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Stirring Memories with Music


To me, it is just amazing how you can be driving along one day and you hear a song that just instantly transports you to a moment in time, bringing back emotions and memories in a way that it just stirs something deep down inside of you.  I think we all have these types of songs and this is the reason that music is so powerful.

When Benjamin was just a month or two old, he was colic and at the same time, Andrea was deep in postpartum depression, creating some pretty scary and obviously stressful times.  On top of it, Benjamin didn’t sleep well and so, we didn’t sleep well.  I had to go to work, forcing Andrea to cope with all this on her own for the bigger part of the day.  I think back to those days and remember the fear so vividly, it still feels like a blender turning inside my gut.

In sharp contrast, and obviously related, we had this beautiful, healthy baby and we were just starting to learn about him and he was teaching us a few things.  It’s hard to imagine how such a blessing and miracle and object of our most intense affection is also the root of these other intense feelings.  It created a pretty intense and interesting stew that the three of us simmered in.

Well, in the mornings, Andrea would sit on the couch and I would try to do as much as I could to help before I left for work.  She would have VH-1 on (during a time when they actually played videos) in the background as I nervously fussed over Benjamin or her or my bag for work.  I did everything to delay my leaving and I think she was practically holding her breath, hoping I wouldn’t go.  So, the mornings were mixed with a mostly quiet small talk between Andrea and eye, fussing by Benjamin and the music on the TV.

The funny thing is, I think in a way, the music helped us get through some of these bittersweet moments.  They were momentary distractions from this mental steeple chase that we found ourselves in.  I can remember quietly talking about some of the videos and even laughing at one or two with Andrea.  They became so important to us in those days.

Now, a handful of those songs have been burned into our brains.  We call them “Benjamin Songs”.  I am sure Andrea has some different ones than me, but when I hear them now, they zap me back to those days, which are now more sweet than bitter because we are looking back at them from the perspective of two little boys that are healthy and happy with parents who are the same.  While I do not ever want to relive those days, the songs remind me of how happy I am now and how proud I am of Andrea for getting herself through this difficult period.  And most of all, they remind me of that little baby Benjamin who continues to keep us on our toes.

So, what are the songs?  The first one, and probably the biggest one for both of us is Kanye West’s “Gold Digger.”  (Yeah, I know, pretty inappropriate, probably.)  Others are The Killer’s “All These Things That I’ve Done“, Gorillaz’s “Feel Good Inc.” and Audioslave’s “Doesn’t Remind Me” (there is a certain irony on that one.)  There is also some All American Rejects and Fallout Boy sprinkled in there, as well.  One I had completely forgotten about until Pandora surfaced last week and triggering this post is a song called “Do You Want To” by Franz Ferdinand.

Admittedly, they are a weird bunch of songs to be grouped together, but in this context, they are golden.

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  1. AK
    March 12, 2011 at 9:15 am

    “Wake me up when September ends” by Greenday, “Cool” by Gwen Stefani and “Brighter than Sunshine” by Aqualung. But yes, “Golddigger” is the biggest one! We would stop whatever we were doing to watch that crazy video!

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