Blast From The Past

Music can act as a lyrical scrapbook. A few beginning notes from an oldie but goodie can snap your subconscious right from the present and into the past.

I can’t be the only one this happen to, right? I’ve been listening more and more to my old mix CD’s because the crap on the radio kills my buzz, usually. So, my movie flashbacks have been happening frequently. One second I’m on the way to Target and in the next beat, I have time traveled to 15-year-old Shannon or 10-year-old Shannon jamming in her mother’s car or bedroom.

I realized I’ve got quite a history with music.

Rusted Root – Send Me On My Way

I suppose this would be considered my first “break up” song. I was 15 and driving with my mom in the family’s blue Nissan Quest. Call it mother’s intuition or the unusual deafening silence in the car from her usual chatty teenager; she leaned over to me and said, “want to know what cheers me up?” She took out a cassette tape and popped it into the stereo.

After it was over I asked if we could listen to it again. And we probably listened to that song once a day for two straight weeks. Ironically when I hear it during reruns of Matilda or on the radio I smile. It reminds me of my mom cheering me up, not the asshole I had dated ;).

Beck – Loser

When I was younger I had no control over the radio, understandably. Us kids already controlled the TV with the infinitive reruns of Greese or favorite cartoons. The radio was off limits.

My mom had Beck’s new album on tape and would CONSTANTLY play this song, as pay back for how many times she had to listen to Greese in the background I’m sure. Nonetheless I couldn’t stand the song and begged for her to change it.

In those days there wasn’t a “next” button, you had to push and hold the fast forward button to “skip” through tracks. It wasn’t worth hassle so I never got my wish. When it comes on the radio I blast it, laughing to myself while I sing because I remember all the lyrics. But how could I not?

Eminem – The Real Slim Shady / The Way I Am

Let’s back up to the year 2000. I was 10-years-old and watching the MTV Music Awards. This was back when it actually was all about the music. Ahh Carson Daly and Sway. 

I remember sitting in front of the TV in awe of this dude and thinking his bleached hair was so cool, haha. The hundreds of lookalikes, the entrance, the beat, everything. It’s the first time I remember hearing rap and I have been hooked ever since. I’m also pretty sure I’d have his love child, already pre-approved by the Hubs, lol.

Jimmy Buffet – Margaritaville

My Dad and I would sit together in the living room and sing this song as a duet. It was guaranteed each time the glorious karaoke machine came out from its hiding place. I happily sang the backup vocals part. This is more significant if you know who my father is. Hint: he enjoyed eating potential boyfriends for breakfast and most of my friends don’t even know what he sounds like.

O.A.R. – Crazy Game Of Poker 

First, love this song and all their others. When I hear this jam I’m instantly in the crowd at St. Augustine Amphitheater, with my pals, doing my happy jig watching them in concert.

I had just met Matt, my then friend now husband. Matt’s roommate at the barracks begged to put in the O.A.R. CD every time we hopped in Matt’s Explorer and this was the pairs favorite jam song off the CD. When I went to the concert I called Matt on my FLIP PHONE and left it open so he could hear it live.

I was singing, he was singing, we all were singing. Good times.

Beyonce – Baby Boy

I would like everyone to keep in mind I was a freshman in high school when this next blurb happened.

Beyonce had newly released Dangerously In Love and I had put the new album on my MP3 player. I’m pretty sure I ripped the album from BearShare. Napster had been put on the fritz and LimeWire wasn’t a thing yet.

I’m stalling.

I was on a bus with the marching band on the way to a football game. It came on and I sang it to my bus buddy (the person you share a seat with, so scandalous back then!). Who also happened to be the guy I was crushing on. I SANG IT OUT LOUD WITH EYE CONTACT. I can’t hear the song today without cringing.

During my blast from the past music reminiscing, I still wouldn’t let YouTube load long enough to play the first few notes. I JUST CAN’T DO IT CAPTAIN, I JUST CAN’T DO IT!

The Fray – How To Save A Life

I had a really good friend in high school that I would do anything for, and more often than not I ended up it shotty situations trying to save his butt.

There’s a painful moment when I was out on the front lawn, crouched down bawling, watching the paramedics and firetrucks rush to his house. He had overdosed on pain pills and they were trying to save his life.

He was a good dude that made a lot of crappy decisions. It took me a long time to realize I couldn’t help him because I didn’t understand he had to want the help, I couldn’t force it. I kept this song close for a long time.

Journey – Faithfully 

Sigh, another heartbreaker. Long story short I broke up with my boyfriend (now husband) because I didn’t think we had known each other long enough to handle a deployment. I secretly sang this song while driving to work, to class and between running errands.

I couldn’t admit to anyone I had regretted my decision, so I could only express my regret through obsessively singing this tune. Now, I happily belt it out when ever it pops up during shuffle.

Florence And The Machine – Dog Days Are Over 

I was gearing up to welcome the mentioned-above-boyfriend home from his deployment. I was living roommate-less, hallelujah, in a tiny one bedroom apartment with my pup, Bella.

The song was fitting and I spent the better part of many nights jumping around the house dancing with my pup.

Journey – Don’t Stop Believing 

I don’t think this song can play and I not pretend I’m on a stage singing in front of a crowd.

I was 18 and it was summer. I had just moved out of my parents house and this was the summer’s anthem within my tribe of friends. We’d go to the same bar/pool joint and pay to hear this song on the jukebox. And then proceed to sing it to each other, loudly.

I don’t know. I think it’s a safe assumption every group of friends has a jam song they belt out to each other – sober or not.

And Finally:

Aladdin – A Whole New World

At my first apartments I made friends with my neighbors. The patio on the second floor was huge and connected four apartments. The guys that were caddy-corner to my house became additional roomies. Me and my roomie were either at their place or vise versa.

They would have frequent parties and when Wilma (Will) and I got to feelin’ good we’d do a duet for the rest of the crew. Always pretty hilarious, people thought we were ridiculous and it added to our drunken slumber. Good times.

I could go on and on but I won’t.

As I go through the constant-applying-for-jobs-hopeful-post-graduate-expierence with a mix of binging Netflix, the music has helped me deal with the inevitable and frequent rejections emails.

I couldn’t imagine a life without music.



There’s a song by Macklemore that fits with the story I’m about to tell. It’s called Cowboy Boots and there’s a lick that embodies what is going on in my husband’s life and mine right now.

I was laying on the couch last night, probably around 8 p.m. – ya know, real late for us old married folk. Matt leaned over to snuggle in and watch a few episodes of Parenthood, when he made the astonishing discovery I was still wearing a bra this late in the day.

“Mark it down people!”

I would’ve rolled off the coach had I not been in the nook of the coach where the sectional meets, that sweet spot, those who have a sectional know what I’m talking about.

There’s plenty of truth though to his discovery, as embarrassing as it may be, Ha. It’s called wearing mom jeans when you have kids and get comfortable, maybe a little too comfortable around your husband, and public appearance standards drop. But, what is it called when you’re a twenty-something student with two dogs and a husband?

I still haven’t found a real job, meaning a grownup one. I waitress on the weekends, go to college during the week and intern wherever I can, gotta make those connections. So, it’s not like I have this grownup schedule, going to work 9-5, ew, being required to dress like an adult at all times.

You have to relish these times, right? One day I will have spit up on all my clothes, a grownup job, maybe not too grown and a set schedule. These times are the days our parents tell you to enjoy. No kids, no real responsibilities, less pressure, though I beg to differ sometimes.

That lick I was talking about before is bolded and the whole verse goes like this:

Hold on to what you were, forget what you’re not

The streets were ours that summer, at least those two blocks

Reminisce on those days, I guess that’s OK, you wonder why

Some grow up, move on, close the chapter, live separate lives

The twenty-something confusion before the suit and tie

Strangers become mistakes but those mistakes made you feel alive

Hindsight is vibrant, reality: rarely lit

Memory’s a collage pasted to the glue that barely sticks

Good Lord, they broke all my shields

Locked bathroom doors, graffiti, and high heels

Until you felt that altitude you don’t know how high feels

Party mountain, some don’t ever come down from around here

To be young again, I guess it’s relative

The camel lights, the whiskey rye, sink into the skin

I fantasize about a second win

Grow a moustache, pick up another bad habit and let the games begin

Are you catching my drift? I’m in a weird limbo with life, bras included. I’m in the split where anything can happen. I’m going to enjoy not having to be dressed at 8 pm. and if I’m lucky I’ll land something that won’t require be to be either, haha.

It’s the Twenty Something Confusion before the Suit and Tie

What would you call it?