A friend of mine surprised me today by uttering a single line from a song to me over ICQ. This line was:
I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad ...I was confused by this, of course ? the song and its lyrics had been mysteriously erased from my memory. He might as well had been speaking ancient Romanian. This lack of insight annoyed my friend greatly, who nevertheless reminded me of the name of this musical epic. Right then all my memories sort of came back to me:
I ain't happy, I'm feeling gladThe song is of course Clint Eastwood by hybrid group Gorillaz, and is most likely the best song ever composed in the history of mankind.
I've got sunshine in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
the future is coming on ...
After some thinking, I realized that I still remembered most if not all of the lyrics to the song. As I hummed the lyrics under my breath, I scavenged around for the album ? aptly named simply Gorillaz ? and put it on, turning to track five. And I remembered more stuff; how great the video had been, and even where I had been when I first heard the song; my old home-home, late at night (around 3 am-ish, if I recall correctly), with ZTV, the Swedish equivalent to MTV, on in the background when the video came on and I messaged my friend ? the same one reminding me about it ? telling him to turn ZTV on to watch.
It's interesting how some precise moments in time get etched into our skulls so deeply (even if we may momentarily forget them) ? from such devastating things as when we first heard that John F Kennedy had been shot, or that the World Trade Center had been attacked to more personal moments such as witnessing the birth of a child or just hearing the best song in the world for the first time. It is understandable for moments of great shock such as the first two, that one would come to remember them for the rest of one's life, and certainly a child can have a great impact on the life of an unsuspecting father will come to bear great emotional importance for years to come ? but what about the music? How could it have burned itself so deeply into my normally disastrously inefficient long-term memory with me in all ways so unaware of its importance?
Maybe music just does that to people. Maybe a simple song can affect us enough that we never quite recover from it. Or maybe it's simply that other significant events in our life subconsciously associated with the songs makes us remember them, long after the effects of these events have ebbed out. Maybe a good song is just more important than the events of the world; after all, your memories of it are yours alone and somehow overshadows the dull social and ecological disasters we get spoonfed every day by the media. At any rate, as we all careen inevitably towards the impending heat death of the universe, I know what memories I prefer.