One of the countless reasons I love music is that it can transport me from one place to another. Somehow, once I’ve associated a song with a particular era of my life, I can always revisit that period—remember a certain person, reassemble exactly how I felt, recollect a distinct zeitgeist— simply by listening to the song or artist or album that defined it.
Here at W&M, music has played an undeniable role in my college years. From our first moment at the College, we’re indoctrinated with the alma mater in William and Mary Hall, singing with the entire incoming class and the choir. Personally, I never miss an a cappella performance at the beginning of each semester, and I’ve seen concerts from Ben Folds in Norfolk to Rascal Flatts and Sara Evans in Virginia Beach. (The heartrending tale of how I missed seeing The Script two semesters ago due to procrastination on an English paper will be saved for another entry. Wait with baited breath.) Needless to say, the ‘Burg and the surrounding area have provided ample chances to cultivate my love of music, and my taste has become fairly wide ranging…I’ll go ahead and admit that I grew up too close to the Georgia border not to love country. I make no apologies.
There are several songs that have characterized my time here. Freshman year was most definitely “Paper Planes” by MIA, first semester of junior year colored by “Free Life” and “Breathless,” both Dan Wilson tunes, and too many songs to enumerate bring back my semester abroad, though I can say that the “Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers” album and a couple Ani DiFranco ballads from the 90s were notable additions to my iPod at the time.
All of that said, I’ve started a list of certain songs that will forever remind me of this summer. A lot of them are from months ago since I dropped out of the American music world / pop radio scene while studying in France. Others are old just because I somehow remain oblivious to contemporary hits, then discover them eons later and go around telling friends I think they’re awesome—only to realize my friends are far more on top it than I and had the same realization months or years earlier. Here’s a sampling of my playlist so far:
1. Adele- “Someone Like You,” “Turning Tables,” and “Rolling in the Deep” : I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Um. Duh. Since February.” I remember a friend of mine praising this album as nearly divine in France, but I had never heard Adele. My roommate for the summer (another blogger! Steph Kumah) implored me to listen to “Someone Like You,” and we now hold nightly jam sessions.
2. Corinne Bailey Rae – “Put Your Records On” : Steph also introduced me to this song from ’07 or so. It’s great…I, of course, had to Wikipedia the singer and now know useless details of her personal history. “Paris Nights / New York Mornings” has a very cool vibe about it, too, and both the song and video make me totally nostalgic for the City of Lights.
3. The Script – “For the First Time” : My best friend from high school, Cameron, berated me for not having listened to this song a few nights ago…so I YouTubed it with her on the phone, and it’s just about the catchiest thing ever. Brilliant suggestion. She just got back from London, so we’re both catching up on the song crazes.
4. Enya – “Only Time” : Sooo, this may seem weird. That’s because it is. Beautiful song, but strange on this playlist. It’s here because a fellow intern played it every morning toward the end of June, to it’s etched in my memory and associated with this place.
5. Lissie – “The Pursuit of Happiness” : More of a rap type song, and Lissie is newer. An intern also played this song one morning, and I had heard it but forgot about it. Another catchy one, and her voice has a unique sound to it.
6. The Band Perry – “If I Die Young” : At first, this song just peeved me. After a while, though, it started to grow on me. Once again, Wikipedia research was conducted, and I’m now aware of fun facts on the band. I especially love the video of this one…that the “love song” she talks about is Tennyson in the video, a classical “love song.” Yup…call me an English major.
I’ll add to this list as the summer goes on. I’ve recently thought that I should start making a playlist every few months or so of songs that have captivated me or just made me wanna groove so that years later, I can remember those times. Soon, I’ll make a playlist with these and add others to immortalize Summer ’11 in the ‘Burg—and a long time from now, I’ll remember nights out eating Mexican food with friends, late night jam sessions / chats with Steph, the slap across the face that is waking up at 7am for a real job, the intense heat of Virginia’s colonial capital, and the eleven fantastic fellow students I work with each day. Rock on.