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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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A journey throughout my life in music

Songs that have influenced me from childhood to now

Music plays a big part in my life and I’m sure it does in many others, too. It connects you to people, makes you feel something and stays with you forever. When I listen to songs, I instantly have a flashback memory from when I first heard them and it makes me reflect on all the different periods of my life and how that music changed me. Here is a list of songs that I have grown up with that have impacted me forever:

“In the Mood” by Glenn Miller

Whenever I hear this song or jazz music in general, it instantly takes me back to when I was a kid and would go to my grandparents’ house. We would cook pasta, bake cookies, watch TV, and do homework with the soft jazz music in the background. This music brought me a sense of comfort and that everything would be all right because that is what my grandparents taught me.

They taught me that being yourself and caring about the people around you is one of the most important things in life. Whenever I feel lost or overwhelmed, I put this song on and I am reminded of what is really important in life and how much I have grown as a person.

“White Horse” by Taylor Swift

The “Fearless” album by Taylor Swift was my first introduction to her music growing up. My mom, sister and I would blast this album in the house and have dance parties together. It really made me value my relationship with my mom and sister and showed me the importance of supporting women early on in my life and having strong relationships with family. 

For some reason, “White Horse,” the most gut wrenching song on the album, was my favorite growing up. I remember that song made me feel like I went through a traumatic breakup too (even though that was impossible at the ripe age of six), and I would just watch the music video and sob, highlighting how dramatic I was as a kid. 

One lyric I have been connected to ever since I was little to now is, “I’m going to find someone someday who might actually treat me well.” It is important to put yourself first sometimes to realize that relationships with people in your life change as you get older. Self-love is a concept I wish I valued more as a kid. As I have gotten older, I have realized the importance of it more. 

“Big Yellow Taxi” by Counting Crows

When I hear “Big Yellow Taxi,” it also reminds me of my family — specifically, family road trips with my dad driving. Growing up, we would always drive to visit our friends in Atlanta from Rochester which was a long 18-hour drive. My dad at some point during the drive would play this song whenever the mood became low, and it would instantly change everyone’s demeanor. 

Whenever I hear this song, I instantly feel happy and nostalgic and remember the little version of me who first heard this song. Even though I’m older now, she’ll always be a part of me and those memories I have with my family will always live with me.

Any OG songs from Justin Bieber, One Direction, and 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS)

I could not write a story about songs that impacted me throughout my life and not include my pop boys that got me through my early teen years. I have been a “belieber” since he started his career. I remember when his first song, “One Time,” was released, and I went with my friend and jammed out to it at full volume in her garage. 

My dad got my sister and I concert tickets for his first tour and I remember being so excited to go, only for it to be canceled because he was sick. I was devastated that I would not be able to see my first crush, but years later my sister and I went on the Justice Tour in Buffalo which was an amazing, full circle moment for us. One Direction and 5SOS were my favorite bands growing up; my sister and my best friends Lauren and Karissa also obsessed over them. We went to two One Direction concerts and two 5SOS concerts. 

I think we were convinced we could make one of them fall in love with us. My sister and I had life-sized posters of our favorite One Direction members (mine was Louis and hers was Harry), and we all had the classic merch from each band. Although I look back on this era and sometimes cringe at how I acted, this time was so fun and amazing for me. It was the time where I started going to my first concerts and connecting with the music live, which I will never forget.

“we can’t be friends (wait for your love)” by Ariana Grande

Although I have always been an Ariana fan, this song in particular has helped me grow and heal so many parts of myself recently. Especially being in college, there are a lot of different emotions and experiences all happening at once. New friendships, new relationships, stress, growing up, and learning who you really are as a person and what you want in your life. 

Sometimes the hardest decisions are the best decisions for yourself which is what I have been learning recently. This song goes full circle to how I felt with “White Horse” as a kid. They both have similar messages about walking away from something that is no longer a good fit for you for your own good. 

The lyric, “baby girl, it’s just me and you,” made me think of my younger self and how far I have come. It is important to do what is best for you even if it is hard. Protecting your peace and walking away from a situation with love and respect while learning from the situation is the best you can do for yourself to heal and move forward. 

I think it is fair to say that music can have a strong impact on people. Music holds multiple meanings and connects so many people. Specific songs can transport you to a time period in your life.

The opinion desk can be reached at opinion@ubpsectrum.com

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