52B52W. (2006) | Home | 2006 Month of Poems! April.

1 Mar 2006

2006 Memories + Songs = March.

Written by sally @ 7:46 am — Section:

Some notes about this month’s list.

1. My grandmother really, really loved Jim Reeves, but he wasn’t my favorite. I played all her records searching for one about which I could say with earnest conviction, Mawmaw, this one’s really good! I chose “Snowflake.” It is probably one of the lamest songs of all time now that I can look at it objectively. Sample lyrics:

Hey-ey-ey snowflake
My pretty little snowflake
Ooh, ooh, the change in the weather
Has made it better for me.
Hey-ey-ey snowflake, my pretty little snowflake
You’ve got me warm as a fire
With the burning desire for you.

However, I now have all of her 45s, and sometimes I listen to it and even though it’s stupid, it still sounds pretty good.

2. “Come On, Eileen” means that it is the summer of 1989 and I am taking geometry in summer school. A girl in my class, Sharla (who manages to have one leg, a partial finger, and still be a cool girl new waver!), puts the song on her answering machine so I can call and listen to it over and over. This is also the summer that Dallas gets an “alternative” radio station, and on the way to school (my brother drives me) on the first day it’s on the air, “Mexican Radio” comes on.

3. I lost my virginity while “Haunted When the Minutes Drag” by Love and Rockets played.

4. Any Replacements song, but especially something from the unpopular All Shook Down album, makes me think of the summer of 1993 when I lived in Longview, Texas. I worked at a grocery store and flirted with bag boys that summer. That pretty much sums up the entire experience. But anyway, Replacements = pine trees + summer boredom + bag boys.

5. Ok, so bear with me: I know “Dancing Queen” is a silly song and all, but I listen to it in full rapture. In college, I had to take four p.e. classes — Texas is serious about exercise — and so I took tap dance, modern dance, social dance, and folk dance. In my folk dance class, there was only one tall boy with whom I could polka. The polka we learned was basically running and twisting and jumping and running some more in a circle, and I ended up basically ripping the shirt off of my usual partner. So Eddie became my polka partner because his legs were longer than mine and he could pick me up when we changed directions (instead of me picking up my partner). There were a lot of kids in the class who loved the Old 97s, and so we all went to their shows and — wait for it — did various folk dances there. Do you know how much fun it is to do any organized dance with boys at bars? It’s fun. And anyway, Eddie started calling me Dancing Queen, so there you go.

6. When I moved to St. Louis from Tuscaloosa right before I married Ted, that Phil Collins song “That’s All” came on our U-Haul’s radio approximately 87 razillion times. I could say day, you say night, tell me it’s black when I know that it’s white, etc. Over and over again. We’d enter into some new radio zone and there it’d be again. I think it’s a fitting theme for a couple whose marriage would last all of ten months.

7. When I hear “Bus Stop,” by whoever sings it, I immediately think of Vicki Nelson, my middle- and high-school buddy/enemy. Once we called the oldies station and requested songs. “Bus Stop” was my request. Hers was “Twist and Shout,” but when she called to request it she said her name was Sing Sing and did so in a really bad fake Chinese accent that sounded an awful lot like a high-pitched bad Italian accent. (I love racism!) Because we were prepared, when they played our requests and the songs, I was able to record it onto a tape. I was so pissed I didn’t think of doing mine in a funny voice. I’m all sincere and shiny about it: This is Sally from Garland and I want to hear Bus Stop!!!! and she’s all ah thees ees Seeng Seeng and I want to hear “Twista anda Shouta.” Oh, to be 16 and the kind of girl who listens to the oldies station again.

8. I totalled my first car, a hott Plymouth Turismo, going 10 miles an hour in stop-and-go traffic. I was looking down at the radio and said to my friend, It’s only 8:43. Can you believe it’s only 8:43? It feels like it’s much la— Smoke was coming out of the hood, I could not move my legs for a little while, but the song on the radio was going strong. It was the Christopher Cross song “Ride Like the Wind.”

9. I mentioned yesterday that I totaled my car. The whole story was that it was a Friday night and I told my mother that Heidi and I were going to the McDonald’s down the street, when really we were going to a hott Italian place downtown and had to get — gasp! — on the highway (and if you know Dallas, you know that Central Expressway is horrible, awful, and was even more so in 1990). So when my mother got the call that I had been in an accident and was at a hospital, you know, really far from my house, I knew she’d be pissed. And so the Smiths song “Stop Me If You Think That You’ve Heard This One Before” became the anthem for the Night I Wrecked My Car due to the hilarious similarity between the lyrics and the wreck:

I was delayed, I was way-laid
An emergency stop
I smelt the last ten seconds of life
I crashed down on the crossbar
And the pain was enough to make
A shy, bald, buddhist reflect
And plan a mass murder
Who said lied I’d to her?

Oh, who said I’d lied? because I never, I never
Who said I’d lied? because I never
I was detained, I was restrained
And broke my spleen
And broke my knee
(and then he really lays into me)
Friday night in Out-patients
Who said I’d lied to her?

10. When school started in the fall of 1993 I was still dating the boy who would later turn into a Redneck Fireman, even though we kept breaking up. Correction: I kept breaking up with him. I kept count of how many times I broke up with him, and the number was 1 million. So I had sort of decided that I was never going to break up with him again. We would have to get married and then get a divorce before I broke up with him. And in the fall of 1993 I walked into my pre-calculus class and saw this insane boy wearing overalls and carrying a 70s old man briefcase, and whoa, I thought he was hilarious and perfect. He had a girlfriend, and as we started talking and hanging out we weren’t really acknowledging the fact that we had to get rid of our extraneous appendages. One day after class we were sitting in his car, an unbelievably shitty Dodge Omni, and it was pouring down rain, and as we danced around our situation “If I Fell” by the Beatles came on the radio. And we both sat there and blushed and stared at each other. And then, by some miracle, a day later my boyfriend broke up with me, and then crazy boy with the briefcase broke up with his girlfriend and then he was my boyfriend until the end of college.

11. The soft rock easy listening favorite of the 70s “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” by the stellar band England Dan and John Ford Coley reminds me of my parents’ divorce. For awhile there, I was especially vigilant about listening for songs I thought would make my dad sad, so if one came on the radio, I could change the station really quickly. This sticks as one of those songs, but it was too late: he also had the album (which I later stole from him, and which resides in my record pile now).

12. Pretty much any song from the Edie Brickell and New Bohemians album “Ghost of a Dog” reminds me of how, one night when we hated our stupid boyfriends, my friend Heidi and I were sitting in her car at a park with our seats laid all the way back, smoking some cigarettes Bill Clinton-style and listening to “Stwisted” over and over, really screaming the lyrics and melodramaing it up like only two 17-year old Thespians who live in the suburbs can do. Some of the more shriekable lyrics go why make my heart go to bed at night hungry? why make my heart go to bed at night cold? We were in the midst of our cathartic hollering when a man appeared at my car window. My lyrics turned into a piercing, blood-curdling scream, as I was convinced he was a killer, preying upon suburban Thespians. Oh, well, he was just parked next to us. And my screaming made him jump straight into the air. And then he got into his car and drove away and probably didn’t ever kill anybody.

13. The Etta James song “Anything to Say You’re Mine” reminds me of a particularly embarrassing stretch of time wherein I actually expected Crush to write me a letter. I cannot remember why I thought he would or why I thought he should, especially: I received emails and sometimes phone calls, but I really, really, really wanted him to write me a letter, and as Etta says, I sit by my windowpane, hoping for a letter, one that never came. My heart cries for just one little line. Anything to say you’re mine. Eh, never happened.

14. Speaking of Crush, once I asked him what his favorite everything was. His song was “If I Was Your Girlfriend” by Prince. Guess what song I obsessively listened to for several thousand years? Ok, it’s a great fucking song, Derek or no. Would you let me wash your hair? Could I make you breakfast sometime?

15. In my junior year of high school I was an alternate for a small part in a theater competition. Kari, the girl who had the part for reals, got sick and I got to go with the cast to the regional competition (the one-act play was The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie) to Tyler, Texas, which was two hours away. After our performance, we went out to eat pizza at some place that had a dj and a probably oft-unused dance floor. Some kids from another school were there and there was a very, very pretty boy named Richard with whom I danced to “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” Man. I still can’t hear that song without thinking of him and remembering the moony, dreamy way I stared out the bus window on the way home.

16. So a few Christmases ago I met my friend Reagan for a movie and left my coat in his mother’s car (he was visiting Texas from San Francisco and used his mother’s car to meet me in Dallas). For several weeks we tried to coordinate getting my coat (black corduroy blazer) from his mom straight to me, and eventually his mother got sick of that and sent the coat to San Francisco where Reagan could deal with it himself. Two years later, my coat arrived in a Christmas package. Whenever I hear “Come Back from San Francisco” by the Magnetic Fields, I imagine it as an ode to my coat, which, incidentally, I also imagined as going along as a sidekick on all of Reagan’s adventures. You need me like the wind needs the tree to blow in — like the moon needs poetry, you need me.

17. The whole Jude album “No One is Really Beautiful” reeks, absolutely reeks, of 1999, when I moved from Starkville to Birmingham (the first time) and had a very dumb partial boyfriend who did not have the balls to break up with me. I also must admit that I have often imagined countless boys who spurned me (ok, the number isn’t exactly countless) listening to “I Do” (track 6) and weeping.

18. I’ll admit it: I love the Mamas and the Papas. I love that clangy saloon sound that a lot of their songs have, even though “Sing for Your Supper” has been partially ruined for me by gclark turning the volume down in the car and turning to me and saying, Sally, this is awful. But my strongest memory is listening to “Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To the Canyon)” in a blue Ford Mustang with two other Mamas and Papas-loving girls and singing with embarrassing sincerity, even though I still have no fucking clue what the hell it’s about.

19. There are three songs that remind me of my friend Jonas, and I’m not even going to cheat and list them individually. One is the Dan Fogelberg awesomeness “Same Old Lang Syne,” which we said we would sing into the air and think of each other each new year’s eve, another is the Simon and Garfunkel song “Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall,” which we also, upon further reflection, decided to add to our new year’s eve maudlin solo concerts, wherever we were, and then there is the Beatles song “For No One,” which he introduced me to. I had heard the scary sitar that overpopulates Revolver and foolishly stayed away from the whole thing. Jonas had broken up with his girlfriend and “For No One” was his designated break-up song: You want her, you need her. And yet you don’t believe her when she says her love is dead; you think she needs you. Jonas was very melodramatic, so I also usually summon up the memory of the day he came to my dorm room, said, I need to talk to you, took me to a cemetery (he was wearing a wife beater, boxers, and cowboy boots), and then told me he had finally lost his virginity. I was proud.

20. I cannot listen to Alison Krauss ever again. Because I am clogged and need emotional Drano, I used the Alison Krauss album Stay to access my grief over my friend’s death. We worked at the Alison Krauss concert together (she was the theater’s technical director and I, uh, sold some t-shirts), she played an Alison Krauss song at her wedding for her and her husband’s first dance, etc. So a year after her murder, I was still bopping around without having had a real breaking point, and I started drinking margaritas and listening to this album, and I couldn’t get past the first line of the first song without losing it, then calling everyone I know and weeping into the telephone for several hours. (At least I just did this on Tuesdays, when margaritas were half price at Pepito’s.) The line goes, where have you been, my long lost friend? (Damn. I can’t even type that.) This is how bad it was: it’s now four years since her murder and three years since the Alison Krauss-related weekly breakdowns, and the other day Gorjus came over and said, Hey, Alison Krauss is in town! We should go to the– and then stopped himself and looked horrified that he dare to speak the Name of the Beast that Brings On the Weeping, O, Yea. And I realized that perhaps it’s a good idea that he stopped himself, because I was starting to get a little watery just hearing Alison Krauss’s name in my kitchen.

21. One day gclark and I were going to the Refuge to tromp around in the woods. We were listening to the Scud Mountain Boys album Massachusetts and while “Penthouse in the Woods” was on, I heard an additional piano track that I’d never heard before. We were at a stop light, and I said to gclark, This is amazing! Then I looked up and saw a pickup truck turning left in front of us. In the back, there was a man playing the piano as the truck slowly drove by. This is one of my favorite memories of all time.

22. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” reminds me of Vicki Nelson, how we were going to sing that song in the Beta Club Talent Show with a couple of other kids. Vicki and I were going to sing backup and therefore be the Weemawack Girls. JoBeth was going to do that weird opera part, and Marc was going to sing the main part. Ah, nerds.

23. I heard the Goo Goo Dolls’ song “Slide” twice today (once on the way to work, once at lunch) so apparently that’s the song for today. I love this song. I loved it when it came out so much that I not only bought the album (oh, the days of buying the whole album for one song!) but I also went to the concert. Yes. I went to a Goo Goo Dolls concert. And do you know who was sitting next to me? A ten-year-old girl. Hell yeah!

24. I had heard some Cure song at an older guy’s house, so I knew that unmistakable quavery voice was Robert Smith’s. There was some new wave radio program that came on at 10:00 on Saturday nights in Dallas, and one night I was actually awake at 10:00 and decided to listen. It was a few minutes into the program and I heard this sort of scary opening to a song that would turn out to be “10:15 Saturday Night.” I looked at the clock midway through the song — it was 10:15. (I have a very crisp memory of sitting at my little desk in my room staring at my pink boom box — on which I had written my name with purple paint pen — while the song was playing, like it was a television.)

25. So, speaking of the Boys Don’t Cry album, my friend Heidi had a crush on this boy named Eric, and because he worked at Subway and we stalked him, we made every song on the album about him. You can read about that here.

26. I always thought that song “Saved by Zero” was called “7-5-0.” As in, “maybe I’ll win / seven five zero.” I also thought “Voices Carry” was “Voices Scary.” And “Our Lips Are Sealed” was “A la Cecille.”

27. Nobody likes the Morrissey song “Mute Witness” — it’s about, you know, a mute witness — but to me it means that I am in the front row of the Morrissey concert in Dallas in June of 1991, and during this song Morrissey comes to my side of the stage and dangles his legs a bit, and I stick my hand up his pants leg. Yes! I touched Morrissey’s sweaty, not-so-hairy leg. And I am proud, people.

28. The Billy Joel song “All for Leyna” reminds me of how I did a boy wrong.

29. When I hear “The Greatest Love of All,” which, thank god, is not that often, I think of an 8th grade field trip to the zoo, wherein a tubby girl named Rhonda (who thought she was cool) was singing this song, tripped, and fell down while I laughed and then became scared that her thug friends would beat me up.

30. “I Am a Rock” by Simon and Garfunkel totally sums up what I wanted to become at age 15. A moody, sullen beatnik frothily expressing my desire for books and poetry over humans. I remember a specific December day when I was listening to the song around this age, upstairs in my room at my dad’s house. I had a green bedspread. When I hear “I Am a Rock” now, not only do I cringe a little, but I think of me sitting in the space between my bed and the wall, looking out the window and dreaming of boys who said things like I have my books and my poetry to protect me. I am shielded in my armor. Hiding in my room, safe within my womb [Editor’s note: Gross.] I touch no one and no one touches me.

31. The Tom Tom Club song “Genius of Love” reminds me of driving up a mountain at a 45 degree angle in Birmingham.

10 Responses to “2006 Memories + Songs = March.”

  1. Professor Fury said:

    I’m glad to see someone stick up for All Shook Down. There are good songs on that record. Someone, I won’t say who but his name ends in -jus, thinks Don’t Tell a Soul is a better record.

  2. gorjus said:

    Whatever, “Merry Go Round.” And, are you serious about the Old ’97s thing? You never told me that! How cool would it have been to look out over that scene if you were dreamy Rhett Miller! People do not dance enough.

  3. RD said:

    I think “That’s All” is a Genesis song, isn’t it? Phil Collins may as well be called “The Collins” on Long Island. When we lived there (for all of three months before our souls imploded), every other song on the radio, no shit, was The Collins. I also chalk Rhett Miller up as one of the worst shows I have ever seen, in Portland, or the rest of the world. He was just bad. But I still like that Old 97s sound.

  4. e said:

    Sally, is there any way you could add a top-level category to your site called “Lists,” so I could check back on these posts without hunting around for them? I keep forgetting that you’re updating this regularly, and have loved all three of your 2006 lists to date.

  5. sally said:

    I just tried to do that, and the thing with “pages” — those lists are “pages” and not “posts” — is that they adhere to separate rules. There aren’t any category options to put them in. I guess you’re just going to have to scroll, Scrolly.

    Update: it’s kind of unwieldly, but now there’s a main Monthly Lists category that takes you to a post that links to the lists. I’m tired now.

  6. gorjus said:

    Rowr!! This list has taken a decided turn towards the hott, circa “If I Was Your Boyfriend.” I think that one’s beaten by “When U Were Mine,” which is totally the sequel.

  7. RD said:

    England Dan and John Ford Coley sang the first song played after AH and I were married. On CD, not live, sadly. John Ford Coley was also in The Lost Boys, as a boyfriend. I think that’s the last thing he ever did.

  8. gorjus said:

    I just realied that I read the Prince thing wrong. I thought you meant it was a great song to fuck to, as opposed to that it is a generally great piece of music. Whoops!

    Perhaps not that big a difference, but still!

  9. sally said:

    I still can’t believe you thought I meant “fucking” like the verb.

  10. The Oh Really » The List List. said:

    […] Memories + Music = March. […]