Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tunesday Tuesday: "1979"



"With the headlights pointed at the dawn/ We were sure we'd never see an end to it all/ And I don't even care to shake these zipper blues/ And we don't know/ Just where our bones will rest/ To dust I guess"- "1979"

There's something special about music when you are a teenager. Sure, I still listen to music and love songs, but it was so much more important to me 15 years ago. It was my lifeline. The singers and songwriters spoke to me; they understood my pain, my hopes, my fears, my dreams better than I did. And they could put down into song emotions I could only whine about in a spiral-bound notebook that I hid under my mattress every night before bed. It's funny how hearing a song can take you back to a time and place.

I wasn't a Smashing Pumpkins fan at all; however, the summer after my best friend turned 16, the song "1979" was hugely popular. Seriously, has there EVER been a song more suited to cruising around small-town America with the windows down and a million stars twinkling above you? He had this old beat-up car, no tag, no license, and every night we just drove. Up and down streets. Through parking lots. The car was so crappy it didn't even have a working radio, so I would drag my boombox around with us and we would listen to the radio.

This was my first taste of real freedom. We never did anything bad. It was enough to just drive where you wanted to drive and listen to what you wanted to listen to and know you didn't have anything to do the next day except sleep late and listen to music. It was a magical time to be alive. Sometimes I feel sorry for today's youth. Maybe I'm just naive, but I feel like we had it so much easier. Yes, there were temptations- drugs, alcohol, sex, shoplifting- but I never felt like I was pressured to do any of those things (and I didn't). Sometimes I wish I could go back 15 years and just drive. Sometimes I just listen to the music.


21 comments:

Annie said...

I agree with you...while I still LOVE music, I feel like it did, for whatever reason, carry more meaning in my teen years. Maybe it was all the heart break and hope for the future, who knows? :)

Annie
The Other Side of Gray

Lizzie Marian said...

Your blog post just made me smile AND get a little teary. I'm a single mum of a toddler and I've been thinking a lot lately about ideas of youth and freedom as my life has so dramatically changed in the last year. So this blog topic really struck a nerve for me. Also I really loved that song and I had completely forgotten about it. I had in on CASSETTE. Ha! Now I feel really old.
And ahhhh Hi! I've been following your blog for a little while and really enjoying it but I've never commented... Lizzie

tashia graham said...

Music was definitely more important to me in my teen years and even in college than it is now. I have similar memories of being about 15 and riding around with a good friend. For me it's Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American album that stands out in my memory and reminds me of those times.

Mary said...

Love this post! I totally agree that we had it easier as teens. The city I grew up in is now ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the country. We used to cruise that entire town with no where in particular to go and didn't have to worry about getting robbed, carjacked or shot at like you do now. And that was only 10ish years ago! It's sad. But, man, the music meant so much! The summer I turned 16 was the best and we drove around blaring the 1st Nelly cd non stop!

Sharon S said...

1979 is a great song! I love how listening to a certain song can really take you back to a certain time in your life and bring up all those emotions all over again.

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart
Enter my giveaway!

Caties Corner said...

Great post, Katie! Music was/is a HUGE part of being a teenager. For me it was cruising around in my friend's little Datsun pickup, blaring Oasis Live Forever and Wonder Wall. Of course we listened to all kinds of music, but I blame her crappy speakers, and Live Forever for the tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears) I suffer from today. lol I listened to everything from classic rock to hip hop and still do. There's always a song to fit your mood and I love that.

Music is also a big part of my adult life. My hubby has a recording studio in our basement and records music with one of his old band mates a couple times a week. My 13, nearly 14, year old stepdaughter has always played an instrument, but just recently started playing guitar. She's already quite good and already playing her own songs. Our youngest daughter, 6, has always been freakishly good with drums. (Do I really want a drum set in the house!?!?) She'll also sit in her room playing and sing a song she's making up as she goes, for over half an hour! We're hoping she really gets into music too. She already loves all different types.

We think music is a great way for kids to express themselves in a positive way! Whether the lyrics are sad and depressed or rage-filled, it's better than them doing drugs or other things. They get the release without the side effects. Know what I mean? Anyway, didn't mean to ramble on. I could still keep going! Awesome post!!

~ Catie

** I'll have my post sent to you by this afternoon! = )

Always Maylee said...

Oh the days of our youth! Totally agree, when I was teen, I'd find songs with lyrics that pertained to whatever crisis of the week I was going through and listen to it on repeat and then make an AIM away status about it, obviously. :)

xo, Yi-chia

Jessica | Surely Sonsy said...

okay, katie. here's where you and i become besties. 1979 is one of my all-time favorite songs, and it has strong associations of summers driving around rural WI with my sister. we became HUGE fans when mellon collie came out in 1997 and we haven't stopped since. every time 1979 comes on i think of her and i get all nostalgic. i'm so stoked to hear that you have similar associations!!

lovelovefashion said...

i crave music even now, but teenage music was especially important, probably my first crush- going to see bands and obviously (of course!) wearing very impressive multi-coloured make-up and massive hair and discovering to my devastation that i could not scream like a girl at bands - i just barked kind of like a seal, and sang along (well. i made it up really, i only ever knew the chorus-ish) - but you know i could not be a teenager again, i was a catholic convent schoolgirl in an all girl school- lots of naughtiness, a lot of fun and yes, still more innocent (honest!) than today- but you should do the drive with music at night oh yes! my hubby and i recently drove home from a date night down the motorway with music blaring and singing and it was just fabulous (although being sensible it all was lowered down when we approached the burbs but we felt just a little bit cool) x

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I think that's exactly why it's so important as a teen! My teenaged self would DIE at the amount of pop/Top 40 I listen to. DIE!!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Man I loved some Jimmy Eat World!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Nelly!! I drove around a lot to that one too, but it was when I was in college. We still feel totally bad ass when any Nelly comes on the radio ;)

That's crazy about your town and amazing how much a town can change!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Music is magical like that! That sounds totally corny but it's true!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

My sister and I were huge Oasis fans. I haven'[t thought about them in ages. I love how much music is a daily thing in your household. That's great. Sean is 4 and takes a little Kindermusik class at his day care. I really hope he never wants a drum set, a piano would be much nicer ;)

I agree that music is a much healthier outlet than the alternatives that are out there.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Wait... I still do that on my Facebook statuses... you mean I was supposed to outgrow it!!!???

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

What I love about how similar our situations are is that at the time I felt like I was the only person who had ever heard that song or that album... like it was written especially for us. You don't imagine that somewhere completely across the country someone else is doing the same thing. I love it!

Grace said...

I like to discuss this with my sibling sometimes, because times really have changed. It's different for different generations. That's great that you can relate to a song like that though!

A Southern Drawl

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

It makes me sad how much things have changed! It's a different world,but like you said- I'm sure each generation feels like that.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Man, you don't want to be in the car if "Don't Stop Believin'" or "Bohemian Rhapsody" comes on the radio. Curtis and I go CRAZY singing. So much fun :)

Mel said...

Yes! To everything you said, just yes. Music was so important to me in high school. Some of my best memories were driving around rural VA listening to Saves the Day "Through Being Cool" or going to local band shows at coffee houses.

While I am sure that kids now a days (I can't believe I just used that phrase) have a rougher go of it than I did in high school, there is still always music, luckily. Tunes, songs, and bands that I've never heard of probably speak to them the way that Saves the Day and Weezer spoke to me. Maybe, like us, kids will find music that they can relate to and spend their days rocking out too.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Kids now a days! I sometimes wonder though if they have the same quality of music... but that's just the old fart in me talking ;)

I know music is such a universal thing and I know just like my dad rocked out to the Beatles and I rocked out to Everclear, my son will one day rock out to something :)

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