Sunday, August 28, 2005


Certain songs occupy a special place in our lives, in our hearts and in our memories, endowed as they are with a master key to our emotions. To some people, it's the song that they shared with their first great love; to others, it's the song that they got married to, or that their first child was born to (my daughter was born to Prince singing "Peach", which is a bit of a double-edged sword if you ask me); to others, it's the song that they played endlessly through the dark, stormy autumn of a broken heart.
Then there are songs that by some chemical happenstance conjure up emotions from nothing; they cook up a fearsome broth of powerful associations, whisking you instantaneously to some far-off place in your past, to some long-forgotten room where all you can do is wallow in the excess, or the complete lack of...... of something. You find yourself short of breath, fighting a heavy lump rising in your throat, bewildered by a kaleidoscope of "something" that you can't quite put your finger on. You find yourself attracted yet repelled by this, perhaps exultant that you can feel such a powerful emotion, yet frustrated and angered that you can't nail it down, classify it, name it, associate it.
So you spend some time revisiting this song, this place, trying for all your worth to put some sense into this blank. Sometimes you get close to a name, a time, a face or a place, but it's never a complete picture and the next time you try, you're back at square one. After a while, the obsession dies away and your life regains a level playing surface; but once in a while, when you hear that song again, all the symptoms reappear and you find yourself short of breath again, eyes glistening, overcome by an intense feeling of..... of what, dammit?
For me this is that song.

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