So, we’ve hit that crunch time in any A to Z challenge.
The letter “x”.
Doing ukulele covers for “u” kinda made it lame to do xylophone covers for “x”.
But, if you feel so inclined, click here for an absolutely awesome xylophone cover of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.
Which brings me to my choices for today.
I’ve mentioned before on this blog how music is very much time and place for me. This quote from the movie Coyote Ugly (2000) sums it up:
I remember the first time my mother played me “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel. I remember exactly what she was wearing. I remember exactly how her hair smelled. I remember exactly how I felt.
And every time I hear that song, I remember exactly what she was wearing and exactly how her hair smelled and exactly how I felt … because the great songs last forever.
In that same vein, there are songs that bring me right back to certain moments and people in my life.
So here’s some songs I never would have known or loved were it not for the guys who introduced me to them.
Depends how you define the term.
We dated, we seriously dated, or we “hung out” in that awkward way where you didn’t want to “label” our relationship because you weren’t ready for commitment.
And in two cases, we’re now pretty good friends.
My mother told me you date to figure out what you can live with – and what you can’t – in marriage – so as to know when you meet your match.
You all helped me get there.
And along the way, you also introduced me to some great music that I will forever connect with you and those stages of my life.
That said – here we go!
1. California Love – Tupac feat Dr. Dre (1995)
So, our eyes met across a crowded dance floor during university frosh week.
I was interested, but currently still with my high school boyfriend.
Because, like, that was FOREVER.
Except for the fact that this other girl at frosh knew about me because “OMG, YOU’RE THAT LOUISE!?!” as in the girl who his ex had harboured a cross-city hate-on for all last year because they were still together.
Said other girl to 19-year-old me: “Sorry, random girl I just met at the bar. Did I just crush your universe? Umm. … Shots?”
Me: Yes (shots). And no (other).
It’d been an ego rough summer of “you’re not good enough, I’m not sure” drama with the high school boyfriend.
I was kinda already done by that stage.
We broke up all proper before I threw myself into re-bound world with all the advice my momma gave me.
He loved Tupac. Even got a Tupac inspired tattoo. I remember when Tupac was shot right after frosh week and I clipped the article from my parent’s newspaper to bring to him so he could stick it up on his wall in res.
The romance ended in three weeks. But I never hear that song without thinking about frosh week, first year university, and him.
2. Come on Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runner (1982)
So after romance fizzled with the Death Row Records fan, a friend on the swim team coordinated a “club outing” to set me up with one of the guys on the team and we ended up dating.
For three weeks.
So, like, EPIC.
We’re still friends and both involved in the swim team alumni activities. It just wasn’t meant to be.
He got really excited when this song played at the bar. It was a memorable quirk – because, really, how can you not love someone who loves Dexy’s Midnight Runner?
And he’d request Depeche Mode for me.
So – YAY!
3. Ode to my Car – Adam Sandler (1996)
After first year university I got myself a job as a lifeguard at Britannia Beach in Ottawa and figured it was time to break that rule about not dating someone you work with.
We dated through second year university; he ended up swimming varsity with me; and he introduced me to Adam Sandler beyond his acting career. I have to admit, I’ve never really appreciated the whole goat skit – but I love this one. It speaks to my soul.
And the guy? It ended badly. While we were dating he gave me an original Star Wars movie poster. I still have it and will give it back if I ever hear from him as I always felt a bit bad that I ended up with it.
4. Zoot Suit Riot – Cherry Poppin’ Daddies (1997)
There was a swing dancing revival when I was in third year university and this bar downtown called The Cave use to host swing dance nights.
As a former high school band geek (clarinet), piano player, tap dancer and all round music lover, this was pretty awesome for me.
I’d recently bumped into this guy who had played saxophone in the band with me and he was into the whole craze. Nothing serious dating wise, but a lot of dancing all night.
I still remember a few of the simple moves and can break those bad boys out at weddings.
5. Let it Rain – Amanda Marshall (1995)
I had my Tarot cards read in the summer before my fourth year of university.
Given the “about to move out into the big world” life-changing “now you really have to decide what you want to be when you grow up” timing of this reading, I obviously asked that serious question: “Will I find a boyfriend this year?”
Short answer? No. I’d meet someone later in the year, but nothing lasting.
Well, there he was at Rooster’s Coffeehouse at the table I sat down at to relax at after writing the last exam of my undergrad degree.
I figured anything that foretold was probably worth checking out.
It lasted a bit over a month and aside from a large circle of forever bar going friends (which was exactly what I needed), he also played guitar. Specifically, I remember him playing Let it Rain one night at a bar with this girl who had amazing hair and who sang it perfectly. And, while this is the exception on the list in that I already knew and liked the song, that’s what I forever after pictured every time I hear it.
Really – she had SERIOUSLY amazing hair.
As for him, he still plays guitar, my husband likes him, and we’re still friends.
What about you? Any music that makes you think in non-traumatic ways of past dating, or music that brings you back to specific places in time? Let me know!
Reese Speaks said:
Hey Louise! This was such a great blast from your past! This post brought back so many memories of hanging out at University in the bars and coffee shops on campus.
There are so many songs that bring me back to exs or good times in my past. There’s the whole What’s the 411 album from Mary J. Blige that one of my high school exs got me into and I have never let go of. Then there is Sugar Ray’s “I Just Want to Fly” that brings back so many good memories of a good friend of mine where the feelings were there, but we didn’t want to ruin what we had as friends. Pink’s “Who Knew” always brings me back to when my finance and I were apart for a while, and we did not know what the future held for us. Since there are too many, I’ll end with the Garden State Soundtrack that reminds me of my ex, getting through university papers and exams, and hanging out with life-long friends.
So glad you liked it and that it brought back memories for you! I’m curious if we overlapped at university?
But moving on to your choices – I remember I Just Want to Fly – and similar sentiments. As for Pink – I love her – and our main issue right now is we have an album where she spells her name with a “!” for an “I” and it confuses my 5-year-old who is trying to learn how to spell and LOVEs that there is a singer named Pink. I LOVE that you and your husband have a song from your “don’t know where this is going yet” phase – very romantic!
And I don’t think I’ve ever seen Garden State… I shall add it to the list.
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Reese Speaks said:
I’m so happy we both have a fondness for Pink. Spelling her name for my posts does get annoying if you do use the exclamation mark.
We probably have passed each other once or twice without knowing it in University since we’re only a few years apart in age, but the campus is so big and people are in their own heads a bunch, it’s probably why we never met then.
Yes, please pick up the soundtrack and the movie, though I enjoy the soundtrack much more!
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Hello my fellow music-loving mamma! Seriously, you have no idea how excited this post made me. I can’t type fast enough to tell you what your songs remind ME of and which songs in my life’s soundtrack remind me of ex’s. I’m just like you. Music takes me back to specific places and times in my life.
Cali Love – Well, since I’m in Southern Cali, you can imagine how popular that song was here. I was 25 and we’d go clubbing 2 or 3x/week. This song reminds me of one particular club called Metropolis. The whole place would go crazy when it came on and we’d be bopping our arms up and down in the air, fingers making a “W” for WEST COAST!!! Word to the mutha. haha!
Come On Eileen – Reminds me of my now-husband! He was an amateur party DJ when I met him (I couldn’t marry a non-passionate-music-lover like me) and this was one of his go-to crowd-pleasers. My friends and I would dance around like gypsies while he was busy spinning the wheels of steel.
Zoot Suit Riot – I was SO SO SO happy during the swing craze!! I never took a single dance lesson, but I have natural talent for all types of dances. (Excuse me while I pat myself on the back) There was another club we’d frequent (The Rhino Room) that had a Swing Night. The first time I went, I really felt that I must have lived during the 40’s in a previous life because I was absolutely enamored by all of it. I was moving to the music, on the sidelines, just watching with a big goofy smile on my face. A guy asked me to dance (and I said yes even though I was there with my non-dancing-DJ-boyfriend. I can’t help it. It’s a disease. If someone asks me to dance, I can’t say no.) ANYWAY, he spun and twirled me around and I followed easily. He asked where I was taking classes and I told him it was my first time ever swing dancing!
As for songs of my Ex’s…
My first boyfriend lived in Argentina. There is an Argentine group called Soda Stereo that he introduced me to. I have one of their CDs and if I ever put it on, I think of him.
Paid in Full by Erik B & Rakim reminds me of a guy named Tommy that I used to flirt and dance with at another club called Jets (while I was in HS). He had beautiful eyes. And he was a gypsy. Literally. I’m not kidding. Anyway, the first song I ever danced to with him was this one.
Anita Baker’s Giving You The Best That I Got – A party at Dave’s house. He told me that he wanted for us to just be friends. Get to know one another better. He was on the rebound. I liked him a lot. He got drunk. I remained sober. He kissed me as this song was playing. I melted. We dated less than a month. He broke my heart.
It Takes Two by Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock – A party at Jose’s house. We danced to this song. He was cute and a great dancer. I melted. We dated for less than a month. He broke my heart. (Shit, I see a pattern.)
There are a ton more songs I could list but I’m realizing that my comment is as long as your post! SORRY!!
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No apologies – this made my day! I’ve posted some of these music posts to complete crickets – so I love when I do one that resonates with someone.
I adore that you have a romantic musical connection to Paid in Full. Goes to the whole “time and space” thing about music. It’s also an awesome song. I have it on a retro rap mix I still sometimes play in the car…
It Takes Two also makes me smile – the heartbreak on that and the previous, less so – but that your husband use to spin and you associate Come on Eileen with him – that’s pretty fun 🙂
Maybe you should do your own post with the others…. I’d love to read it!
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