I recently switched from listening to NPR back to listening to my iPod on the way to work. NPR was making me too depressed and angry (I can get very impassioned about politics). I'll take my "news lite" from The Today Show any day. Anyway, I had forgotten how much I love my iPod. Mainly because I really don't like much new music. Almost all of the songs I have are from 1996 to 2004. The songs from when I was younger just bring back so many good and funny memories.
When I listen to Fuel, I think of the time that Hannah and I had a huge fight because I wanted to listen to that CD every day on the way to and from school. Two guys from church who rode home from school with us were just sitting in the back seat with these stunned looks on their faces. I don't think they had ever seen the way sisters fight. Now, of course, Hannah and I just laugh about it.
Or there's "Whenever, Wherever" by Shakira, which Jessica included on a mix CD she made for our group of friends when we graduated from high school. Accompanying the CD was an explanation of why she chose each song. That particular one said something like, "Just like this song says, I know that 'whenever, wherever we're meant to be together.' " I think she was only joking a little bit. We really were that sappy. I still love those girls.
Alanis Morrissette's Jagged Little Pill was one of the first CDs I ever owned (after Mariah Carey and Celine Dion, of course). Still when I sing along to "You Oughta Know," I sing our altered church van line: "I hope you're thinking of me when you suck on a sucker." The original is not nearly so benign; use your imagination. (This is also a prime example I want to remember when I'm tempted to tell my kids they shouldn't be listening to certain music. I listened to tons of songs that might not have been completely age-appropriate, but I turned out fine. I say, pick your battles.)
Almost every song I have, I can think of some story that goes along with it, usually involving silliness or melodrama. That just doesn't happen with current songs. I don't go on 15-hour van rides with dozens of other teenagers where all we have to do is make up dumb words to songs. (We turned "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys into a love song about a chocolate chip cookie . . . I have no idea.) I don't dress up with my friends and make up a music video for "Lady Marmalade." (I was Lil' Kim, like you couldn't guess!)
So while I appreciate some new music, it just doesn't make me happy like older music does. And I'm not talking old, classic music. Most of the stuff I liked was pretty cheesy, and I was never picky about genre. So what? I'm proudly admitting that I sing along at the top of my lungs to Boyz II Men, Garth Brooks, Ace of Base, The Offspring, and Shania Twain, sometimes one right after another. They may not be "good," but they sure are fun.