Songs of My Youth
Back in the summer of 1991 when I was a mere 8th grader, I fell in love with a song of the summer….I’ll Be There by The Escape Club.
The song was probably the saddest I’d heard….I think it’s still the saddest today, right up there with Pull Me Through by Jim Cuddy. It’s a terribly heart-breaking song and it and the movie “Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead” are the two things that remind me of that summer…if nothing else, I have those two memories.
Back in that summer, long before iTunes and downloading music, I would sit in my room Sunday mornings and listen to the weekly countdown with my stereo ready so that I could record the songs I liked. I had a little notepad which I would write the name of the song and the artist(s) and then I would either color-code or number the tape (yes, tape, not CD, not MP3) with the corresponding song list. I was very cool.
But I loved that song. I fell in love with The Escape Club. The song resonated with me deeply at the time as a neighborhood kid had died after being hit by a car while riding his bike. He’s just graduated. To me, at that time, this song was meant for him. I cried every time I heard it. I have thought about the song here and there but hadn’t heard it in so many years (although I still have all of those mixed tapes, I need to find a decent tape deck that will play songs smoothly without dragging or unwinding them). Then one day a week or so ago it sorta just popped into my head. Not necessarily the song or the melody but the memory of it. And yesterday I downloaded it. As soon as it started those feelings came welling back up. Those sad, heartbreaking feelings of loneliness and loss and devastation were right there on the surface and before I knew it there were tears in my eyes.
It’s funny how our minds and our hearts work like that. A song I haven’t listened to in close to 20 years still has the same emotional impact on me as it did back in 1991.
And I guess it seemed sort of fitting that I played that song on a morning when I woke to news that another young musical talent has left this world. RIP Cory Monteith. You helped change the world’s views on school choirs and glee clubs.