Black Press file photo

Black Press file photo

Clare’s Corner: The memories music brings

It’s incredible to see what power music holds over our emotions and memories

Who else has a song (or several) that just brings you back to a specific moment or memory?

It doesn’t even have to be your favourite song — or your least favourite — but hearing it brings you right back to a specific time or person or place. I’ve definitely got a few of those songs; some good, some cringe-worthy.

The song ‘Let Her Go’ by the band Passenger, for example, brings me back to my first slow dance in high school, which was unfortunately more cringe-worthy than nice, but thankfully not enough to ruin the song for me for good.

‘Pink Moon’ by Nick Drake reminds me of sitting out in the backyard on a hot summer day, chatting with my dad about music and life and how that song used in a Volkswagen Cabrio 1999 TV ad is, according to my dad, the best commercial ever made.

‘You Oughta Know’ by Alanis Morissette brings me back to playing Rock Band on the Wii gaming console with my roommates in university and laughing hysterically at our terrible singing and the fact that we’re playing Rock Band at our house on a Saturday night instead of going out to a party like ‘normal’ university students.

I wouldn’t considered myself to be incredibly musically-inclined or knowledgeable. I enjoy music, like most people, and I enjoy a variety of songs in a variety of genres, but I’m no music aficionado by any means.

However, it’s still incredible to me how much music can have an impact on our lives. Maybe someone you love told you they really enjoy a specific song and now it’s one you really enjoy too because you think of them every time you listen to it.

Maybe someone you weren’t a huge fan of used to listen to a specific song all the time and now you can’t listen to that song without getting annoying and thinking about that person.

Whatever the case may be, music has the ability to impact your mood and memories, sometimes consciously and sometimes not. And I think it’s an absolutely beautiful and incredible thing that our minds can take a specific melody or lyrics or flow of a song and recreate those memories or emotions you associate it with even years later.

And songs impact people in different ways, too. I recently played a friend one of my ‘sad, slow’ songs, something I listen to when I’m having a bad day. But for her, she felt the song was more of a ‘long road trip’ kind of song, that’s got a nice beat and you can drive well to.

Another song I thought was a happy, dancing kind of song ended up being a song my other friend listens to when she’s angry and just wants to yell. But that’s how music works. The artist has a specific feeling they’re going for when they write and perform it, but the song can be adapted to a different beat or slower lyrics or whatever each individual person feels when they listen to it.

I guess that’s why mix-tapes (and nowadays playlists) were such popular gifts, or things to make for yourself, even. Each song placed into that grouping has a specific mood and memory associated with it, so it can be tailored to an individual person, couple, or group to elicit a certain reaction based on individual or group memories.

Personally, my favourite songs are ones that have memories behind them. In particular, one called ‘That Sweater’ by an artist named Scott Helman. It’s a fun song for sure, but the first time I heard it was shortly after I got my driver’s licence and it was my first time driving into Toronto with my mom.

Finally getting the hang of driving and knowing my mom was confident enough in my skills to let me drive into the big city just made the drive so special, and jamming out to this song while doing so gave it a fantastic memory that I relive every time I hear it.

Even halfway across the country, I still feel connected to people at home hearing certain songs. It makes the distance feel a lot shorter and those people, a lot closer, and that’s really what music is all about.

— Clare Rayment, Kitimat Northern Sentinel editor

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alexander Ericksons award-winning piece, The Provider, on display at the Kitimat Museum and Archives (Photo Frieda Design School)
Kitimat Museum and Archives host Freda Diesing school art exhibition

Local Kitimat art exhibition from students of the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art

Security has been stepped up at both Kitimat General Hospital in Kitimat, pictured here, and at the Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace. (File photo)
Stillbirth reaction leads to more hospital security

Staff, physicians facing threats and harassment

Workers at Kitimat General Hospital were presented with a large variety of food packages in appreciation of the last year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The donations came via local Epicurean representative Kerri Weightman who collected money for the purchases. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Hospital workers receive food donation

Workers at Kitimat General Hospital were presented with a large variety of… Continue reading

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Most Read