15 Songs that define this Boomer’s life

A Musical Biography in Several Movements

Photo by Tom Jablonski on Unsplash

For most of my life I’ve been really into music. Sometimes I tell people I’m a walking jukebox, because they could request any one of a huge number of songs and I will probably know it (and also sing it, or at least give it the old college try).

Interestingly enough I’ve never gotten into playing instruments — unless you count some small flute and the recorder when I was in grade school in the 70s — although I’ve got learning the guitar on my bucket list. However, I encouraged my son to get into playing instruments and I believe he’s up to about five of them now… a regular one-man band who sings very well also.

I was in choir in high school and have been singing karaoke for more than 25 years, so with my literal sponge of a memory (for song lyrics, anyway) I am a bonafide musicophile (one who loves music). I might do very well on “Jeopardy” if the categories all related to music — rock, country, blues, you name it. Music is like the background to the life stories of many of us. In my case, I can name the year (or get close) plus recall where I was living at the time, who (if anyone) I was dating or crushing on, and so on. All these memories will come back as various songs play, and I”m sure that true for many of you.

Anyway, I came up with 15 songs that have happened in my lifetime as a young Boomer that mark the passages/stages and who and where I was at the time. Whether or not anyone is interested in my musical biography, here they are.

  1. Back in Black, AC/DC: This marked, in 1980, the end of my soft pop/R and B (read: disco) era and led me into being a rocker, which I still am today — not to mention a big fan of AC/DC, to whom I was introduced by a wonderful male I met that year. I’m not stuck on one genre of music either: it’s gotta have a good beat, a pleasing singing voice, great lyrics, and I’m good to listen.
  2. I’ll Be Over You, Toto: Came out when I was in high school and describes the dramatics teenagers go through when it comes to relationships. This pretty song reminds me of the breakups that I thought I’d NEVER get over, that I’d “just die!!” because some guy left me … and here I am, 35-plus years later, still alive and kicking.
  3. Careless Whisper, Wham: I met an awesome man that year but unfortunately was seeing a “bad boy” who lived closer to me, so I had to decided to stay with him, rather than be with the awesome man. A mistake, yes, though not fatal; it was a big lesson I needed to learn.
  4. I’m Back on the Road Again, REO Speedwagon: Reminds me of the above-mentioned awesome man, because we still keep in touch. He comes to my neighborhood and eventually has to go back home, so this is his song: “I’ve loved you since the day I met you, and I’ll love you till the day I die. but we both know the life I’m livin’ …”
  5. Walkin’ On Sunshine, Katrina and the Waves: Makes me think of all the fun I had in college (when I went there the first time, right after high school), it’s so happy and upbeat you just can’t help but jam to it. It was for me a soundtrack to a lot of dumb things that young people often do.
  6. My Prerogative, Bobby Brown: From the late 80s and signifies my wish to be an individual who went her own way, spoke her mind, and made her own choices, for better or worse. Which is something we should all do.
  7. I Hate Myself For Loving You, Joan Jett: Probably my favorite song of hers, one that applies to a handful of men I’ve dated and had not-exactly-healthy relationships with said men. Live and learn, as they say.
  8. Wherever I May Roam, Metallica: Because I’m a wanderer who loves to travel, meet new people, see new places, and chart my own course.
  9. Wake Me Up Before You Go-go, Wham: Just because I love this song, love Wham, and love to dance. This song always makes me smile and usually gets me on my feet and shaking that booty.
  10. Closing Time, Sonic: Reminds me of my second wedding. It was (fittingly) one of the last songs of the night. “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Love the lyrics.
  11. Here I Go Again, Whitesnake: “Like a drifter I was born to walk alone…” reminds me of my last divorce (from the second husband) after which I began what has now been a 19-year journey as a single mom.
  12. Sober, Pink: An awesome song and which came out in the six-and-a-half years during which I went alcohol free. “I’m safe, up high, no one can touch me. Why do I feel this party’s over?” Because sometimes we “wake up” and decide that it’s time.
  13. All About that Bass, Meghan Trainor: This one is self-explanatory. She says it’s obvious she’s not a size 2, and neither am I. But it’s ok, just rock what you got, girl. My kind of body-positive song!!
  14. Happy, Pharrell Williams: Because it’s a bouncy, peppy song that makes me happy — and of course it was used on Despicable Me (the Minions) which I totally adore also.
  15. Feelin’ Good As Hell, Lizzo: A great song by a wonderful artist about good friendships that comfort and lift each other up … as we all should. To my ears it’s a feel-good, affirming and “outspoken woman empowerment” song by a big, beautiful woman and I love it.

There are more I could list though this is enough. While I was reading this over it occurred to me I didn’t list Lynyrd Skynyrd’s famous anthem, “Free Bird,” a favorite of many in the Boomer generation and what I’d like inscribed on my grave stone (if I get one). Shout out to all these great musicians and others, and also to my fellow musicophiles who I’m sure have your own musical biographies as well. Rock on!!

Experienced professional writer/freelancer and former newspaper reporter-turned-online writer/blogger. Thinker. “Old soul”, young hippie, empath.

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