While trying to clean out my computer and sort out my music, I came upon quite a realisation. Nearly every song I saved has a memory linked to it. Not just a happening which would be the first memory but a place too, which in each case seems to be the place where the song evoked the first memory.
♫Fix You by Cold Play♫ – Place – The Globe Cinema roundabout where I went to get the 118 matatus to go to work. I was sitting in the driver’s cabin passenger seat, when the song started playing on my phone’s Music Library. Every day going to work, having the music playing in my ear phones made the long journey from Ongata Rongai to Nairobi CBD, and then from the CBD to Springvalley more bearable. Fix you by Cold Play evoked the memory of one of the hardest times I have ever gone through, it still does even now. Losing my brother shattered my life. It gets easier with time, but the pain never goes away.
♫First Cut by Bryan Adams♫ – Place – This school where I used to work. It was deep in Maasai Country, somewhere between Karen Town and Ngong Hills. The song reminds me of this guy I used to work with there who used to hum the song every morning and drive me totally nuts. But the memory it used to evoke was that of one of my first loves. His smile. And the cut so deep I still tremble when I hear his laugh over the phone even though he is about 500 kilometres away from me now.
♫High by Lighthouse Family♫ – Place – My cousin’s bedroom. The first time I heard this song, I was visiting with my aunt and sleeping in my cousin’s room. Every time I hear it, I remember my aunt’s words earlier that day. She said I was smart enough to be anything I wanted to be. It stuck with me.
♫Fireflies by Owl City♫ – Place – My hospital room. The first time I heard this song, I was sitting in the hospital hating being sick, hating being me. The light kindergarten style words, and happy notes, were a kinda kick in the butt. I don’t think the song makes much sense, and yet it makes absolute sense. Firefly hugs, happy dances under the bed, dreams bursting at the seams. Life. Makes me misty-eyed. Farewells hurt.
♫Just Say Yes by Snow Patrol♫ – Place – My mum’s living room. I saw the video before I heard the song. I like the song too, but the memory was evoked by the lead man in white. It reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend about two years ago. He described a knight in shining armour wearing a white suit underneath, with hair slicked back, nails neatly manicured, extra flowery cologne… He joked that in any other guy, those things would put me off. But if the guy just happened to be the wounded kind, damaged, lonely… I would be the one charging in to the rescue. I hope not, but I’ll remember it every time the lead croons with a musical high end accent: ♫For God’s sake dear♫.
♫ If I had it All by Dave Matthews Band♫ – Place – Office. The first time I heard this song, I was in a conversation with someone who means a lot to me. He does not know it but I use this song as the ring tone for all his calls. The song reminds me of his chronic dissatisfaction, mainly with his life. No, he is not an unhappy man. To the contrary, I find him to be quite happy. He knows who he is, is aware of what he wants, and usually gets what he wants without necessarily giving up on his values. He is some sort of role model for me, although I have to be wary not to put him up on a pedestal. And like the song, he reminds me, if I have everything I want, then what in the world would I be living for?
There’s a whole lot more, about 200 ♫ worth of memories. So what are your ♫ memories?
© Juliet Maruru 2010 www.jmaruru.wordpress.com