I had just broken things off with my long-distance, on-again-off-again boyfriend and was driving 7 hours back to Atlanta on a good 45 minutes of sleep (when you know you’re having “the talk” in the morning, it doesn’t make for the best shut-eye). In other words, I was thisclose to dousing myself in gasoline at the next QuickTrip and lighting a match.

Ok that was dramatic, but I was sad. And drained. And we didn’t even have break-up sex (FML).

And then…I heard Fun’s “Some Nights” for the first time.

There are certain songs in my life I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing, and how I felt when I heard them the first time. That will forever be one of those moments. The song is so unique, so upbeat, so FUN (duh) that it instantly lifted my mood. I quickly found it on Spotify (thank the music Gods) and basically had it on repeat the whole way home. So a big thanks to Fun for making great music and keeping me alive that day.

There are so many other songs I have strong memories associated with and would like to share a few of those gems.

1. “Just a Girl,” No Doubt (1995): I had just gotten my first two-piece bathing suit in 8th grade and was feeling as hot as Cher Horowitz, dancing around in my all-purple-everything bedroom like a maniac to No Doubt on my Aiwa stereo with visions of meeting the love of my life that summer. I was 13. I had braces, was flat-chested, and didn’t understand the concept of getting a tan yet. Needless to say, I did not meet my soulmate that summer.

2. “American Girl,” Tom Petty (1977): This is my favorite song of all time. My parents would put Tom Petty on the ol’ stereo after dinner when I was growing up, so it always channels nostalgia (my dad would dance around to “Refugee” LIKE A BOSS), and my best friend in the world loves it, too, so we consider it “our song.” I will never not get excited when I hear it, unless some cover singer at a dive bar starts butchering the lyrics, in which case I get on stage and grab the mic (it has happened…twice).

3. “Creep,”  TLC (1995): TLC might be my favorite band of all time. I grew up with them. They defined my middle school (read: awkward) years and even into high school (hello, we all sang “No Scrubs” about the douchebag(s) who dumped us in ’99). But Creep is my all-time favorite. I would try to dance like they did in the video while I was getting ready for school. And when I met T-Boz in 2006 at an event, I told her that. She laughed and didn’t make me feel like an asshole (I knew she was always my fave).

4. “Like a Prayer,” Madonna (1989): When I was a kid, I would invite my friends over and make them do choreographed dance routines (in outfits from my massive spandex collection) to this song.

Oh you want proof?
like a prayer

5. “Differences,” Ginuwine (2001): This was my song with the first guy I dated seriously senior year of high school and into college. It was actually one of my best friend’s songs with HER boyfriend first, but I convinced her that it applied to my relationship more, so she “let me” have it. Good God, that’s embarrassing.

6. “The Seed,” The Roots (2002): Spring Break sophomore year of college in Key West. The best spring break (maybe best vacation) of all time. The guys we were with played this ON REPEAT the entire week and us gals learned to love it, too.

7. “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke, etc. (2013): Since this was the official song of summer 2013, it was the official song of my 30th birthday week month. And 30 has been my best year yet, so thank you Mr. #THICKE.

Oh, and we loved it so much, we got tanks made. Too bad ol’ gal at the T-shirt shop didn’t have spellcheck.

blurred lines tees

8. “Last Friday Night,” Katy Perry (2011): Speaking of 30th birthdays, this pop jam will forever remind me of the best present ever and my incredible friends and family who brought me to ugly cry status at my party.

9. “Hey Brother,” Avicii (2013): When I first heard this song, I got tears in my eyes (or fully cried, whatever) because it reminds me of my brother, and the lyrics are so poignant with us being far away from each other (“What if I’m far from home? Oh, brother I will hear you call. What if I lose it all? Oh, sister I will help you out.”). I even made a video with it for Christmas.

10. “Thriller,” Michael Jackson (1982): I remember like it was yesterday (I have a sick memory, btw). I was probably 6 years old, and the “Thriller” video came on MTV. My mom and dad had a brief “discussion” over whether I was old enough to watch it (Dad: “She’ll be fine; she loves Beetlejuice!”), and my mom backed down. It was the most terrifying five minutes of my life and I had nightmares for weeks about zombies coming up through the floorboards of my bedroom. Thanks, Dad.

11. “Single Ladies,” Beyonce (2008): I mean, duh. I was Beyonce for Halloween 2009, learned the whole damn dance, and performed it in front of a crowd at Twisted Taco. Was it one of the highlights of my life? Absolutely. Does everyone expect me to do it at weddings now like I’m some sort of party trick? YUP.

single ladies

This was so hard choosing just ten songs, so I compiled 100 of my favorite and/or life-changing tunes (still hard to choose) into a Spotify playlist so you can get a glimpse at just how cool (or weird) my 30 years on this planet have been. I wish I could put notes next to them (“Hey, don’t judge me; all girls love Strawberry Wine”). And the only one I couldn’t find was “Turn Your Lights Down Low” by Bob Marley feat. Lauryn Hill (jerks).

As I always say, if you don’t have Spotify, I cannot comment on that because I don’t have anything nice to say.

What would be on your life soundtrack? Would love to know your moment-defining songs and if you have any stories as dumb and/or traumatic as mine, please share in the comments!

Happy listening, music lovers! (And don’t worry, giveaway week isn’t over–more coming later today.)


Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Spotify via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Spotify.

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