Foo Fighters - Courtesy of Cinemantique - Wikimedia
We've all done it. We hear a song on the radio and suddenly we’re transported back to a specific point in our lives. We remember the tune, the words, and exactly what we were doing the first time we heard it.
Music is one of the most powerful ways to evoke memories – so much so that it is used as a therapeutic tool in treating Alzheimer’s and Dementia. I've worked with Dementia support groups and seen faces, usually devoid of any expression, light up at the sound of a Frank Sinatra tune or a Brahms waltz. I've seen huge smiles on the faces of elderly clients as they remembered the words to ‘You are My Sunshine, and sang along.
Frank Sinatra - Courtesy of Wikiwatcher - Wikipedia
Music has more power than any other medium or art-form to make us laugh, cry – even fall in love. I remember my favourite songs as a child and still sing them to my grandchildren. I can tell you what tune was playing the first time I danced with my husband-to-be and the songs I cried to after he passed away.
I grew up in the sixties and seventies, and any time I hear songs from that era I see a clear picture in my mind of that time. I was a bit of a hippie, desperately in love with Leo Sayer, and wearing out vinyl albums by the likes of Elton John and the Bee Gees.
The Bee Gees - Courtesy of NBC - Wikimedia
The first concert I went to was to see Russell Morris and I almost passed out when I actually got to meet him and chat with him off-stage! Today when I hear a Russell Morris song, I’m right back there in my purple floral pantsuit. (Don't laugh - it was the fashion!)
Triple J - Courtesy of C.Fred - Wikipedia
I’m happy to say I have very broad taste in music that changes with my mood. Today I’m listening to laid-back jazz. Yesterday it was Triple J radio (loud) in the car. Tomorrow it might be classical.
I often wonder what songs they will play to me if I ever suffer from dementia. Will my memories be triggered by Beethoven, the Bee Gees, Miles Davis or Foo Fighters? All of them, I hope.
Just as a TV show or a movie is interwoven with a soundtrack, so are our lives. Most of us could put together an interesting and diverse play-list that chronicles every stage we've lived.
What songs would you include in the playlist of your life?