Leaking Music from the Past

Why were moans leaking from audience?

The people swayed as though in the clutches of a romantic experience. For pete’s sake, these were folks speckled with gray hair and combed with wrinkles.

They said…it was actually the music that was doing all the leaking.

Leaking what? Most of the songs were “I-Know-ALL-the-Words-Familiar.” So when the beginning notes sprang from the Jersey Boys and echoed through the concert hall,  the crowd moaned with nostalgic emotion.  Smiles, tears, applause.  It was all there.

Why? I wondered….

Until…the following song drop-kicked me through several decades right back into Marilyn’s basement.  (Go ahead, push the button and play it while reading the rest of the post).

It was my first boy/girl party. Marilyn’s parents insisted the lights stay on.  Yeah, yeah. As soon as they’d leave with whatever excuse they’d drummed up to come downstairs and check on 16 kids making stilted conversation, Marilyn would smack the light off, except for the one at the top of the stairwell.

Do you need any more soda? And keep these lights on or I’ll sic the dogs on all of you.

For some reason words came more easily in the dark. Without the florescents glaring like it was a prison yard, the boys who’d never held a girl in their arms slipped to the dance area. And the girls didn’t care if a guy could dance or not. Just put your arms around someone and shuffle.

And with the first notes of that song…my secret hearthrob (A cool Senior…EEEEEE!) asked me to dance—a slow dance. I about had a heart attack. A titillating experience for  me, a farm girl whose idea of showing a guy she liked him was shoving him into the lockers as I passed.

I’d forgotten that moment until the song played at Jersey Boys. And with 3D clarity—I can see Jimmy’s face, half in shadows by the stairwell light. And my first kiss.

And that’s why the crowd moans.  It has little to do with the good music. It’s the knee-jerk reaction of vibrant memories. Teenage goosebumps. The future,  spreading out in all directions like a galaxy.

Our culture changes, but forty years from now, when Generation Y goes to an off-broadway play, and hears  We Are Young they’ll be moaning and swaying, too.

Because…what’s really leaking from the music is the emotion. Time keeps dancing forward, but what it leaves behind is the brief kiss of memories.

And that never changes.

What song echoes from your youth?  Feel free to find it in YouTube and post it below, so we can all “Leak the Music.”

If you liked this see: Maybe I Remember Pong, Who’s Asking?

Found in Mom’s Basement


About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in Appreciation, Change, Humor, Life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Leaking Music from the Past

  1. Great choices my friend. I am a fan of music from the past. I think they are pure fun, clean, more meaningful than some of todays loud music with words that degrade others.


  2. Silva Gang says:

    So true. I’m a Generation Y, and I like modern country. I’m sure one day, what I know as country music will be strangely different than what is popular now. I’ve already seen such changes happen with songs I used to love in the 90’s, so I can only imagine what will happen after 20 to 30 more years goes by!


  3. Lisa Nowak says:

    This is true, Barb. It’s not about the music, it’s about the memories.


  4. So true, Barb. I’d love to see where the electrical activity in our brains comes from, at moments like these. I’d wager it comes from quite a primitive part – something which evolved early and runs deep.


  5. Arindam says:

    Beautifully written. Honestly I do not have much knowledge on this. But for sure Bryan Adam’s Summer of 69 will always remain special for many reasons. 🙂


    • Barb says:

      I LOVE hearing all the music and how it’s changed lives or holds memories. I’m curious to know those “Many Reasons”. Post them here. You know I can keep a secret, but I’m not vouching for those other people.


  6. dan says:

    Maybe, tears of a clown. James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James.


  7. dan says:

    I was the one changing the forty fives while trying to develop my sense of humor trying not to be fat.


  8. JSD says:

    So many to pick from and with me unable to remember titles, only lyrics, just about every one from the 50s and 60s will bring back memories. “Blue Moon” (which we just had) is one I like, both the 50s version and the original version from decades before.
    Great post, Barb!


  9. Beth says:

    The Platters accompanied my first kiss. Oh, the memories!


  10. I recall singing quite a few of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons’ tunes. Santo and Johnny, The Righteous Brothers, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Dave Clark Five … so many great memories.
    Thanks for taking me back – briefly – to those good old days, Barb.


  11. Rose L. says:

    I loved listening (and still do) to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Doobie Brothers; Seals & Crofts; Carol King; James Taylor; John Denver; Maria Muldaur; and many others. I remember hearing the Righteous Brothers singing “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling” as my heart wept over a break up. Incidentally, I still have many records from back then, but nothing to play them on!


  12. Al says:

    I have satellite radio in both cars. I rarely stray from the 50’s and 60’s oldies stations. Of course, there are memories attached to almost every song.

    You struck a chord here, Barb.(sorry about the music pun, it was unintentional)


  13. Music can really bring out the memories, can’t it? The list of ’50s and ’60s songs that can carry me back to those days is pretty darned long. The local radio station used to play “At the Hop” (by Danny & the Juniors) every day at the same time, so every time I hear it, my brother and I are doing the dishes, goofing off, and singing along to it. Soooo many slow songs make me think of the parties (much like what you’ve desribed, only with a few kissing games thrown in here and there) and dances at the pre-teen and teen centers. Lotsa shuffling around under dim lights, with sweaty palms and adolescent hearts throbbing like jack hammers. Somehow, I find it hard to believe today’s kids will be waxing poetic about the rap crap they listen to …


  14. Wow… now you’ve got the memories flowing! I was a Platters freak. My all time favorite has to be “Unchained Melody” ~ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCeNCvwEFU8&feature=related) the pottery scene in Ghost just melts me every time since slow dancing to it as a sweet young thing. While we’re on the Platters, “Only You” would have to be added to the pack and “You Belong To Me” by the Duprees.


  15. Red says:

    I always listened to far more than what was popular (which I really did not like). This is the first one I remember cheek-to-cheek. Still love it… Great post, Barb.


  16. Elyse says:

    Beautiful memories you’re bringing back, Barb. Of when I was young, thin and could still carry a tune. Ah thanks. The Beatles for me — P.S., I love you was the first song I ever sang in public. At about age 8. All the while wanting the drummer, John L to say to me, P.S. …


  17. Drat you woman. Now I have an ear worm. Not only that it is playing at the levels I used to listen to music (before entering my dinosaur age you understand).


  18. ansuyo says:

    It’s amazing how a song can take you back to yesteryear!. One year my favorite was “Best of my love” by? I remember playing it over and over as I tried to fend off a boy who liked me at a bowling party lol. Angie


  19. OMG, I loved Bread. I can still sing every song by heart! Margie


  20. Saw it! Adored it! Now, if you haven’t seen Million Dollar Quartet, hold on to your pioneer woman shorts and see it!! You will go crazy!! Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins….woo hoo!! You will not sit still!! Hugs, Margie


  21. souldipper says:

    I learned to jive to Bill Haley and the Comets (Rock Around The Clock), paid keen attention to the Platters, but Jimmy Rogers became the ONLY HUMAN on this planet when this came on the radio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWz6cMULQBc

    I’m afraid, however, that Elvis took over: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cS5aCozhcA
    and so did the Beatles.

    But they ALL cause me to leak!


  22. mj monaghan says:

    Not that I’m old enough to remember – hmm – but Bread was one of my favorites for romance and after a breakup. I was always a sentimental fool. “And now, I’m the Wolfman, I’m spinning ‘If’ by Bread”:


  23. Helen says:

    Beautifully written Barb…I wish I would’ve thought to freeze some of mine! Thanks for the memories…


  24. Margie says:

    Reflections of 1967:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj1GJ1lk5tg&feature=relmfu
    Lots of links there to other songs of the ’60’s. Good memories, mostly, though being a teen wasn’t all that easy, was it!?


  25. katecrimmins says:

    I remember “Sixteen Candles” from my very first dance. I was barely a teenager and it was my first slow dance. Eyow! So young and innocent. Where did the years go? Thanks for the great post.


  26. Speaking of Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young) reminds me of getting a glassful of champagne thrown in my face while “4 Dead in Ohio” wailed in the background….I’d attended Kent State University and had an opinion about unarmed students being shot, and the temerity to express it.
    Okay, it’s not a charming & sweet memory, but it is a strong one! ;o)


  27. moma escriva says:

    They Tried to Tell Us We’re Too Young by Nat King Cole first comes to mind. Still puts goosebumps on my wrinkled skin.


  28. winsomebella says:

    My memories are tied to a mish-mash of songs…..different genres, different eras. Guess I was a-changin’ all the time! But I, too, remember how much better ‘conversation’ flowed in the dark 🙂


    • Barb says:

      Hey, gal. I’ve missed you. I hope you had a great summer. I’ve got to hurry over to your blog and see what’s up. Now..about those conversations in the dark…do tell. We’re all ears.


  29. muddledmom says:

    I’m terrible with song names but I know exactly what you mean. Songs take you right back to a time, a place, a moment. Dancing and thrashing in my sister’s bedroom to her teenage music using a hairbrush as a microphone. Learning every word to a love song when I had a crush on a boy who didn’t know I existed. (Even something like The Wiggles brings me to tears because it reminds me of when my son was a toddler and he’d wake early and we’d play that one song every stinking morning while my husband slept because he worked the night shift. It was hard then, but it’s a warm memory now.) Great post.


    • Barb says:

      Thanks, Karen. My hairbrush recorded more songs than Sony Records. Of course, I was mortified each time my mom came through the door, asking “What cha doin?” Who wants to admit you’re singing to yourself in the mirror and learning the best, deepest facial expression to melt Johnny, Billy, or whoever’s heart.


  30. Roxie Matthews says:

    Crosby,Stills and Nash does it for me. “Helplessly Hoping” And Judy Collins. “Clouds” Evoking that sense of unlimited potential. Every year, the options are fewer but back then, I could have done anything! Lots of ammunition, no target.


    • Barb says:

      Oh…I love “Clouds.” I can still sing it. It’s sad when I know all the words to a song AND I can do the dance steps too. (Think: “Doin’ the Hustle”) It’s just sad.


  31. digipicsphotography says:

    Can’t pick a favorite or one that evoked/s a great deal of emotion. I liked all the songs from the 60’s and they all bring back memories of some sort.


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