music and memories

challenge #10: put your music player on shuffle and write the first ten songs that play

kings of leon – fans     i remember the first time i listened to kings of leon. my “soul mate” – that’s what he decided he was to me after we’d known each other for roughly two 7hour shifts -he lent me his “only by the night” kings of leon album and told me that up until that point i’d never heard better music. his arrogance intrigued me yet it was charming in some way – an interesting paradox. anyway, he turned out to be right. i fell in love with them, and i guess from that moment i kind of accepted him in my life. maybe not as my soul mate, but i knew whatever it was would last almost forever..


erykah badu – on & on  there’s nothing like that knocking beat at the start of this song… and then that drop. ooooh, that drop… and then the tranquility that follows despite the story the lyrics tell.. i’d never felt more relaxed or excited hearing the words “ money’s gone.. i’m alone”. there’s something about this song that made that moment and every moment after feel like a bright, and sunny sunday morning. it didn’t matter where i was. i could have been the filling of a sweaty sandwich in a stuffy london train during rush hour – it would turn into a bright and sunny sunday morning.. easy like sunday morning.. i guess thats the beauty of neo-soul.


hugh masekela – grazing in the grass     herbie hancock – riot    now jazz, jazz is the soundtrack to all my memories of my dad. i remember the first time he took me to a jazz festival. he was trying to convince me – a 6year old – that jazz wasn’t boring. that it wasn’t “old people’s music” like i’d always said. i don’t understand why he bothered to try and educate a 6 year old on jazz, but he did, and i loved it. it was a really warm night, and my mum, my dad and one or two of his friends were sprawled out on the grass with a few hundred people in front of a large stage with jazz bands performing. i don’t remember who performed, but i remember just being really happy and dancing to a genre of music i had only a few hours ago greatly despised. i remember wearing myself out and falling asleep as my dad carried me for the rest of the show.


the foreign exchange – make me a fool     i always go on my dream date with people that i’m not romantically interested in, and to be honest i can’t complain because not many people can say that for themselves. there’s no outing more perfect than great music at a great venue and with great crowd, and that’s exactly what i got when we went to see the foreign exchange. it was as if it was set up for an indie movie, and we were playing the protagonists. i loved every moment of it.


a tribe called quest – scenario    “..yes yes y’all, who’s got the vibe, it’s the tribe y’all, real live y’all..” those words couldn’t be truer for me. i remember the first time i properly paid attention to ATCQ. my little brother and i had stayed up late to watch the 2007 hip-hop honors award show on vh1. i’d heard ATCQ songs before, but i’d never really taken note like i did that night. but from that night on i had to listen to every album ever made. my brother and i go so hyped up we made a hyped up rap song in the style of  “scenario” as we loaded the dishwasher. we called it “mr dishwasher man”!


dj tira – wont let you go    i’ve always wanted to know what it felt like to know instantly that you’ve met “the one” like they describe in books and in films. i’ve always wanted to have that unshakeable conviction and “just know”. i always thought i would experience this, if i ever did, with a person. however, my “the one” story isn’t like that at all. i was at a friend’s house one evening and he said to me, “i’ve got some songs i think you’ll like”. he left them playing in the background, but when it came to this song, 10 seconds in i knew that it was the one. the song i’d been wanting to hear but hadn’t yet come across. the song that fills the hole completely and makes every other musical experience seem void. when i heard this song for the first time, that was my “the one” moment.


lauryn hill – ex-factor   we all listen to songs over and over again, and we love them but they don’t hold any special significance until something happens in your life that makes every word in the song draw tears from your soul. it’s as if you wrote the song yourself without knowing. as if for the first time someone else has understood everything you’re going through without you even having to say a word..  “loving you is like a battle, and we both end up with scars”… i cried a million times to this song… i guess everyone longs to be understood completely, and maybe thats why the soul cries when that finally happens…


the smiths -there is a light that never goes out   the first time i heard this song i was lying on my best friend’s bed. we were sharing our stories of heartbreak that seemed to occur simultaneously. and i think after our sharing and crying, i think that was the moment i realised she was my best friend. it had taken two years to come to that realisation but i guess it’s better late than never, because she is one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. even though this became “our song” when we were at our most depressed, i can’t think of any other depressing song that makes me happier.


jill scott – love rain  have you ever felt like someone was singing you a movie? yes, singing you a movie.. i know i have. the words in this song sung me a movie the first time i heard them, and every time after that. it sung me pictures, and gave me a soundtrack – beautiful. it let me borrow feelings to feel for that moment – just like a movie. no other song has sung me a movie like this… and maybe no other song ever will. and it’s all because a beautifully brown boy wanted to put a smile on my face one summer afternoon.



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