The Radio Killed That Song, but So Did I

Back in sophomore year of college, my roommate had a bad break up with a guy that she had been on and off with for two years.  During the first three months of their break up all she would play is Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day, on a constant loop.  I wish CDs or records were popular then because I would have smashed it into bits after the first month of her playing it nonstop.  Unfortunately, Limewire and iTunes were blowing up during that time, so everything was digital.  Needless to say, my other roommates and I had to endure the pain and the slow death of this great song for months.  As Billie Jo Armstrong’s soft spoken lyrics and hypnotic guitar chords rang throughout our fifth floor dorm room, we beat our heads in with pillows every time it came on.

Why do we feel the need to play a song so much on repeat till we can barely stand it anymore?  It is because we connect with it in some way, but to someone else it becomes a song they can never listen to again.  Think about the radio.  When a song first comes out and you hear it for the first time on the radio, you just can’t wait to hear it again.  So, you switch stations until you find another station that is playing it.  Ultimately, it becomes popular, gets numerous requests, and becomes a song you can’t stand anymore that you turn off the radio every time it comes on.

What happens between the time you hear the song and the time you can no longer stand the song?  I’m going to let you in on a secret – Your life changes.  Last year, I was obsessed with the songs Blank Space (Taylor Swift) and Steal Your Heart (Ross Lynch – Austin & Ally).  I think back to this time last year and realized that a boy had re-entered into my life that wanted to get into a serious relationship with me.  I had no interest in getting serious with anyone as I had plans to move to Los Angeles by the end of the year.  So, my love life became a game instead where I could “steal your heart” and “…I got a blank space baby And I’ll write your name.”  Do I listen to either one of those songs currently?  Nope.

Now, my new obsessions are Stitches (Shawn Mendes) and Black Magic (Little Mix), but not for the reasons you think.  Yes, these songs reflect images of love, but to me, love can be for anything or anyone.  I have been feeling a little broken lately, and these two songs make me think of being whole again.  As friends get married, have babies, move out of state, or make career adjustments, it becomes difficult to stay in touch.  You miss people that use to always be there that you took for granted.  You question your own choices like you are doing something wrong.  I’m not making excuses for anyone because if you truly want to stay in touch with someone you will make an effort.  Even if it is a phone call two years later, or a text message that says “Remember the time we were singing La Vie Boheim in our dorm room with mops and throwing pixie stick sugar at each other?  Those were good days!  I miss you!”  Needless to say, these two songs remind me that anything can be mended with time, a good friend, or having your family closer.  To those who feel a little broken, know that you are stronger than you feel, you will mend quicker than you think, and that those people who have always been there, will always be there; even if it is just a memory.  Sometimes, you need to kill a song or two to get to a good place.


What’s In A Song?

We all have those songs that every time it is played it reminds us of a person, an event, or a period of time in our lives.  There are sad songs, party songs, and those never ending songs that stick in your head, but you don’t really want them there.  So, what is so special about these songs?  They are different for everyone, and is it really the song or the memory attached?  For me it has a lot to do with the lyrics.  I’m lyric obsessed and if the songwriter has a great
chorus or verse I’m in, but the memory is just as important, right?

ASDStPatty  Our lives are full of flashbacks and the only thing we have left once something is over are the memories and the pictures.  Fifty years from now someone is going to look through those pictures and have no idea what song was playing, what you were thinking when you decided to wear that skirt that was way too short, or why your friends look like they are being injured because their eyes are shut tight with their fists in the air.  Looking back over my time in college, I met some of the most outrageous and fun girls that are still some of the best friends today; my sorority sisters.  I know it sounds cliche, and there are some of you out there that would say that I paid for my friends, but I can tell you that we always had each others backs even when we were fighting because we were family.   You messed with one of us, then you had to deal with all of us.  I came across some old pictures and it reminded me of the numerous CD mixes that we made for any party that we threw at 47 Monroe, full of rap, top 40s, rock, and of course the Spice Girls!  ‘Wannabe’ was a popular song on our mixes and we would scream it at the top of our lungs (drunkly) along with gesturing every lyric that was sung.  Thank god video cameras were too big to carry around and cellphones had a limited amount of video power that no one wanted to waste on their flip phones.  Needless to say, there are a lot of pictures of us dancing around like fools.  Now every time I hear ‘Wannabe,’ I sing it loudly and dance around (soberly) wishing that I had my best friends with me.

ASDTooCool‘Go Girl’ by Pitbull (featuring Trina and Young Boss) was and still is my “lets get pumped” song.  I was introduce to this song by my pledge sister (in the car).  She put on her sunglasses and started rapping with Pitbull and I couldn’t do anything but laugh because I didn’t know the words.  After that car ride I learned every word and every time I was in the car with her after that we played that song and would again, be hand gesturing every lyric that they spat out on the radio.  This of course made it on our party mixes more than once, and to this day I need to have sunglasses on to sing this song.  I don’t know if it’s an insecurity thing, but I definitely feel cooler with the glasses on.

There is also the “sad song” that makes us feel better when someone breaks our heart.  I have two.  One is ‘The Way We Used to Be’ by The Scarlet Ending and the other one is ‘Gonna Get Over You’ by Sara Bareilles.  Both songs bring something different to the table.  The first one allowed me to wallow in my self pity when that guy broke my heart, and the second one got me out of that funk.  ‘Gonna Get Over You’ makes you want to go around and dance and sing in public, and not care if that cute guy/ girl next to you starts to judge you based on your weirdness.  Newsflash, we are all weird; some of us chose to embrace it publicly more than others.

CJFeolaFinally, there are those songs that you may be embarrassed to sing in public or around your friends because the song is not meant for someone your age or gender.  Luckily, I don’t agree with the status quo, and at this point in my life I don’t find too much embarrassing.  My roommate definitely has video proof of this through a little song called ‘Double Take’ from the Disney Channel show ‘Austin & Ally.’  Yes I know all the words, and even though the show is for twelve-year-olds it has got a great bouncy feel that you can sing to with a ladle in the kitchen.  My little brother and I like to sing Taylor Swift in the car; basically to the point that if she not on the radio station he changes it until he finds one that she’s on.  That is either fan dedication or an unhealthy addiction, either way I understand his obsession.  For example, any time the song ’22’ is played, we both get really high voices when she says,

“I don’t know about you, But I’m feeling 22
Everything will be alright
If you keep me next to you
You don’t know about me
But I’ll bet you want to
Everything will be alright
If we just keep dancing like we’re
22, ooh-ooh”

ASDIceSkatingThis probably sounds more like screaming instead of singing.  Either way I love every second of it.  So, maybe it isn’t about the song at all, but the memories with your favorite people and what those songs represented in that moment in time.  John Lennon was a smart man musically, lyrically, and intellectually, so in his words – “Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted.”

What are some of your favorite memories and the songs that you associate with them?  I bet there are more then you think.