I Go Back, Way Back

I just said to my sister, “You know that blogger Sarah, The Sadder But Wiser Girl (she stared at me blankly) You know the one I thought was so awesome and totally stalked and then found out she liked me too? (still blank stare) Well she’s guest posting for me tomorrow. (more blank stares) That’s when she does a post for me on my blog because with vacation I am being lame and not posting. (no response)” Dude. I am so misunderstood. But, thanks to Sarah I have an awesome post for today! She did me the honor of doing a music related post for this week; because, you know – I like music. So check out her post and go visit her too!


This is what a Toyota Tercel from 1985 looks like, because you were just DYING to know.


When I was but a young lass, we had a navy blue Toyota Tercel.  It was kind of like a cross between a station wagon and the modern-day SUV.  We named it LaToya, because what else would you call a navy blue Toyota?

In this car we had the front seat, the back seat, and the area beyond that was what we referred to as “the way back.”  Back then you could still ride around in that part of the car without consequence. AND WE SURVIVED.

Many years later I would meet a guy whose family also had “a way back” in their car, and I knew that he was the one.

Today I’m talking about going back, but not necessarily in a way back sort of way.  I’m referring to the Kenny Chesney song “I Go Back”.  This song has always resonated with me because of how true it is.  Certain songs can instantly transport you back in time, sometimes “way back.”  For the first fifteen years of my life I was a military brat whose family moved frequently. We lived up and down the East Coast as well as different places in the Midwest.  Music of course was something that was everywhere we went!  It has always been very big in my life and still is.  I have the organized collection of decades of music on my Ipod to prove it.

How far back do certain songs take me?  In the 1970s the earliest music that really strikes a chord with me is from the BeeGees.    Any song from them, particularly “How Deep Is Your Love”, brings me back to when I was really little.  My parents lived in a big farmhouse in rural Maine.  Mom had Saturday Night Fever on a record!  Remember records?  “Jet Airliner” by the Steve Miller Band also brings me back to those days.  I used to have a clock radio in my room that had the numbers that turned instead of an analog or a digital display-any time I hear that song I think of that clock.  Incidentally, I thought the words to that song were “Big old Jeb had a lighthouse…”

Yup, this would be in the BeeGees days…

Fast forward on to the early 80s.  “Queen of Hearts” by Juice Newton and “Pac-Man Fever” by Buckner and Garcia make me think of Iowa when I was in elementary school, hanging out with my cousins and visiting with my grandparents.

“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves and “A View To A Kill” by Duran Duran brings memories of grammar school in rural Maine.  I remember vividly that I had a Last Starfighter lunchbox.  I spent hours in both the school library and the public library looking for science fiction novels to read.

“Hold On To The Nights” by Richard Marx and various songs by Debbie Gibson make me think of junior high school in Florida.  I think of sleepovers with friends, marching band, and unfortunately palmetto bugs.

“Love Bites” and other songs off of Hysteria by Def Leppard as well as music from Metallica’s The Black Album take me back to high school in Iowa, my first real boyfriend and later on my first heartbreak.

I discovered Pink Floyd in college.  No, I wasn’t one that did the accompanying activities that tend to go along with that group, but it was a time that I really needed to relax.  I also was and still am a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan.  I remember running out to the Target in Sioux City the day Meloncollie and the Infinite Sadness came out so that I could have it in my possession and listen to it over and over.

Post college I spent a lot of time in the music classroom during the day and out with my friends on the weekends.  There are a vast number of songs that make me think of the bar that we started going to when I was 18, ones that I don’t really think are worth mentioning and would rather just forget. Incidentally they passed a law prohibiting 18 year olds to be able to go there the day I turned 21.  I continued to hang out there for years until I met my husband and eventually moved away.  “I Want You” and “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden remind me of him when we very first started dating.

Even now, songs from just a few years ago take me back to when I was first married, when my children were babies, and other events in my more recent life.

Both of my kids love music just as much as I do.  They have always had to have some sort of music to listen to at night.  They have literally worn out cd players.  My five-year old daughter listens to the radio at night.  My eight year old son has my old Ipod, on which I loaded just about all of my country music collection.  I imagine someday in the future they will hear some of the songs that are popular today.   I bet that music will take them back too, just like songs from my past do to me.

My little rock stars also happen to love music too!

What songs take you back to another time when you hear them, good memories or bad?

Faster than a speeding turtle, more powerful than a laxative taken with beans, able to leap over toys in a single bound… Look, look, over there-it’s The Sadder But Wiser Girl!  When she is not saving the world with her sick blogging skills, Sarah Almond is the mom of two mostly good children and the wife of one evil genius.  You can find her highly unsuccessful blog at http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com





22 thoughts on “I Go Back, Way Back

  1. Wonderful guest post and so true about certain songs bringing you way back to a different time in your life. For instance for me, if I hear Guns N Roses, November Rain, I am so transported back to high school and listening to that one over and over during a particularly bad breakup. There are so many more that can bring back other memories, but that is just one example for me.

    And Jen, hope you are having a wonderful vacation!! 🙂

  2. Ah, Walking on Sunshine and Hold On To the Nights…LOVE them! Hold On To the Nights takes me back to my backyard, where my mom spend the summers lying on a patio chair, tanning with the hose on while the rest of us played in our makeshift horse trough pool. I know, sounds trashy, but it was so damned fun. And Walking on Sunshine takes me back to many periods of my life because I love it so much that I have it on ever mixed tape, DVD, and iPod. Thanks for the memories–and Jen, hope you’re having a great trip!!

    • Hey Shay, I’m having a great time thank you! AND I am glad to hear you grew up Trashy and didn’t just turn that way in college while you were playing with chihuahuas!

    • You can’t be in a bad mood when you hear Walking on Sunshine, that’s for sure! I can still close my eyes when I hear Hold On To The Nights and picture my bedroom back then, including my stereo that still had a turntable on it. We bought records back then, and there’s a reason why my mom hates cassette tapes. That’s a story for another post though! Thanks for reading my post!

  3. Oh jeez, Sarah, I used to lay on the floor of my bedroom with Christmas lights on (year round) listening to the Bee Gees over and over and over and over and over and over. Like repeat. This post took me back there – ah to pre-teen angst and music adoration. You’re so right that music takes us to the way back. Love Pink Floyd and the Smashing Pumpkins so much. I remember that I made my grandmother buy me the Pink Floyd The Wall album. When she heard the music, she made me pay her back – she obviously didn’t get it.
    Great guest post and Jen I hope you are enjoying the sun and the sand and relaaaaaaaaaaaxxxxxing.

  4. I love how you tied all of these songs to specific memories! Very creative and very true. And the Toyota Tercel. We had the non-station wagon version. I can’t even believe that you found that picture. Jen, hope the beach is doing you right!

  5. Richard Marx and Debbie Gibson – I had hair like his and I had a hat just like the one she always wore. I was super cool. Thanks for bringing back the memories, Sarah. Hope you’re having a great vacation, Jen!

  6. So happy to see my gal pal Sarah here today! LOVE all the songs you mentioned…HOWEVER, I feel older than dirt after reading this, because while you were listening to those old vinyls in grade school, I was rocking out to them on the club dance floor. The good ol’ days .

  7. Pingback: I’m a Rock Star Today On My Skewed View! | The Sadder But Wiser Girl

  8. I love this. I feel like you are a long-lost relative. We have a “way back” as my family calls it, but I like the way “the BACK back” just rolls off my tongue.

    I sang “…big ole Jed had a light on” and many other misconstrued lyrics. Have you ever gone to http://www.kissthisguy.com Not sure if it’s still running, but it used to have TONS of these, ala Jimmy Hendrix “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” hahaha

    Thanks for stopping by our blog hop! Nice to “meet” you.

  9. I love this collaboration! Jen’s introduction was hilarious and so very accurate, I feel that way whenever I talk to my husband about my blogging life, and Sarah’s piece really touched my heart. I was thinking about this topic recently of how music has perhaps the strongest ability to bring you back in time. It’s such an amazing and personal experience to hear a song that immediately transports you elsewhere and makes you nostalgic and it’s so interesting to read other people’s experience with the same. Great post!

  10. I had a name for my car and it will make your ears bleed. Damn thing.
    I have most of all the songs that were played and overplayed at the bars when I used to go.
    I liked drinking.

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