Music and Diaries

Piano 2

I am a firm believer that music has a soul. It touches us with its magic and buries itself deep inside to a place no one else knows.

I’ve had a special relationship with music since I was a kid. My earliest memories are filled with guarded secrets, buried deep inside the grooves that carry the sound.

These songs are diaries full of memories of people and places, some no longer here and others I haven’t seen in a lifetime.

I was thinking about this the other day when I was driving through town. I had on a local radio station that played the hits of the 80’s and 90’s. It was a normal day. The sun was a little hot. The traffic a little thick and a truck rudely cut me off.

The commercial ended, the music played and suddenly a memory came to life.


A band called The Sunday’s played and a beautiful song packed full of heartache followed.

Instantly it was 1990. August to be exact and The Sunday’s – Here’s Where the Story Ends  flowed through my speakers. In an instant the emotions and memories of that song came to life.

My mind took me back to that summer evening. I was knee deep in a shouting match with my best friend. I made my point. I won the argument and just as I was about to celebrate I watched as she cried and ran to her car.

Piano 1

The victory was short lived but the guilt that carried with it came back 28 years later.

Why this song, I asked. Was it playing that night? Was it on the radio, a CD or was it MTV when they use to play videos?

Whatever it was that song became a mark in a diary forever etched in my mind.

Sometimes I wish I could listen to a song and not be thrown back to a certain place and time. I wonder what it’s like to listen to a tune and simply enjoy it.

Sometimes I do. Not every song is like this. Some of it is high adrenalin and nothing more while other songs are pleasing to my ear.

But there are those that will always carry special meanings. They are a circle on the calendar reminding me of a time that otherwise would have been forgotten.

After listening to The Sundays I started thinking of ways to use it. Maybe it doesn’t have to be a curse. Maybe it can be an advantage.

I’m about to start Book Two. Like every story I write it will be packed full of emotion. There will be days where I will search for that emotion and at times I’ll come up empty.

Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way.

I could take these songs that I hold dear and exploit them. Ring the towel dry as they say and use them for the memories and emotions they are.

I have no doubt it’ll be exhausting.

Take Super Tramps Give a Little Bit. Something happened with that song. I don’t know what it is but whenever I hear it I have the greatest zest for life on has ever known. The cloudy days are full of sunshine. I’m as excited as a five year old on Christmas morning.

You get the idea.

Not everyone can do this. Maybe they’re the lucky ones but since I have this crazy relationship I might as well find a place for it.

If I need to be sad I’ll search out a Journey song from 1982 – minus Don’t Stop Believin‘  – who could possibly be sad to that?

And if I want a beautiful memory I’ll simply punch in The Cars – Just What I needed. I can still see her smile and taste the M&M’s. Especially the green ones.

So I guess it’s not all that bad. Looks like I’ve got some work to do.

Piano 3


Happy Friday Everyone!!!



  1. I think you’ve hit on a useful technique for writers and poets to vividly elicit certain, specific moods when writing. I haven’t tried it yet, but I image it will work for me.

    The reason I haven’t tried it is because so far, I never listen to background music when writing.

    Like you, I have songs I cannot listen to anymore because all I hear are memories. Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven is a case in point. Beautiful song, haven’t really heard it in decades.

    For some reason, it used to be played on something like 900 college radio stations around the country at midnight. There was actually a study done on that. About 900, if I recall correctly. All at midnight, every day of the week.

    Well, of course, that’s prime romance time. Not only was the song playing the moment I met my first wife, but it was playing during some other romantic moments for me. I can’t hear it without hearing at least two or three memories of women I once knew.

    Such a beautiful song — I recall.


  2. I know exactly where you’re coming from. I have to be careful with the station that plays 80’s and 90’s tunes. The emotional roller coaster machine can be a tad to much.

    Have yourself a great week, my friend.


  3. I get this. Certain songs bring back specific memories of people, places and times in our lives. “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” reminds me of mytone-deaf dad plucking strings on his guitar; “Crimson and Clover” reminds me of my punk house parents in a runaway house I stayed in between foster parents; “He’s So Shy” reminds me of a boyfriend; “Obsession” reminds me of my first true love; “96 Tears” reminds me of playing this song for my mom – at loud volume… Ya…most songs I can listen to and enjoy for the sake of the music, but some songs carry me back to both good and bad memories. It does seem to be very much like a diary of our lives…

    Liked by 1 person

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