Guilty Pleasures: My Parents’ Music

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I have not been hitting the NyQuil too hard.

They say that the sense of smell is the sense that is most closely tied to memory, but I’d say hearing, specifically music, comes a close second.  For me at least, music often evokes feelings, phantom emotions from the past.

My main musical lifelines are still mainly the alternative and industrial bands of my teenage years and early twenties; Tool, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, A Perfect Circle.  Hearing that music recalls the bittersweet feelings of a time that was paradoxically simpler, yet more difficult.  It often makes me long for those long gone days.  This is the music which still most strongly affects me, the music with which I still most closely identify, and the music through which I still have a voice for my emotions and ideas.

Though the musical identity I began developing around middle school is markedly different from the music I grew up listening to, my tastes are eclectic enough to leave room for many types of music, and there are more than a few songs that I heard growing up which strike a “memory” chord for me.  My parents’ music.

Some are technically early eighties and nineties pop songs, I suppose, but some are songs I heard when my parents played their records (yes, you read that right) or listened to classic rock and oldies radio stations. 

Many of these songs bring to mind remnants of feelings or thoughts I had at the time, a sort of revival of the ideas I had about the music;  I remember what those songs meant to me through the ears of a child.

And a couple of the songs are associated with television shows or films, and evoke the emotions caused by that particular show.

Here are just a few of those songs, in no particular order.  I even own one or two albums by some of these artists.

As you read the list, keep in mind I was born in ’81, so the categorization of the songs is relative to that.

Chicago— 25 0r 6 to 4 (oldies radio)

Kansas— Dust in the wind (The Highlander TV series)

Mr. Mister— Broken Wings (pop radio)

Cream— White Room (oldies radio)

Seals and Crofts— Summer Breeze (oldies radio)

Simon & Garfunkel— Scarborough Fair (oldies radio)

U2– With or Without You (pop radio)

Cutting Crew— (I just) Died in your Arms Tonight (pop radio)

Tears for Fears— Head Over Heels (radio/and then later, Donnie Darko)

Genesis— Tonight, Tonight, Tonight (pop radio)

Rolling Stones— Give Me Shelter (radio)

Patsy Cline

Jim Croce— Time in a Bottle (radio-  In college I ended up writing a short story inspired by this song)

Seals & Crofts

Seals & Crofts

Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline

Anyway, I can’t recall all of them at present, but you get the idea.  What are some songs you remember from your childhood?

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Run, Rabbit, Run!

Leporiphobia-  fear of rabbits.  Who would be afraid of rabbits? you may ask.

House of 1000 Corpses- for victims, these two sure are creepy

House of 1000 Corpses- for victims, these two sure are creepy

For your entertainment, I present, some of the scariest bunnies of all time.

The Killer Rabbit of CaerbannogMonty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Need I say more?

"Run away! Run away!"

“Run away! Run away!”

The rabbit from the hatTwilight Zone: the Movie (1983)

oh.my.word. Put it back! Put it back!

oh.my.word. Put it back! Put it back!

Frank the Bunny RabbitDonnie Darko (2001)

The mysterious vision that appears to Donnie to warn him of the end of the world…

"Why are you wearing that human suit?"

“Why are you wearing that human suit?”

Mysterious Rabbit Family– Inland Empire (2006)

Original Footage from Rabbits a 2002 David Lynch project

Original Footage from Rabbits a 2002 David Lynch project

Creepy Not-White rabbit– Starfish Hotel (2006)

The rabbit is a reference to Lewis Carroll‘s “White Rabbit,” and leads the character to an underground brothel called Wonderland.

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The Acid Rabbit- Misfits (2012)

Born of a freak lightening storm and a bad acid trip, the rabbit stalks people with a golf club.  The most frightening aspect of him is his dynamic and reflective eyes.

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So, in conclusion… Who would be afraid of rabbits?  Me. I would.

 

Edit (2/11-2014): I don’t remember where this one came from but it definitely belongs on this list:

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“Death is a Door…”

“… we all acted alone, we were caught alone, and every one of us will have to die alone. But that doesn’t mean that we are alone.”  (Hans Fallada, 1947)

“Every living creature on earth dies alone.”  (Donnie Darko, 2001)

Donnie Darko and Roberta Sparrow

Donnie Darko and Roberta Sparrow

“Everybody dies alone.”  (Firefly, 2002)

“Son. Everyone dies alone. That’s what it is. It’s a door. It’s one person wide. When you go through it, you do it alone.”  (Dead Beat, 2005)

Are you afraid to die?  It seems like a simple question, but it requires you to be brutally honest with yourself.  What are your beliefs?  Are you religious?  Do you actually believe your religion’s tenants on death and afterlife?  

I suppose it could make a difference to you if you genuinely felt God will be with you when you shuffle off the mortal coil.   But I imagine some people clutch to their ideas of an afterlife specifically to keep at bay the terrors of death.  What happens when we die?  Do we just cease to exist?  I for one can’t conceive of not being aware, not being able to think.  

Have you ever had a serious illness or injury and felt that black stab of panic?  Am I going to die?  Maybe you’ve just been in a significant amount of pain and felt like you would die. (If you’ve ever had a migraine, you might sympathize with the thought of wishing for death, or at the very least, a long narcotic induced oblivion.)  I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks sometimes as well, which can make even a non-life-threatening situation feel exponentially worse. Suddenly, you think that migraine may actually kill you…just give you a stroke or something.

In these moments, that’s when our true feelings about death surface.

I’d like to think if my family was on a plane and it was going down, I’d be okay as long as my last moments were spent with those dearest to me, my husband and child.  But it’s been my experience that when you are in that moment of fear, panicked, you are completely alone.  

Don’t get me wrong.  Not every death is untimely or traumatic.  You may die of old age, going peacefully in your sleep, or surrounded by loved ones, but death is a door and it’s only one person wide.  We all walk through it alone.