You might think, “Here’s another list of great old songs”, but let me tell you, that’s not what this is about. Let’s think about the songs that still makes you feel special, or even those songs you had randomly listened to, did that trigger the memory of the time you heard it for the first time, or a special occasion? If yes, then that’s what it’s all about.
Our mind sometimes works in very outlandish ways, you might be laying down on your bed in a cosy blanket or still stuck up with your work, you have your earphones plugged in or better, you have your speakers on. Let’s say you started with a random playlist and then you stumble upon this one song, that song, what a masterpiece it felt inside your head when you heard it for the first time. Suddenly, you’re overcome with flashbacks of people, places, and strong emotions. It transported you back in the time when you might have been walking down the road or traveling, looking outside your car window enjoying the music and that blissful feeling or for some it would remind them of their first love or a crush maybe, and for some may be a heartbreak, transporting you back to that moment. And sometimes, surprisingly, the music gives you a feeling, an emotion from an experience you might have never experienced in the first place.
Why do autobiographical memories linked to music remain so rich and textured? What’s interesting is that even if you haven’t heard that song in years, the neural tapestry representing that song stays purer and the song will evoke stronger specific memories of a time and place from your past.
The songs we love become woven into a neural tapestry entwined with the people, seasons, and locations throughout our lifespan.
What seems to happen, a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head. It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person’s face in your mind’s eye’s.
Let us reverse this too, you are recollecting a memory of a place or a moment in time and then suddenly your mind takes you to a song relating with that moment or even the moment you were listening to that song at that point in time. You had that epiphany, didn’t you? I felt the same when I was going through some old photos and then went back to the time I was singing that particular song on top of my lungs with my friends. Then, you hurriedly go through your phone, search for that one song which will take you back to that moment once again, feeling excited all over again, that love again, through this one song you might have not listened to for years.
For me that one song is “No plan” by Hozier, I listened to it every single day in the morning while travelling in the metro for my internship, the music though high on notes, the lyrics calming me from the race of this world-
“Why would you offer her name?
To the same old tired pain?
When all things come from nothin’
And, honey, if nothing’s gained”
Isn’t that strange, but it still feels good, right? Like you hear a song and it reminds you of a place or people, or a moment in time that’s lost but never gone.
Do tell me about that one song and that feeling you have when you hear it again in the comments.
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I am a law student and a content writer here, who appreciates harmless sarcasm. I write about whatever my brainbox (or yours) fancies. Writing something other than research papers and assignments makes life a little less chaotic, for it gives a sense of unwinding your emotions. I like exploring and talking over ideas and thoughts (and an open political discussion).