Brandon Standley, summer 2019 copy chief and social media manager
Ask me what I'm thinking about when “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band starts playing. I guarantee that my answer won't be what you expect. I'll pull out some random anecdote about how I was no older than 10, and I was at my sister's dance recital watching her troupe do some sort of tap to this song.
That's how music has always worked for me. I typically link a song with a very vivid, but often strange, memory. Take for instance “Mata Hari“ by The Atomic Fireballs: I'll never forget watching my sister's best friend in absolute fascination as she moved her feet at a speed greater than sound during another dance recital. To be explicit I had, and still have, absolutely no interest in dance recitals. So, to me, the clarity of the memory is a little bit strange. Especially considering I can’t remember what I ate for dinner three days ago.
Then again, linking memories to songs really doesn't take much for me. Just like the random dance recital that I remember nothing else from, I could tell you how “The Longest Time” by Billy Joel makes me think about my mom driving our white 2000 Toyota Sienna down highway 70 in Kinston, her singing along softly, while me and my siblings sat in the back, probably wishing she would stop at McDonald’s to grab us food. Do I remember where we were going? Absolutely not. Was this day special for some odd reason? Also probably no. I just remember that one particular car ride. Then again, that probably happened a lot, considering my mom loves Billy Joel.
The same goes for songs like “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” by Shania Twain. Every time I hear it, it makes me think about one of my best friends, Steven, and how he sung the entire song to me on the way back from a well-deserved Cookout trip. I'm still in awe at how he knew every word and at how I didn't realize he was more country than I initially perceived.
I have a lot of memories like that. And as the summer heat ramps up and gas starts dropping in price, I can already see more memories forming as the next song on my playlist queues up, some friends are buckled in the back seat of my Prius, and we ride with the windows rolled down, singing along loudly to whatever throwback song I chose from Spotify.