You know how sometimes hearing a song can transport you to a particular time and place?
Here are five tunes that do this for me…
‘A Day in the Life’ – The Beatles. From an early age, I listened to a tape of Beatles songs while going to sleep. I loved them, with the exception of ‘A Day in the Life’. There’s a huge orchestral crescendo a couple of times in this song, which makes you feel like your head is about to implode. Now, I appreciate the experimental style. Back then, it scared me a lot, but I’d endure the noise rather than fast-forward the tape. It’s still not one of my favourites.
‘Wannabe’ – Spice Girls. Even at the age of eight, I thought this song was a crime against music. I was swinging on a trapeze at one of those ‘jungle gym’ type children’s parties. A pop soundtrack was playing. Embarrassingly, I found that the trapeze was moving in time to this song and I did my best to break the rhythm of it. I think that was the first time I heard the Spice Girls. I’m not saying that all their music was completely awful (there are worse things), but this track just makes me feel sick.
‘Beautiful Stranger’ – Madonna. I was at a camp for Guides and Scouts. It was quite a big deal and there were lots of activities going on, including a roller disco. Even though I couldn’t skate, I went in to have a look. The teenage skaters were going round and round, very fast. And then this song, which I’d never heard before, was playing and somehow it seemed the perfect soundtrack as Madonna trilled, ‘Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da – da – da – da-da – dum / Beautiful stranger.’
‘My Perfect Day’ – Feeder. I got into the rock band Feeder’s earlier music. This track is on their debut album, Polythene. I would often play it in my head, while walking briskly to college. The chords are simple and the chorus goes, ‘But sometimes you feel it, do you know how it is? / You wake up in the morning and everything fits / I’m still hoping tomorrow feels like this / My perfect day’. It sneaks into my head occasionally, if I’m having a good day or ironically if I’m having a bad day.
‘From Paris to Berlin’ – Infernal. I met a man (who is now my husband) and we went to a café. As we were taking it slowly, trying not to catch each other’s eye, this disco song started playing. The lyrics emphasised, ‘my heart is pumping for love, pumping for love’ and it made me feel weird, as if the song was trying to speed us up (he doesn’t remember it, by the way). I was sure this song was by Girls Aloud, but after a lot of internet searching, I have discovered that it isn’t and that the video is terrible.