Wednesday, 10 December 2008


Obviously, our senses are vital and save our lives many thousands of times a day. Sight, taste, touch, sound and smell are all integral to our everyday experiences, but they also play a key role in our memories.

Smell is the sense most commonly associated with memory, and it’s true that there’s nothing like Chanel perfume to remind me of my grandmother. But yesterday when I was falling asleep, listening to my i-Pod, a song came on which I hadn’t heard in a while. In the black silence there were little other thoughts or senses to interfere with the memory this song was evoking.

In strangely vivid detail, I recalled the day when I heard the song performed last summer. It wasn’t a particularly important day to me, merrily insignificant more than anything else. And I don't particularly love the song eitehr; in fact at times I find it a little bit irritating in its poppiness. But hearing the song I was there and my feet were freezing and wet and my legs were splattered with mud and I was wearing my favourite dress. I was feeling relieved, having just rediscovered the friends I had lost in the huge crowds. I was feeling excited and exhilarated in the music. I was a little bit in love with the whole world.

After the song had finished, I turned off my i-Pod and whilst drifting to sleep, ideas drifted in and out of my head. Surprising clarity one moment faded and blurred as I lost wakefulness and this morning all I could remember is that I had a fantastic. I had contemplated writing it down, but I didn’t and now all I know is that I simply can’t remember it. Maybe it’s something about the lack of sensory aid when you are falling asleep that your night-time thoughts are so hard to remember?

The Magic Position by Patrick Wolf. Which songs evoke memories for you?


  1. Oh yes, senses can bring so many memories...


  2. I couldn't begin to name them all. The ones that hit me hardest are the ones that remind me of high school and adolescence.

  3. Smell and music are both huge triggers of memory for me. Scent even more than music.

  4. Amazing how music can just instantly take us back, isn't it? ANY Soul Coughing makes me think of my last year at college and a very tempestuous affair I had during that time ...

  5. Really cool post . . . it's funny how songs of different eras evoke different memories for me. Like I heard a Blues Traveler tune the other day and was reminded of my boyfriend in college and this road trip we took to New Orleans ...


  6. I love finding things which resonate with everyone like this!