Audible Memories

Music is a powerful thing. It can say it all without having to say a word. You know that at any moment somebody is going to be eaten by a killer white shark when you hear that bu-dum… ba-dum… ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum. You know what emotions to feel during a movie based on the musical score that’s playing behind the scene. You know that the stare being shared is one of love because of the happy, romantic music. Not a single note is sung, it’s all instrumental, but it tells you everything that you need to know.

This song is called “VMI Will Be Heard From Today” and it’s in the movie Gods and Generals (my favorite Civil War movie). Even if you knew nothing about the movie or in what part of the war this scene is supposed to be depicting, you would be able to gather from the music that something pretty spectacular is happening. I’m listening to it as I type and it has my blood pumping! This is the part where Jackson has his division in the woods. They have just finished marching 20-some odd miles in order to sneak out from underneath the Union army’s nose at Fredericksburg and take them by surprise. What happens is that Jackson performs this amazing feat where he flanks the Union army and ends up surprising the snot out of Howard’s division and sending them running back through their own line of men. It was such a mess that as Jackson was trying to untangle his troops later that night he was mistaken for Yankees and shot by his own men. I’ll leave more of the detail to a post for a Wednesday, but suffice it to say that when the music reaches the crescendo and the chorus of voices blast out at you, that’s when the Confederates have hit the rise and let loose with the Rebel Yell to really scare the Yankees. Let me assure you, it worked. lol

Besides being able to convey certain emotions, music can also trigger memories. You could be driving down the road and a song will come on that you haven’t heard in ages. Instantly you are transported to a different time; a time when that song meant something. Perhaps it was the first time that you heard the song. Or it could have been a song that you associated with a particular person. The other morning as I was making my lunch a song came on the radio that I hadn’t heard in quite a while. Even though I stood at my own counter, in my mind I was back in 2005… riding in my boyfriend’s car after we had gone shopping in Clearfield. His white Hyundai crossed the bridge over I-80 as I heard the words of this song for the very first time.

Then there’s Rhianna’s song “Umbrella” that takes me back to North Carolina the first time that I went and visited my sister. She was living in her second floor apartment and it seemed like every single time we were driving somewhere in her car, this song was on.

Growing up my dad had a stereo in the barn with an 8 track player. If he was out there working on something then he had the radio going with one of his 8 tracks in it. It would either be Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, or C.W. McCall blasting out of the speakers. He also had these cassettes in his truck, so listening to “Convoy” or “Coat of Many Colors” takes me back to a summer day, walking barefoot out to the barn to see what daddy was doing.

I have more, but I think that I’ve listed enough for now. How about you? What songs transport you back to a certain time and place?

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