The Defining Songs of My Years

Each morning at the gym, the facility’s sound system plays a rather random selection of songs. While modern, the playlist always seems to span a good decade or so. Although not one who concentrates a lot on music while working out, I can’t help but notice what is being played.

For many, myself included, music instantaneously connects us to memories. When we hear a song, it elicits a response within us. When I work out here on campus, I play a game with what song is played. I immediately think to myself “sophomore year of high school” or “junior year of college” or “second season working at Montana”. Because songs are so strongly locked in my head with periods of my life, I can identify what year they were released in (give or take a year) with ease.

In tonight’s blog post, I want to share with you the particular song that I immediately associate with a given year starting with when I consciously started listening to mainstream radio. Keep in mind, in no way does this necessarily mean I love the song, it just means that for whatever reason it stood out for me during that year. To not leave you completely in the dark, I will make sure to briefly share that silly reason for each song. So let’s go back to right before I entered middle school…

Get ready for the soundtrack to my life!

Get ready for the soundtrack to my life!

Song: “Semi-Charmed Life”
Artist: Third Eye Blind
Memory: Driving around in my mom’s car hearing “doo doo doo, doo doo-doo doo” all summer long.

Song: “Livin La Vida Loca”
Artist: Ricky Martin
Memory: Played all through basketball camp and it also turned into a cultural sensation.

Song: “Hanging By A Moment”
Artist: Lifehouse
Memory: This song accompanied our 8th grade end-of-year slideshow.

Song: “Beautiful Day”
Artist: U2
Memory: Heard this song quite a bit in the post-9/11 months and it is one of my personal all-time favorite tracks.

Song: “Hot in Herre”
Artist: Nelly
Memory: Extremely trashy song but heard it all summer long in our high school weight room during football workouts. Best memory is one day when the lyrics “Get up onto that dance floor” started to play our conditioning coach yelled in his best Nelly voice “Get up onto that football field” (it was time to transition from weights to sprints).

Song: “Ignition (Remix)”
Artist: Usher
Memory: Still a favorite for many today, this was one of our victory songs that we performed on the bus ride home after football wins.

Song: “Let’s Get It Started”
Artist: Black Eyed Peas
Memory: During the 2004 season, the NBA used this song as its theme music during the playoffs.

Song: “Scars”
Artist: Papa Roach
Memory: My friends and I had just turned 18 and we would drive out to a big casino about 30 minutes away. This song was on one of my badly burned CDs that we would listen to on our journey out to lose money.

Song: “How to Save a Life”
Artist: The Fray
Memory: Not having a car my first couple years of college, I relied on other people for rides. This one friend of mine always played this song in his truck when I drove around with him.

Song: “Glamorous”
Artist: Fergie
Memory: I was a resident assistant my sophomore year of college and it seemed like the whole residence hall believed they were glamorous as I remember hearing this song coming out of many doors.

Song: “Don’t Blink”
Artist: Kenny Chesney
Memory: Right when this song came out it spoke to me. I watched the music video over and over. Anyone surprised that this made the list?

Song: “I Gotta Feeling”
Artist: Black Eyed Peas
Memory: How can anyone not listen to this song and think immediately of the summer of 2009? My greatest memory though is playing this song immediately after the Montana-Appalachian State semi-final football game in December of that year (before the song was cliché). The win was so big and the party on the field so crazy that it was the only time we played music AFTER a game.

Song: “Dynamite”
Artist: Taio Cruz
Memory: Someone submitted a Monte mascot audition tape to me in April or May of 2010. It was set to this song and was the first time I had ever heard it. Liked it right from the start.

Song: “Super Bass”
Artist: Nicki Minaj
Memory: I have multiple memories associated with this song, making it just a little bit more meaningful than runner-up “Party Rock Anthem.”

Song: “Give Your Heart a Break”
Artist: Demi Lovato
Memory: The first time I heard this song, right when it gets to the part where Demi sings “The World is ours, if we want it…” I thought to myself, man, this girl is really belting it. I became a Demi fan that day and still enjoy overdramatizing the song when it comes on.

Song: “Can’t Hold Us”
Artist: Macklemore
Memory: Became the theme of both Montana basketball programs when the Griz and Lady Griz made it to their respective NCAA tournaments. I heard it and played it a lot.

Song: “Beachin’”
Artist: Jake Owen
Memory: First several months in Myrtle Beach I would constantly hear this song and know it was written exactly for me.

Song: TBD
Artist: TBD
Memory: TBD

There you have it, the soundtrack to my life basically. Do you have any songs that bring you back to a specific period? I bet your playlist isn’t as cool as mine. Don’t Blink.

3 thoughts on “The Defining Songs of My Years

  1. 2015
    Song: Homegrown Honey
    Artist: Darius Rucker
    Memory: Standing in a hall with an empty dixie cup thinking “How did Hootie end up with the Honey, Honey, Honey?”, then remembering he has Money, Money, Money.

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