Editor sees songs as life’s bookmarks


My roommates and I listen to a lot of music in our apartment. Our playlist usually consists of a mix of some Imagine Dragons, Florence + the Machine and Disney soundtracks.
As I sit here writing this column and listening to music with two of my roommates, Olivia and Katie, I am reminded of how deeply music can be part of your life.
For me, songs serve as bookmarks, marking the pages of my past that are most significant. Listening to certain songs can immediately take me back to the time in my life when I listened to them most.
The first song that made its home in my heart for the long haul is “Yellow Submarine” by the Beatles. When I was a small child, my family and I went on a lot of camping trips together.
Every time that song plays, I am reminded of the great memories my family and I made together while out in the woods.
The Beatles were among my dad’s favorite bands, and they quickly became my favorite as well. No car ride was complete without listening to at least one of the Beatles’ albums.
These are memories I hold close to my heart and I am thankful I remember them each time I hear “Yellow Submarine.”
Another song that always takes me back in time is the famous Queen song, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” For some reason, my eighth-grade class decided that this song was our class song and it quickly became a staple at all of our school dances.
Whenever I hear it, I am reminded of the 38 other people I went to grade school with at St. Bernadette, a small Catholic grade school near Pittsburgh.
It’s weird to think that I will never see some of these classmates again, people who were with me through some of the most awkward and formative years of my life.
While there are definitely many songs that bring me back to some of the happiest times of my life, there are also those songs that I hear that instantly make me want to cry.
These songs take me back to the not-so-good times in my life, like the death of my grandfather or my first heartbreak. No matter how much time has passed, these songs always manage to make me emotional.
I’m always amazed at how powerful music can be. It’s almost as if the songs that mark certain periods in my life are tied indefinitely to them. I find it impossible to separate the song from the memory no matter how hard I try.
I really feel like music gets to the core of what it means to be human and it exposes the most vulnerable parts of each of us. It helps us share parts of ourselves that we don’t necessarily know how to share.
I think English novelist Aldous Huxley, author of “A Brave New World,” puts it perfectly.
“After silence, that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”


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