Music for the Moment

Our family lost a friend this week, and thinking of him led me to the idea for this blog.  I met Chris during my early days in comic book fandom.  We belonged to the same apa (amateur press alliance–kind of like a fat chain letter but with closed circulation), and he invited a bunch of us to stay with him during the Atlanta Fantasy Fair, a forerunner of Dragon*Con.  The last day of the con, he and I made an ATM run.  The song “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves, their only hit, came on the radio.  Chris commented that he loved the song, and so I think of him every time I hear it.

He and I became actual friends instead of just fan buddies, which led to his being our family friend as first the dh and then the boy entered my life.  The dh and I were talking about Chris yesterday, and I mentioned “Walking on Sunshine.”  This led us to realize there’s no song we consider “ours,” nothing that stands out from the period when we were dating or newly married.  But there are songs we associate with particular moments in our lives.

On the rare occasions I hear “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In,” or “The Horse,” which my high school band played a lot, I flash back for a moment to my younger self in the bleachers on a September night, sweating in a wool uniform and tasting the woody clarinet reed.

The summer I studied and traveled in the UK, a group of us sometimes rented a car together.  One of the guys had two cassette tapes–one Linda Ronstadt and one Janis Joplin.  We listened to them over and over. Every time I hear “Love is a Rose” or “Bobby McGee,” I find myself back in that Ford Fiesta on a narrow road somewhere in England with people I rarely see anymore.

We stopped one day in a small town and bought picnic supplies–bread, cheese, cold cuts, pastries, and a bottle of white wine (which we passed around, except for the designated driver, who had soda) and consumed them in a beautiful forest picnic area on a sunny day.  We were young and happy and optimistic, and I feel all that again when I hear those songs.

The processional the dh and I chose for our wedding was a classical piece,  light years different in tone from Janis and Linda, Purcell’s Trumpet Voluntary.  If I hear that now, I remember standing in the back of the church with my dad as the maid of honor took her place and everyone stood.  My heart surged into my throat, and I said to my father, “Here we go, Daddy.”  He replied, “And you’ll never have a prettier date” and cracked me up.  I walked to the altar laughing, not a bad way to start a marriage, and hearing that trumpet piece puts me back in that moment.

The boy’s arrival brought a whole new array of music into our lives.  It started with a filk song I wrote for him.  A filk song, for those of you not into fandom, is a familiar tune with fannish words set to it.  I set lyrics about our baby boy to the tune of “Scotland the Brave.”  I sang it to him a lot.  But I can’t share specifics because they were sort of nonsensical and he has now reached the age where his parents can embarrass him.

Of course he had his own musical preferences, starting with Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee,” as I’ve mentioned before, when he was a mere infant.  In high school, he liked Matchbox Twenty’s “Unwell” (“I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell”).  He always turned the car radio up when that song came on.  After his graduation last May, I told him I’d bought “Unwell” and the “Chattahoochee” video on iTunes so I could play them and think of him when he was away at school.  He sort of cringed. “I don’t like ‘Unwell’ or ‘Chattahoochee’ anymore,” he allowed.  “I like to forget I ever did.”  I find this mystifying, but I guess it has something to do with growing pains.

The memories aren’t always happy.  Sometimes they’re bittersweet.  My parents, who died five years apart (my mom after my dad), met when they were both stationed at the naval hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.  After my mom died, I was lying in bed one night when the lyrics of Marc  Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis” popped into my head.  Hearing it now reminds me of my parents.  So does the Navy hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” which was the concluding piece at both their funerals.

I’m sure there will be other songs that mark moments in our lives, and I think the way music evokes memory is magical.  So I’m going to pull out the iPad, play “Walking on Sunshine,” and think of Chris doing exactly that.

What songs are special to you?  Do they bring back particular memories?  Is there something else that revives a particular moment for you?

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  • Barb says:

    is he coming here again

  • Fedora says:

    Ah… I think we used that Trumpet Voluntary, too, Nancy! We didn’t have a trumpeter though; it was played by the organist.

    DH and I don’t have a special song either… But you’re right–lots of songs or types of songs will remind me of stages in life or moments…

    Depeche Mode and INXS bring me back to high school, while Collin Raye’s Counting Sheep remind me of the evenings we bathed our eldest before bedtime… Laurie Berkner’s Under a Shady Tree is more “singing in the car with the kids” music 🙂 Rich Mullins “Sometimes by Step” is singing around the campfire as a camp counselor.

    What a fun post, Nancy–thanks for sharing!

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Fedora, I think the Trumpet Voluntary is very popular with brides. We did have a trumpeter, one of the music professors from the college, but it’s a beautiful piece on any instrument.

      When the boy was little, we watched the old Nashville Network a lot because he seemed to like country music. Colin Raye had a cute video to go with the song “That’s My Story (And I’m Sticking to It).”

  • Barb says:

    What good blog, Nancy…. when I hear Cliff Richard or should I say Sir Cliff it brings back memories of my youth in the UK….
    ABBA songs remind me of the friends and family I have back there as they were hits when DH, the 2 kids and I had a leaving party when we emigrated to Australia

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Barb, I bet that was a great party.

      The heroine of Karen White’s Charleston series likes ABBA. There are 3 books in the series so far, all with street names in the titles. The first book is The House on Tradd Street. The heroine is a Realtor who sees dead people. The hero is a writer.

  • Gail Nichols says:

    I lost a good friend a few years back. The song that reminds me of him is “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler from the movie “Beaches” I still can’t listen to that song without crying and thinking of him.

  • Helen says:


    I am so sorry you have lost a friend hugs

    I have to agree with you about music and songs I have so many that will transport me back to a place in time or remind me of someone special that I have lost. Hubby and I got married in 1977 and at the time Rod Stewart’s Tonight’s The Night was a big hit and was actually playing on the radio when we got to the hotel after the wedding so it is special to us, and at my Nana’s funeral we played You Will Never Walk Alone and my Mum’s we played The Wind Beneath My Wings and My Heart Will Go On. I could sit here all day naming songs that bring back memories some bring a tear to my eye and some make me smile or laugh.

    Have Fun

  • Mary Preston says:

    I don’t associate any particular music or songs to episodes of my life. It has never been a major feature or influence. Interesting that it does for others so strongly.

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Mary, I think whether music is a reminder depends on how much attention we pay to it at particular times. The dh has a lot more songs that remind him of high school because he listened to the radio more than I did.

  • Nancy what a lovely, lovely post. I am so sorry to hear about your friend Chris. It’s nice that you have such an upbeat song to remember him by.

    Music always brings back memories for me. I remember my earliest days dancing with my dad to Obladi Oblada (sp?) from the Beatles and singing Burt Bacharach songs from a songbook we had. I remember making up a dance routine with a friend to Whitney Houston songs, which is a little poignant since that friend passed away a while back. When I hear the Kinks I think of staying with friends at a beach house that was right on the first dune and watching the moon rise over the ocean. When I hear Neil Diamond I think of going to Fraser Island with dh and his family. My dh and I don’t have a song either but we learned dancing for a while before our wedding and whenever I hear Santana’s Smooth I think of dancing the cha cha to that song with him. Oh What a Night is one from my nightclubbing days at University.

    REM’s Stand always reminds me of my brother, who is a very reticent person but when he had a few to drink he would do the dance to that one and crack me up.

    Btw, I love Unwell by Matchbox 20! I think it applies to me 99% of the time!

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Christina, thank you. I’m sorry about your friend.

      How cool that you and the dh learned the cha cha for your wedding.

      I have a bunch of Neil Diamond albums on vinyl and actually saw him in concert once. When my undergrad college made it to the NCAA Elite 8 in basketball a few years back, they had adapted “Sweet Caroline” into a fight song. It got a lot of attention because it’s a small liberal arts college that holds athletes to the same academic standard as everyone else. They hadn’t gotten to the playoffs in something like 35 years.

      Other teams use “Sweet Caroline” now, but I think Davidson was the first to do so. Neil Diamond noticed their use of his song. When the college held a party for the team after they were eliminated, Diamond and his band performed the song via videolink, all wearing Davidson sweatshirts. It was very cool.

    • Christine –

      I identify with Unwell too … and Gnarls Barkley”s Does that make me Crazy? LOL

  • eli yanti says:

    so sorry for your lost ;(

    for me the most memories song was celine dion – dance with my father, although i never danced with my father because he was died when i was 5 years old and when he lived, work had made us cant spend much time but i really feel this song will always remind me with my father 🙂

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Eli, thank you. What a beautiful story. I’m sorry you didn’t get to dance with your father, but it’s sweet that you remember him this way.

  • Janga says:

    Nancy, one of my favorite songs ever is Trisha Yearwood’s “The Song Remembers When” because it is about the power of a song not just to evoke memories but to recapture them in a near Proustian fashion.

    I have a long list of songs that work like that for me. Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue” brings back summers at the community swimming pool, and I can smell the chlorine and feel the July sun drying drops of water on my bare shoulders and see the smile of the decade-older lifeguard with his tan body and killer smile, who was one of my first crushes. A friend sang Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on That Mountain” at my father’s funeral. The friend was killed last year by a hit-and-run driver, and now that song reminds me of my friend as well as my father.

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Janga, how sad about your friend! I’m sorry.

      I don’t know that song by Trisha Yearwood, but it sounds as though it’s exactly what this blog is about.

      • Janga says:

        It really is a gorgeous song. It begins with great images.

        I was standin’ at the counter.
        I was waitin’ for the change
        When I heard that old familiar music start.
        It was like a lighted match
        Had been tossed into my soul.
        It was like a dam had broken in my heart.

        Here’s a link to the song:

        • Thanks, Janga. For some reason, this reminded me of Olivia Newton-John’s “B17.” It starts, “Please mister, please, don’t play B17. It was our song. It was his song, and it’s over.”

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Oh, I love that Vince Gill song! Wow! Hadn’t thought about it in a while though. :>

  • Hey Nancy!

    So sorry to hear about your friend’s passing. It is always hard to lose someone close. Isn’t it lovely thought that you have a song to always remember him by?

    We are a very musical family. I was a soloist in my church choir, DH writes and plays jazz piano and blues harmonica. Our son can play electric, bass, and rhythm guitar, as well as Baritone sax. Both girls were soloists in school choirs and have their own performance band. Middle daughter, her now husband and our son had their own Christian Punk Rock Band. So, you can see how much music has played a part in our lives.

    When I was dating DH, he used to sing this song to me by George Gershwin and sung by Ella Fitzgerald: Someone to Watch Over Me (here are the lyrics)

    There’s a somebody I’m longing to see
    I hope that she turns out to be
    Someone to watch over me

    I’m a little lamb who’s lost in a wood
    I know I could always be good
    To one who’ll watch over me

    Although I may not be the man some girls think of
    As handsome to my heart
    She carries the key

    Won’t you tell her please to put on some speed
    Follow my lead, oh how I need
    Someone to watch over me
    Someone to watch over me

    How could I NOT fall in love with that?

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Suz, thank you.

      Y’all really are very musical. Neither the dh nor I can carry a tune in a bucket, as the saying goes, and are cursed with good musical ears so we know we’re hitting klinkers. The boy took voice lessons and so can stay in key. He plays the guitar, too. The dh plays the piano and the recorder (and did play the bassoon). I aldo play the piano, though not especially well, and used to play the clarinet.

      None of us, though, can improvise well enough to be in a band. And of course there’s the whole singing on key issue.

      Someone To Watch Over Me is a beautiful song. Is it from Porgy and Bess, or am I confused?

    • Suz – That song is one of my favorites.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Oh, I love that one too! :>

  • Gillian says:

    Goodness, yes! Music is so powerful one well-placed song on the radio can really affect my mood. I’m quick to switch channels if a “bad” song comes on, and I’ll need to find another “good” song to drive the other out of my head.

    I have song triggers for my first rotten boyfriend :), my honeymoon, the birth of our daughters, funerals, my grandmother’s church. Even the theme from Barney brings back my youngest toddling along on chubby little legs with a purple dinosaur. And my oldest used to settle at three in the morning to opera on PBS.

    I think it’s why I really can’t write with music on. Just too powerful.

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Gillian, my first love turned out to be pretty rotten, too. No great loss though it seemed otherwise at the time.

      I can’t write with music if it has lyrics. I can write to instrumental pieces.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      I’m with both of you, on writing to music. If I have it on, I want to sing, and if it’s powerfully instrumental, I want to conduct. Grins.

      I usually turn on HGTV or SportCenter or something like that so I can have the background noise/voices/company, but nothing that pulls me out of the work.

  • Though music brings lots of emotion to me it is a case of “Don’t ask me why it just does.” Well, some of it I know why, I made my son and his buddy crazy just yesterday playing a song over and over. I finally quit torturing them and went to my room……
    Patriotic songs bring on the chills, if it involves Lady Liberty, Uncle Sam, Red white and blue, Old Glory, etc then I will have chill bumps. I know why, I love my country.

    Other songs, I don’t have a clue why I react but I always do. Truly, Madly, Deeply, I get a sense of nostalgia for no reason I can find. Someone is Going to Lose a Heart Tonight, it goes past nostalgia to sadness, again, I don’t know why.

    With me it is all about the scents, that will trigger many memories for me. I can walk into a shoe store (scent of leather) and I instantly recall my mother and I catching a Greyhound into town to shop for school clothes and shoes. Every year black and white saddle shoes with me begging for anything else but those. We compromised once and I had brown and white saddle oxfords. 😀
    Any powdery scent in perfumes reminds me of my mother.
    A Roi-Tan Cigarello reminds me of one of my uncles.
    Wintergreen reminds me of my grandmother as does Olde English furniture polish.

    Sorry, I seem to be a little chatty today! I think I will go and make the boys crazy with my music again today.

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Dianna, I think a lot of people respond to smells. The dh doesn’t wear after shave, but I once had a boyfriend who did. For a long time after, that scent reminded me of him.

      I have a weakness for patriotic marches, especially Sousa. That’s probably because of my years in marching band.

      Nothing wrong with chatty around here, you know. Or, in my book, with making offspring listen to parental music choices.

      • I have read that scent is one of the first memory inducers. A baby first recognizes it’s mother by her scent.

        My son and his friend has progressed to the eye-rolling stage and of course the pained groans. For a pretty much non vocal kind of guy my son is really getting good with the groans. I think more study of the subject is in order, I believe I will turn up the sound. hehehe

        • Jeanne Adams says:

          Bwahahaha! Go, Dianna! :>

          Scent is such a trigger, isn’t it? Cedar or baby powder do it for me in the nostalgia dept. I despise the perfume obsession b/c it reminds me of my ex-husband. Snork! I love old spice b/c my father wore it. And fried apples and pipe tobacco smoke bring my favorite uncle right into the room. :>

        • Yes, see where their limits are. *g*

  • Mozette says:

    What songs are special to you? Do they bring back particular memories? Is there something else that revives a particular moment for you?

    There’s a few that are special to me. Here’s just a few:

    ‘The Greatest Love of All’ by Whitney Houston.

    This one reminded me of a year 7 teacher, Ms Caligaris, who was beautiful and lovely (and could be an absolute bitch too in the same breath) but she loved her students, remembering every single one of them by name when she taught primary school. She left Springwood Road Primary to become an Air Attendant and this is the song we played on her last day.

    ‘Rock Lobster’ by The B-52’s.

    This was always played in nightclubs around Brisbane when I was out clubbing… and everyone boogied to it like there was no tomorrow. It was the most exhausting song and every single person danced right in time – it was like watching line dancing, drunken-style! 😛

    ‘Achy-Breaky Heart’

    Okay… this is a really, really, really…. daggy one. Mum bought the cd, played it to death and then…. on my brother’s 21st, he and I had a ceramonial fire and burnt it! Each time I’ve heard this, I have a little giggle to myself about how he planned that fire – no I didn’t, I wouldn’t do that.

    ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen

    I have loved this brilliantly-written song since I heard it as a youngster… and the best time I remember hearing it was when I was at the Concervatorium of Music here in Brisbane and the Southern Cross Singers were bashing it out on stage! I was supposed to be up there with them; but I had lost my voice… to a dreadful sinus infection. 🙁

    ‘The Hole in the Wall’ by Pink Flloyd

    This song is fantastic. I remember when I was young – in primary school – some kids got in trouble in my brother’s grade for quoting the chorus to a teacher… how cool is that? I love it! A very special song! And who isn’t affected by its power??? Honestly… 🙂

    ‘I Hate Mondays’ by The Boom Town Rats

    This song has an honest and brilliant way of getting into your head – especially on a Monday. I love it for its simplicity and how Bob Geldolf sings about a young girl burns out at school because she’s being bullied and nobody listens; so she does what people who are pushed to their absolute limit – and they don’t see any other way out as far as they know – they bring a gun to school and shoots anyone they hate. And when you think about it, it’s absolutely a song version of ‘Nineteen Minutes’ by Jodi Picoult.

    As for a song that really means anything to me – in a romantic way? Well, nobody has really stuck it out with me long enough for us to have a song. So, I’ll keep you posted. 😀

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Mozette, that’s a great list.

      Mark Chesnutt has a song about Mondays, but it’s lighthearted. Your description of the Boomtown Rats one reminds me of “Independence Day” by Martina McBride. It’s about an abused wife who finally strikes back.

  • KJ Howe says:

    Nancy, beautiful post. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Walking on Sunshine is one of the best songs out there, a perfect tribute to Chris.

  • KJ Howe says:

    The winner of Friday’s book from Kendra James is Gail Nichols. Please drop me a line at

  • Deb says:

    Thanks for the post, Nancy. I enjoyed it!

    My dh and I think of Trace Adkins’ song “The Rest of Mine” as our song and, as a surprise, I recorded it 3 days before our wedding to have it played during the lighting of the candles. I’ve always liked john Denver’s “Annie’s Song” and had that played during the ceremony as well. I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”.

    When our daughter was born, I made up a song to the tune of “A Bicycle Built fo Two”, using her name Shary and beautiful baby girl in the lyrics. I sang it to her every day for at least the first 2 years of her life.

    One of my dad’s fave singers was Nat King Cole and I think of Dad whenever I hear “Ramblin’ Rose.” 🙂

    • Deb says:

      I love many hymns, especially those written by Wesley, Bach, and Handel; I grew up in a very musical church. My husband’s fave hymn is “Amazing Grace”, but it is bittersweet for him to hear because it was the hymn played at his dad’s funeral. My dh was only 13 when his dad died.

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Deb, I think Pachelbel is also popular with brides. I love Annie’s Song and many of John Denver’s others.

      A friend if ours responds to Pachelbel’s Canon the way your dh does to Amazing Grace. She lost her mother when she was very young and thinks the piece may have been played at the funeral.

  • Scents and music – they trigger instant recall, don’t they? My dh and I consider Maggie Mae to be “our song.” Only because it seemed to be playng over and over and over again when we met. So many songs send me back into happy nostalgic times. Guess that’s why my itunes library is mammouth 🙂

  • Kathleen O says:

    There are many songs that when I hear them they bring back so many thoughts and feelings of those I love or places I have been.
    The one song I think that brings me near to tears when i hear it now is “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dione. That song is about a person loving you so much that they lift you up when you are down, they were the eyes when you could not see.. This reminds me so much of how my family means to me. espeically my mom and dad, they are both gone and this song brings them so much more closer to me…

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Kathleen, it sounds as though you had a wonderful relationship with your parents.

      Celine Dion puts so much feeling into her songs, it’s no wondet her name keeps coming up today.

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    What a wonderful post, Nancy, and I’m sorry for your loss of Chriss. He sounds like a true friend, and those are irreplacable.

    Wow, where do I start on this topic? Like Donna, my playlist is mammoth. But very, very eclectic. Grins.

    Let’s start with the one’s that hit me hard – How Great Thou Art – weeper, every time b/c sung at Mama’s funeral by the woman who was her flower girl.

    Be Thou my Vision for some unknowable reason, like Dianna said. That one just hits me where I live. :>

    I’m a total sucker for ANYTHING patriotic, and the Lee Greenwood song, Proud to Be An American, will get me teary eyed with pride. In that same way, She’s Not Just a Pretty Face will make me get all fiesty and patriotic and proud too. I think that’s either Martina McBride or Shania Twain.

    I love TIm McGraw’s Live Like you Were Dying and my current theme song seems to be Burn it to the Ground by Nickelback. I also love Nickelback’s If Today Were Your Last Day.

    My dating days are captured in such gems as Bonnie’ Raitt’s Turn Down the Light (bad one), and It Had to be You but the Harry Connick version. (Good one!)

    DH and I danced our first dance to It’s a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, so that’s kind of “Our Song” if we have one. Grins. We headed to the hospital to have our eldest with showtunes and Appalachian Spring ringing in our ears, and for our youngest, he came so fast there wasn’t time for music, but I know EVERY SINGLE STINKIN” SCOOBY DOO song there is. So that’s my “theme music” for him. Hahaha!

    Josh Turner will turn me to mush, I love Blake Shelton’s Honey Bee, and can sing you just about any Beatles song you ask for. Grins. Of course, I can also sing you a lot of hymns, a bunch of madrigal music and so on too, from Church choir, an a capella group I belonged to, and singing at the Ren Faire.

    And I better stop! Hahaha!

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Jeanne, thank you. Chris was a great guy, a talented artist always happy to do a cover or a spot illustration for someone’s apa contribution.

      Country music is much more open to patriotic songs than rock. I like a song Aaron Tippin’s–not sure of the title, but it contains a line, “You better stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.”

      I like the music for Be Thou My Vision. In the Presbyterian hymnal, anyway.

      I feel for you on Scooby Doo–but I would’ve pegged that child for the Star Wars theme.

      The boy likes Queen. Also the Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc.

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    And, I just gotta add that, like Mozette, I like virtually any Queen song, but Bohemian Rhapsody just rocks!

  • Nancy, what a gorgeous post. It’s interesting how often the songs that mark those important moments aren’t always our favourites but they still have that immediate punch. I think music goes straight to the heart in a way no other art does. I love your description of walking down the aisle – your dad sounds great! – and I agree that there are many worse ways to start a marriage.

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Nancy, I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend, Chris. “Walking on Sunshine” is a terrific song. I hope it brings a smile to your heart every time you hear it.

    I’ve always loved music so it’s no surprise that the opening chords of a song can transport me right back to a certain place and time in my life. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli puts me in the summer of 1967 and the thrill of first love. “Light My Fire” by The Doors brings back that same summer for – um – obvious reasons. 😉

    Even though I went to a rival school, my dad was a Michigan grad and fiercely passionate about his alma mater. Some of my earliest memories are of him teaching me the words to “The Victors” (Michigan’s fight song). At his graveside, after everyone else had left, my brothers, sister-in-law and I gave him the send-off he wanted with a rousing rendition. My eyes still fill with tears every time I hear that song which, considering my love of sports, is quite often.

    I’m very patriotic and those types of songs make me emotional. I can’t hear John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Strips Forever” without reaching for the tissues. “God Bless America” does the same. The late DH and I used to share the tissues during that one.

    “They’re Coming to Take Me Away” by Napoleon XIV takes me straight back to a rickety school bus in the middle of a hot Mexico City summer. Our bus driver loved the local pop radio station (though he spoke no English) and the station loved that song. I must have heard it hundreds of times that summer!

    Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour” takes me to the crowded second floor of the local American Legion Hall for Saturday night teen dances on sultry summer nights. (No A/C back then – just a lot of sweaty teens.) 😉 One of the guys from the next town over was an American Bandstand caliber dancer and he and I always danced to this song. To this day, I can’t hear it without wanting to get up and dance. Ditto with Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” It’s my house cleaning song!

    “Barbara Ann” by The Beach Boys puts me in the basement of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island playing pinball with my brothers, cousins and other friends. It’s so strange but all I need are the opening bars of that song to perfectly visualize the scene of a night that happened more than 40 years ago.

    • pjpuppymom says:

      Oops! That’s supposed to be “Stars and Stripes Forever!”

    • PJ, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You has to be of of the most romantic songs EVAH!

    • Nancy Northcott says:

      Thank you, PJ.

      I think it’s great that y’all sang the fight song he loved for your dad one last time. I wore a raspberry wool suit to my dad’s funeral because he loved bright colors. (Wore black to my mom’s because she was very much about the proprieties.)

      They’re Coming To Take Me Away is a fun song. 🙂

      Barbara Ann is big among shaggers, of course (the shag in this instance is a dance, not a euphemism for adult activities). I’ve never been to Mackinac Island, but I’d like to see it someday.

  • Beth Andrews says:

    Nancy, I’m so sorry for your loss. Hugs!

    We always have music on here so there are many songs that bring back memories: U2’s With Or Without You (the first song my husband and I danced to) Tubthumping (my kids would dance like crazy to that song) Slide by the Goo Goo Dolls (the first song my son and older daughter performed together)…the list goes on and on *g* I love how hearing a song can transport me right back in time 🙂

  • catslady says:

    My husband and I have a song that been about 45 years now – Never my Love by the Association. They still occasionally play it on the radio or we can request it at dances. The 60’s remind me of my youth – Beatles etc. The late 60’s and early 70’s remind me of the days when he was in Nam. The rest of the 70’s and early 80’s reminds me of when it was just the two of us. The boy bands of the 80’s remind me of of my oldest daughter. Then I had a period of loving country rock. I Like a wide variety of music – from the oldies to the current day. At the moment Adele is my favorite.

    • Catslady, I know Never My Love. I have The Association’s Greatest Hits album.

      We like a wide range of music, too. The dh and I weren’t much into country until we noticed it would calm our baby. One we started watching TNN, we found singers and songs we enjoyed. I like show tunes, too.

  • Louisa says:

    Great post, Nancy. So sorry about the loss of your friend. But I am glad you have so many good memories of him. Those are the things to hang on to with all your might.

    Of course music has always played a huge role in my life. (By the way, I walked down the aisle to Trumpet Voluntary as well. )

    A very dear couple, great friends of my Mom who always came to the recitals I give twice a year at her church – the husband always asked that I sing Schubert’s Ave Maria at my recitals. He passed away several months ago and of course had requested I sing at his funeral. One of the selections was Schubert’s Ave Maria. One of the toughest performances I have ever had to do. The gentleman was also a big fan of lighthouses. This year for Christmas my Mom gave me a beautiful lighthouse music box that plays Schubert’s Ave Maria. I can’t play it without thinking of Mr. King.

    My Mom and Dad used to dance in the kitchen to Glenn Miller’s In the Mood. I never hear it that I don’t remember those years in England and my Mom and Dad dancing while we kids looked on and laughed.

    And La Campbell knows my Dad could sing every verse of Waltzing Matilda (he learned it from Aussie soldiers.) He used to sing me to sleep to that song. It always makes me smile and think of him.

    • Thank you, Louisa.

      I think talking at the funeral of a close friend would be very difficult and singing, even more so. I realize you’re a pro, but still.

      It’s amazing that your mom found a music box that combined a lighthouse and Ave Maria. It was clearly meant to be!

  • eilis flynn says:

    When I think of Chris, I don’t think of any musical piece, but a particular moment when we were at the wedding of a mutual friend, and when he came out to visit us. Thanks for the memories, Nancy.

  • Cassondra says:

    Nancy, what a wonderful blog. I’m so sorry I wasn’t here for this.

    There is no moment of my life which does not have its own musical score, and I’ve always been that way–it’s either something I know already, or something I’ve written–or like the things you’ve mentioned, something that was playing at a particular time.

    They are too many to mention really, and I’m late getting here anywhere, but this was a fantastic blog. I’m glad you have such a fun song by which -to remember your friend.