I clearly remember pulling into a parking spot outside of my brother’s first tee ball game. It was 1994, and “I Swear” by All 4 One had just been released. And I loved it. The song had been in my head for days, and as we were pulling into the parking lot, it magically came on the radio.
I begged my mother to leave my 9-year-old self alone in the car, to listen to the song for three blissful minutes, to just let me listen. I didn’t have the CD or the cassette…I’m not even sure if at 9, I had a means to play either. But I know that I needed to hear that song.
It’s been like that with multiple songs, mostly throughout the 1990’s. We never just YouTubed a song–we waited, in the morning videos of MTV and VH1, but more commonly, the radio. Each song was a shooting star, a fleeting moment that we caught by chance and truly cherished. Now, any song we want is at our fingertips and achieved within seconds.
I’m not saying that I don’t totally appreciate the ability to YouTube a song, or to download it or put it on my iPod to play in my car… I’m just saying that I was a lot more appreciative of music when I didn’t have such easy access to it.
I remember waiting for “I’m Like a Bird” by Nelly Furtado, “Hotel California” by the Eagles, “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Biggie. And you know what? These are the songs that hold the biggest spots in my heart because I always made sure I remember where I was when I heard them the first time.
This still happens…just rarely. Like Mike and I leaning against the brick wall of the Reel Cafe in Wilmington while a band played “Melissa” by The Allman Brothers. That song still gives me chills.