to give up the day job...

Glad to see Jim mentioning AC/DC..I loved a bit of AC/DC back when I was younger and was amazed when a friend told me recently that they were 'back in fashion'. I never thought they were in fashion...wasn't that the point of that kind of rock?

I didn't comment on this because it took me a while to think of a song that I specifically associated with driving. This morning I remembered...NWA 'Express Yourself' (a great song and proof that rap/hip hop can be brilliant when it wants to)...that reminds me of driving round Leeds in a company car that I didn't really deserve (I never did any work)...going from friend to friend and from club to club...cruising around, fetching things, dropping stuff off, visiting...windows open, music loud...not a care in the world. I did like Gil Scott Heron's ''Lady Day and John Coltrane' around that time too but I think NWA gets it...some of the lines are stupendous...

'Yo man there's a lot of brothers out there
flakin and perpetratin but scared to kick reality...'

and so on...funky track too!
x

Rachel Fox said...

Ha! I didn't put a date...I think it was about 1990...in the summertime.
x

Mr. Quotes said...

Good Music - A long drive & my lovely partner makes a perfect combination. Its too true to be in your ideal circumstances.

Henson Ray said...

What a great post. Really gave me a sense of your memory. It's very cool how music can take you right back to some moment you may have forgotten about for a while. Although I'm not quite sure why I think of red peppers every time I hear the song "Hound Dog." Somewhere there's a rather strange suppressed memory for that.

crazy working mom said...

Oh man, it is SO amazing how music and lyrics can transport us back to another place and time! I'll hear a song and I'll call my husband and play it for him and ask him if it brings back memories. He'll stammer and stutter a bit and then say yes, even though nine times out of ten he has no clue! *LOL*

Kimmie said...

I would have to say the song "I Will" by the Beatles is one that you hear very rarely, and I have downloaded it for that very reason. It takes me back to a very special night many years ago. I had been dating a guy for about a month, and our feelings for each other moved very fast. We were standing outside by his car and he had put the radio on. "I Will" came on and he looked deeply into my eyes and sang the entire song to me. I started to cry because it had moved me beyond words, he kissed me and then the heavens opened up. We stood in the pouring rain kissing and holding each other. I believe that was the moment that we knew how much in love we were. The ending was the same as so many of the stories I have read here. "Parting is such sweet sorrow." I have never forgotten him, and I don't believe I ever will. That night it was just him and I, the song, and the rain.

Thank You Ken for sharing your story, it validated what I have felt in my heart for so many years. Going back in time via a song is not as rare as I had thought it to be.

Ken Armstrong said...

"U2 - Where the streets have no name"

'Want to hear it?" Here:

'Where The Streets Have No Name'

The song doesn't get going until 2:45 in.

Kimmie said...

Excellent video Ken! Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed it. Thank You for visiting my blog also. :-)
Kimmie

Chris Williams said...

My U2/driving experience was a little different. I worked in the concert ticket business and I was working a U2 show in Fort Worth, Texas. I was driving home around midnight and it started just pouring rain. I had a crappy Datsun 280Z and the windshield fogged up so bad there was no way to see out.

My buddy was next to me and he kept wiping the inside of the windshield off with this free concert t-shirt we got at the show.

It was a great show. BB King had opened for them and it was right around the time they first played "When Love Came to Town." But all we were thinking of that night was getting home alive.

Don M.F.H. said...

Nice post. That's not my favorite U2 song but I have plenty of others that take me to all sorts of different locations when I hear them - "Elevation" to Quebec; "Stay" to Boston; "Even Better Than the Real Thing" to Chicago; "The Unforgettable Fire" to Los Angeles; "In a Little While" to New York, to name a few. One of the many gifts that music gives us.

Filmfeline said...

there are some fab songs listed on this blog so I will only add that if you ever have a chance to buy it- get an album by Feedback, called Shooting Up a Star; it's great and the music will fit in just well here.
(the band no longer exisits)