The Musical Time Machine


By Jerry Lambert

I have always been fascinated by how music can transport you back to a specific time or event in your life. Not just the Top 40 songs, but the little-known tracks from obscure artists. One hit wonders you haven’t heard in years seem to have this mystical power. Sometimes you might not even like the song. It’s just stuck in there like a Memory Earworm, and it just won’t let go. That tune will forever be associated with a certain time in your memory. We all have at least one song that’s our personal DeLorean, allowing us to hit 88 MPH within a few notes.

I remember hearing The Tide Is High (Blondie) when I was at the top of a ski hill, getting ready to set a new land speed record. Hearing that reggae-style island music as I was preparing to rocket down the peak has always stuck with me. Jack & Diane (JC Mellencamp). I was dating a girl at the time, and whenever we hopped in the car, it was always playing on the radio. Funny thing is, neither of us particularly liked the tune, but it became “Our Song” by default. Turn Up The Radio (Autograph) is a great 80’s Hair Metal jam that takes me back to lost weekends at CMU, visiting my buddies Joe and Roy. Good times! Of course, Chapel of Love (The Dixie Cups) from our wedding, and also being serenaded by the Mauve-Tones! Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone) (Glass Tiger). After our wedding, it was playing everywhere in Hawaii and became our honeymoon theme song.

That’s the fun stuff, but there are also songs that instantly lead to sadness and tears. My mom used to read the Wizard of Oz to my son Jeffrey. So now, whenever I hear Over the Rainbow, I immediately lose it. Music has the power to transport us in time, but can also help us through some rough patches in life as well. Nowadays, every woman has a Breakup Playlist, full of songs that will help mend her broken heart. I’m sure some guys do as well. Not necessarily a playlist, but a particular song that gets them through a rough breakup. Music has many qualities, and the power to transport us time is just one of them. So grab your phone, find one of those songs, and then push Play. When your DeLorean hits 88 MPH, say hit to Marty and Doc Brown for me.

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