It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m thinking about love and music. Two miracles that continue to inspire and amaze me, frustrate and challenge me. When I look back on my ever-changing 30 years, I see love and music as the constants. Relationships have come and gone as I’ve moved closer to finding out who I am, but I find peace in knowing that the love I’ve felt for so many people in my life never really leaves me. Instead, the love gets tucked away in many musical memories that I can access at any time. I adore music for so many reasons, but today I honor music as a time machine, allowing me to visit past versions of myself, the people I’ve loved, and the people who have loved me in those moments. My favorite part of these musical memories is you can see how these people have played a role in my love for different types of music. Try making your own musical time machine this Valentine’s Day!
1. Warren G – “Regulate”: I was in 7th grade. My first boyfriend and I decided to swap CDs that were important to us. I made him listen to Alanis Morrissette’s Jagged Little Pill. He made me listen to Warren G’s G Funk Era. Though it’s not even close to a love song, every time I hear “Regulate,” I think of him and his great sense of humor. I’m also eternally thankful that he introduced me to hip hop so early.
2. Guns n Roses – “November Rain”: My next fella and I both loved this song, and it kind of became the theme song of our relationship. The song and the relationship shared many great qualities…both were endearing, intense, and cheesy in a good way. But nothing lasts forever, and we both know hearts can change.
3. Third Eye Blind – “How’s it Gonna Be”: At the time I had a crush on this guy but nothing came of it. He was not really looking for a relationship, but we did our fair share of flirting in yearbook class. I played this song on repeat because I really was wondering how it was gonna be…little did I know I would end up marrying him about a decade later.
4. Santana – “Samba Pa Ti”: My next boyfriend was also a musician, and introduced me to a ton of music that I had no idea existed- mostly punk bands like MxPx, The Ataris, Unwritten Law, Dynamite Boy, etc. – but I’ll spare your ears, dear Troubadour readers…you’re probably still recovering from Warren G. He also was into older classics like Brenton Woods and Santana. This is one of the songs we would slow dance to outside his truck. Just like Santana, this guy had some smooth moves.
5. Tim McGraw – “My Best Friend”: The next boy I dated was a handsome hometown hero. We worked together one summer for the local newspaper and it was one of the most carefree times I can remember. We would drive through the tiny country roads of our tiny country town listening to Tim McGraw’s record A Place in the Sun. I was just learning how to play the guitar and I sang this song to him. Eventually I went off to college and things weren’t so simple anymore, but I’ll always look fondly on this time and not quite hate country music because of it.
6. Bob Dylan – “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”: Remember number 3? We found each other again during college and we ushered each other into adulthood. He was my best friend for so many years and my husband for not so many years. One of the things we shared was a great love for Bob Dylan. As a gift one year, he presented me with a copy of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan on vinyl and I have probably played it a million times since. There are so many songs that remind me of our time together, but I selected this one because no one puts the bitter in bittersweet quite like Dylan.
7. The Lovebirds Discography. Seriously. It’s hard to pick just one song for my next relationship, considering our entire relationship consisted of making music together. Just for fun, here’s one of the very first songs we ever posted a video of. You can see why we had to keep the good times rolling, musically speaking.
7. Capitol Cities – “Safe and Sound”: My current relationship is also musical, but in a dance floor kind of way. This song reminds me of my lady because I truly do feel safe and sound now that we’re together. She is caring and confident, loving and trusting, and allows me to have a space in my heart for all these musical memories. Hoping to feel safe and sound with her for many years to come. Plus this video is rad.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!