In my pre-teenage years, whilst everybody came into school listening to pop music on their iPods, grinning and bobbing their heads to the beat, I still hadn’t found my musical taste. In Year 7, I watched the music channels often. I liked quite a lot of the music, but not so much that I would listen to it on my Zen on my way to school. Nothing sent me in a metaphorical rocket up to Music Heaven.
Well, as a child I didn’t think this, but looking back now I really want to slap a Human League CD into my past self’s hand and say, “Listen to something that you actually like.” After all, Human League is what made me realise I preferred old stuff to modern music.
But that doesn’t mean to say that I don’t still beam with delight when I listen to these songs. Because today, these songs really are now very special to me. It’s Nostalgia Time!
- Hot N Cold – Katy Perry (I preferred Katy Perry before her “California Gurls” transformation, and I particularly liked this song during my stress-infused time in Year 7. I can still remember the entire video: the entire, crazy video which, for some reason, had a male bridesmaid…)
- Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon (Intensely dark but superb! Same to “Use Somebody.”)
- Beggin’ – Madcon (What was it about demented music videos in those days? The video to this song was no exception.)
- Not Fair – Lily Allen (The cowboy band players in the video are mouthing, “What the hell?” at Lily for a reason. I always laugh when I listen to this song, which, for reasons only known by Lily, features a banjo instrumental in this song about…uh…shall we say…a relationship gone sour.)
- Poker Face – Lady Gaga (Lady Gaga in her early days was so much better than she is now. I was disappointed that this song took weeks to get to Number One. Yes, I knew what game Lady Gaga was playing in the video, but I didn’t care.)
- Day ‘N’ Nite – Kid Cudi vs Crookers (Dodgy video aside, I liked this song!)
- Greatest Day – Take That (Take That were, and almost still are, my musical guilty pleasure. To this day, I don’t understand the music video, but oh well!)
- Broken Strings – James Morrison & Nelly Furtado (Sweet and subtle. I knew the lyrics to this very well as a pre-teen. Every time this plays, the amount of nostalgia this brings back to me makes me tearful and shiver with goosebumps.)
- Love Story – Taylor Swift (This is in my Top 40 mainly because of how obsessed all the girls in my year were about this. On the way back from a trip to France, EVERY GIRL at the back of the coach was blaring this of their iPods and squealing the lyrics at the top of their voices. She’s still going. To paraphrase Victor Meldrew, I do not believe it!
- Human – The Killers (This song, like Baby One More Time, got its own comedic actions, but this song is just so brilliant that it doesn’t matter; this song was such a craze, even Strictly made a joke based around this. Enough said.)
- I’m Yours – Jason Mraz (The girls obsessed about Love Story; the boys obsessed about this. A popular choice in secondary school concerts. This song deserved all the attention it received.)
- Omen – The Prodigy (When I got this song, I vowed to make it the most played song on my Zen. The mission failed as the song started to become repetitively less interesting. I like electronic music, but not music as loud and booming as The Prodigy. But it’s still packed full of nostalgic nibbles.)
- I’m Not Alone – Calvin Harris (These next three songs all have one thing in common: the artists were clearly inspired by 80s music. I listened to Calvin Harris again recently, and immediately I knew I’d found somebody modern who I could confidently say I liked. The video is as puzzling as “Titanium”, but I’m so glad Calvin Harris is back in my musical life!)
- Bulletproof – La Roux (I LOVED La Roux. Her wacky hairstyles, her obscure fashion style and her bip-bopping synthesized songs with impossible-to-understand videos and puzzling lyrics were all wonderfully wacky.)
- Remedy – Little Boots (Every milligram of her songs and videos contained a big helping of Retro. And that’s why she fascinated me. That and her height that bordered on hobbit-size.)
- Bonkers – Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden (The song’s bonkers. The video’s bonkers. I’m bonkers. A perfect match! And it’s probably the only Dizzee Rascal song that I still like.)
- Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas (“Oh and FYI, you never even heard of the Black Eyed Peas before you met me!” “I heard of them. Just didn’t know they were a band.” There. Now my Big Bang Theory lobe is happy. I liked the BEP and the END. Who didn’t? And BEP weren’t just referred to in BBT once; Leonard sang to their other No. 1 hit, “I Gotta Feeling” in the car – another song that invaded the world by storm, and picked me up in its wake. Shame that it really is the END for them.)
- Fight For This Love – Cheryl Cole (I missed Girls Aloud, but Cole’s debut single was such easy listening I really liked it.)
- Islands in the Stream – Vanessa Jenkins, Bryn West & Sir Tom Jones feat. Robin Gibb (Gavin and Stacey, Tom Jones and a Bee Gee in a charitable song that is as epic as Band Aid! What more could you ask for!)
- My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson (Listening to this song again brought back memories I thought had long since been cleared out by my brain. I was shivering with nostalgic goosebumps as memories of Year 7, including a certain trip to France, and every emotion I was feeling at the time came flooding back to me.)
This chart was difficult to compile, since so many songs bring back tidal waves of nostalgia. Such songs that failed to get into the chart included Owl City’s Fireflies (which, along with the Match.com ad songs, stuck in my head during Year 9) and, fortunately, Pitbull’s I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho). I thought I had found peace from Pitbull for the first time in years, but hearing the background music to the Baggage ad sent my mind into pandemonium, and now his womanizing ways has polluted my brain.
Please note that I don’t dislike all the listed music; just listening to my NOW CD collection again made my mind feel like it was being pummelled by a tsunami of joy, memories and nostalgia.
Well, that’s my Top 40 done. Now it’s back to normal. Live long and prosper! 😀
Forgetting. What every human being on this spinning ball of earth and water dreads and hates and fears. That moment when you’re in the exam hall, your ribcages shrinking to the size of a tennis ball, crushing your pumping heart, as your brain’s search engine attempts to remember what you revised, but instead comes up with absolute rubbish.
That moment when you walk downstairs to get some tape, get distracted, then spend five minutes walking around trying to remember what you came down for.
That moment when you think up the most funniest line, or a (possibly) life-threateningly important line, and your brain cops out as if it had been hit by a 16 ton weight.
But then, there are also those moments when you rely on forgetting to make your live so much easier. Trying to forget the bullies who threatened to beat you up in the near future. Trying to forget the absolutely appalling decision you made the day before. Trying to forget the bad grade staring you in the face on that innocent, fragile piece of paper.
“Memories are all I have to cling to” goes a line from the song Things, and sometimes that is true. Memories can remind you of the simplicity of primary school and KS3, before you entered the GCSE/A-Level course and learned to despise early summer (particularly June: EXAM MONTH). Memories can remind you of the greatest day in your short life: the most amazing holiday, the most amazing film you saw at the cinema, or the most amazing experience that made you pump blood bright red with adrenaline, or beam happiness brighter than the Sun’s louder younger brother. Memories can remind you of when you came home carrying merchandise after spending the last few days at a theme park, songs filling your head and blood pumping as you remember the GREATEST RIDE EVER. Memories can remind you of when you had the time of your life, taking part in an AMAZING club, or winning a competition that makes you feel lighter than space. Memories can remind you of just about anything that happened since you were three.
But memories can turn against you. When your endorphins takes a dip, your memory plays a dusty old tape, supposedly stuffed for good into a corner of the brain, which reminds you of something you thought had been forgotten long ago. It can make you feel as vulnerable and afraid as when you took your first look at the fortress that was your secondary school. It can make you want to twist your hair into reef knots as you are reminded of that terrible, costly, life-turning decision you regretted making. It can also remind you of what you SHOULD HAVE DONE when you were given the best of opportunities to do you what you had always wanted to do…
It’s just fascinating how music can stimulate memories so far back, you thought your brain had forgotten them when it had a spring clean. For me, the band The Hoosiers not only reminds me of when my endorphins were shoved into a corner on my first day of secondary school, but it also produces memories of holidays where I walked long distances and visited places of gimassive interest. David Gray‘s music reminds me of holidays from when I was four, and just makes my endorphins sky-rocket. I find it amazing how music tracks about four minutes long can remind you of supposedly forgotten memories after so many years.
The human brain. Fascinating. Confusing. Mind-boggling (ironically). Our own brains can’t seem to work out how brains work! It’s just enough to make my head hurt…
Wait, what was I saying? I’ve forgotten 😀