There are certain songs that, much like smells, can trigger memories for me like no other. They start playing and I'm all of a sudden transported back to the time when that song meant the most to me. Here are just a few examples:
- "Breathe (2 AM)" (Anna Nalick); I'm a freshman at BYU sitting in the dining hall of the Cannon Center (the old one). This song played every morning on the radio in early 2005. For the first time in my life, I'm part of a close-knit circle of friends, and my life is blessedly complicated because of that.
- "Mariella" (Kate Nash); It's the Fall of 2009 and I'm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. More specifically, I'm in Laura's enormous boat-car getting a ride home from church on a Sunday. She warns me that her music isn't "Sabbath-appropriate," but I don't care because that was the day that Kate Nash became one of my favorite artists.
- "The Trapeze Swinger" (Iron and Wine); I'm in a Volkswagen Jetta somewhere in the middle of Western Massachusetts and the windows are open even though it's freezing but again, I don't care because Western Mass is beautiful and life is good. (Alternatively, it's two months later and my life is about to turn upside down completely and oh my gosh why is this song so dang evocative and also nine minutes long and I start sobbing on my bed as the melody floats up from Lindsay's room.)
There are certainly others, some that I won't think of until I hear the song, and some that don't even need mentioning (e.g., the entire BYU Concert Choir repertoire from 2005-2008). But this is one of those times I invite comments: what is a time-machine song for you and where (or when) does it take you?