Discovering memories in music

I like to write to silence, a clean desk and some nice smells. I like to think sometimes in silence and other times to music. Music has the power to take you on amazing trips, along lanes, roads, highways and byways to destinations once lived and now forgotten.

As a child I sat in class and the teacher played music from the Grand Canyon suite, in the far right corner of the room were pictures of the Grand Canyon and we were invited to write stories about what we saw, felt and heard. I don’t know what I wrote, but in that moment I was lost and it became a dream to visit this wondrous place.

One Christmas we went to Las Vegas for a relatives 60th birthday and on Christmas Day I flew over the Grand Canyon in an epic and exhilarating helicopter flight with music blaring. The music this time was more rock than classic all designed to fire up our emotions and connect us to the movement of the helicopter, the vast ocean of red rock, floors of bobbly green brush and striated skies of turquoise and pale blue. A veritable feast of pleasure.

By contrast in my party days my most gorgeous friend and DJ Leroy would play my favourite songs – he would know, it was always Wonderland first, then during the night Whole Lotta Rosie, Come Up and See Me and Carwash. Sadly he committed suicide and they played Imagine at his grave. In my memory he is forever Wonderland and Imagine and they both make me cry.

Silly songs like Haircut One Hundred – Fantastic day remind me of my first husband. He thought it was hilarious to come back into the bedroom to find me lying in bed still but somehow dancing to this.

Most days I throw the curtains wide to Elbow – One day like this, whilst singing

“So throw those curtains wide
One day like this a year would see me right
Throw those curtains wide
One day like this a year would see me right”

If you are looking for inspiration for your memoir or want to be taken back to another time period in whatever book you are writing, compile a play list, get up and dance, scribble down whatever words come into your head, have fun, laugh, cry, scream,  but most of all capture what it was like to be you then.  Please do share your golden musical memories with us.

Be inspired and have a beautiful day.

4 Replies to “Discovering memories in music”

  1. Hello from the UBC! Memories through music… I am writing a memoir and this sounds like a great idea! I hope to meet up with you again for more writing ideas and prompts – thank you for this inspiration 🙂

  2. Hi Jacqui,

    I’ve been reading through your website and just tried to purchase your writing a non-fiction book through Amazon but since I’m not in the UK it would not allow me to complete the purchase.

    I’ll click around some more here, because I’m really enjoying your teaching!

  3. I have two ways of enjoying music. One is enjoying music because I like it, because it’s my type of song and it does something for me. Those are varied and many. But there is also the enjoyment that I get when I hear a song from my past that reminds me of being a child (The Beatles), of being 16 (Rolling Stones, Rose Royce, Queen), of being at University (Chaka Khan)or getting married (Kylie). It might not be ‘my type of music’ at all (although some of those are!) but it takes me back and evokes all those feelings. I love the radio for that reason because, sometimes, I will hear a song that I have forgotten about for decades and the memories come flooding back. It really does remind you exactly what it felt way back then, doesn’t it? Thanks for provoking all that Jacqui.

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