Do you remember music easily?
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I am actually pretty good with lyrics and keeping the beat although I wouldn’t say my singing voice is going to get me any time in the spotlight. Then there are interesting musical incidents like the one that happened recently. While I was driving home from work…mentally preparing for 20 days off in a row, the radio was playing the “all request lunch hour” and a girl named Cathy, from my hometown, requested Sass Jordan’s Make You A Believer…And those of you 5-10 years my junior (I’ll be 41 in 2 weeks) may not have any idea who Sass Jordan is or what she believed in, however she was a judge on Canadian Idol (according to the radio announcer) and when I was a kid she was on the radio so that made her pretty famous. Anyway the song came on and without missing a beat I sang that entire frickin’ song, word for word. I hit every note (in my head anyway), lilted my voice just right and did my best to belt out her bluesy drawl like a good Canadian girl. And as I sang…with all of my heart…I couldn’t help but ask…
How in the hell am I remembering every single thing about this song and not only that how is it that I am able to sing it (to the best of my ability) when I haven’t heard it in probably 20 years?
Add in that the lyrics, all of a sudden mid-refrain, took on an entirely different meaning…like I was supposed to be listening to this song at this exact moment having one of my “music makes me feel” moments. (Which I wrote about before in my post about musical experience on Mother’s Day) I could feel the hairs on my arms rising and the skin of my cheeks getting hot. My eyes began to tear (as it happens when I feel music) and, for a moment (since I was driving), felt like I was lifted to a different plane. Okay that sounds super-fucking looney toons…and well too bad because that’s what happened.
So back to my question…
How do we remember music?
I have often wondered this and I know brighter minds than mine have pondered this question. I even have a book called “This is your brain on music” by Daniel Levitin, which I might need to pick back up. Clearly a part of me has held on to Sass Jordan just in case I would need to belt out “Make You A Believer” one more time. That got me thinking …
Do we actually forget anything?
I know that our minds are extremely powerful and I believe in the power of intention and that our thoughts 100% create our reality. What am wondering is, if I held on to “Make You A Believer” because a part of me knew that the lyrics, the message, resonated with my most authentic self; with the real me that was kept safe and removed from the world through my teens and early 20s?
Hmmmm interesting idea.
Do we remember everything like a computer…all files stored in an orderly fashion, growing and growing every minute of our lives? Or do our brains act more like Riley’s did in Disney’s “Inside Out”, where the clean up crew tosses out old “non-important” memories when we decide we no longer need them?
I know there is a whack of science that describes how memory works…a read few articles while writing this post… What I don’t feel the science explains (to me anyway) is how we decide. How do our unconscious mind knows that I needed to remember Sass Jordan or that the lyrics would some day be meaningful (again)?
Is it the music itself (again I’ll probably need to pull out that book)? I know that our memories are integrated more readily and with more force when they are attached to emotions and I am clearly someone who gets emotional when I hear music… I wonder if perhaps, long ago, in my teens when I was doing my best to keep my authentic self hidden from the world, I had an emotional, unconscious response to this song, which caused it to be housed in a special spot kept just for things my soul wanted to hold on to? Maybe I knew that one day it would bring me to the important realization that…
I have always been here, never lost, only hidden?
Hmmmm I wonder…
Thanks for listening!
All good things are rooted in love, laughter and learning!
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts?
Are you a science lover, like me, with way more knowledge then I have? Yes!?! Great! Please let me know how the brain decides what to keep and what to throw away. I am very eager to learn! (and yes I know this is not likely going to be a simply answer but share it with me anyway…I can take it!)
Here are a few more posts about my relationship with music…