Sunday, March 21, 2010

Auditory Flashback

Sort of Haunted House--undergraduate a capella group version, sung by the Brown Derbies.

I haven't listened to this song in 12 years. Yet, as my National Boards deadline approaches, it's dominating my I-Pod. And every time hear it, I have a flashback to freshman year of college.

I was a bookworm, double-majoring in English and history. My roommate was an athlete, double-majoring in hockey and beer. We were the most mismatched pair in our hall. Everyone predicted we'd kill each other before Christmas. Not so!

That girl saved my sanity. Repeatedly.

Whenever I started stress-spiraling, my roommate would force me to put my book down. She'd cue the Derbies song on our CD player and start doing this ridiculous bouncy dance. It was my job to bounce--yes, ridiculously--next to her for the duration of the song. And if I still had that crazy look in my eye after it was over? Hello, repeat button. It never failed. I was always laughing by the end of our routine.

Obviously, my life has changed since then. I'm no longer sleeping on an extra-long twin mattress (thank goodness). My former roommate is now a Facebook friend, not a daily presence. I've traded in work-study poverty and terminal single status for a husband, a steady income, a cat, and a mortgage...

... And yet so much is still the same! I'm still a wacked-out stress case. I still push myself up against deadlines and then waste time berating myself for it. I still eat mass quantities of popcorn whenever I pull an all-nighter. And apparently, I still listen to Sort of Haunted House whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed.

You couldn't pay me to be a teenager again. Seriously. Yet for the past few weeks, I've enjoyed revisiting this part of my 18-year-old self. (Now excuse me while I go do the bouncy dance.)

What song connects you back to a specific memory? And what do you listen to when you're up against a deadline?

6 comments:

Lexi said...

And now I'm going to be singing that song all day. (I think I've finally taken all college a cappella off my ipod, but I'm pretty sure I can sing the whole thing from memory anyway.)

MY strongest auditory freshman memory is Belle & Sebastian's The Girl with the Arab Strap, which was often playing on repeat in the office at the student radio station (BSR, not WBRU). Amazing album. And I cannot hear it without suddenly being back on the 4th floor of Faunce.

Jaime said...

Oh man, that is my FAVORITE a capella song. It reminds me of Sweden, where I had it on a mix tape I'd listen to when I felt homesick. That cracks me up that it was everyone's favorite- I had no idea. Fascinatingly, I've never found a non-a capella version. LOVE.

Kate Diamond said...

Ah, memory lane.

Jericho's just become my old-new guilty pleasure album.

Anna Richland said...

My grandparents had a special song - For the Good Times - which is of course, NOT about good times, but essentially let's dance once more now that it's over, just to remember that it used to be good. They insisted all grandchildren play it at our weddings, which we happily did, and they took to the dance floor. I think all of us realized it wasn't wedding music, but we were happy to oblige.

My personal list of songs and associations is far too long for a comment - each book has an entire mental soundtrack!

Anna Richland said...

Katie - power through the next couple days. Final stretch!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I don't listen to anything on a deadline--too distracting. But quite a few songs trigger high school memories. Tears for Fears is a big one. Alphaville's Forever Young. Even Rick Astley. :)

Best of luck with your Boards!