Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Joy of Remembering a Great Song

With so many platforms available to both find and listen to music these days, you can easily make a mix of your past and present favorites for your daily enjoyment. But you have to be able to remember those songs first.

Push it, push it some mo-oreMy issue is that I've simply forgotten about many of my really old favorites. Ones that were a little less popular in the mainstream so they never show up on an '80s channel or a Spotify/Amazon/iTunes/whatever pre-made playlist. Ones that I have to hear randomly on a TV show or in a movie or maybe once in a blue moon on the radio and then immediately email myself about them so I don't lose them again forever.

One such song that I recently rediscovered was a pretty cheesy one from my college years: "Sweat (A La La La La Long)," by Inner Circle. (I thought it was called "Girl, I'm Gonna Make You Sweat" until I just looked it up. I also didn't realize it was by the same group who sings "Bad Boys"—what?!?)

This song was part of the lunchtime mix at the hotel we stayed at this past November in Cura├žao. The first time I heard it there I totally spazzed out—it brought back great memories of Spring Breaks gone by. How I ensured I would remember it is that I took a video of Desmond eating lunch while it was playing in the background. If you feel like grooving to a reggae beat today, here's the official video. (I won't subject you to the one of a toddler eating fries.)

He ain't no sweet-talkin' RomeoAnother one I was even more excited about surprised me during the movie Wild (which was one of my top picks of 2014, by the way). As you may know, the film is based on the true story of Cheryl Strayed (played by Reese Witherspoon) who walks more than 1,000 miles across Pacific Coast Trail to make peace with her past. Music is incorporated in a very cool way throughout the movie, and at one point she's hiking and a song starts playing quietly in the background. She says something like, "Sing it with me, Bruce," and it grows louder. And then I could tell it was "Tougher than the Rest," which is one of my all-time favorite Springsteen songs. It was never released as a single in the U.S., but was on his Tunnel of Love album, and I went to that concert tour back in the day. It's now also on the Wild soundtrack.

Oh, how I used to looooooooove that song. I was overjoyed to hear it in Wild. It was like being reunited with a long-lost friend. But since I was in the middle of a theater, I couldn't email myself and then of course forgot about it by the time the credits rolled. Thankfully I watched the film again at home about a month later (a perk of the job: awards-screener DVDs) and then I was able to immediately remind myself to get it on my current playlist. Phew. Now I, too, can say, "Sing it with me, Bruce!"

- e

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