OK, I started this quite a while back and then dropped the ball, but I’m going to try picking up the 30 Day Song Challenge again as a weekly project.
Week 7 — A Song That Reminds You Of A Certain Event
OK, this one was hard. Not because too few songs came to mind, but because too many did.
The problem was, they were all either obvious, or contrived.
Take, for example, Sheryl Crow’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mississippi.” I got to see Sheryl Crow in concert once, many many years ago, at Mississippi State University. She’d included the song on her most recent album, but it wasn’t like it was a single or anything, so I’d had a discussion with friends on the odds as to whether she, being in Mississippi, would sing “Mississippi.” She did, and I was a happy man. But saying that a Sheryl Crow song reminds me of a Sheryl Crow concert is a bit on-the-nose, in my opinion. So out go all of the songs that remind me of a particular concert experience.
Likewise, out go all the songs that remind me of a particularly event because I deliberately chose them for that event. Yes, “The Final Countdown” reminds me of the STS-135 final launch of the space shuttle, but mainly because I chose to listen to it going to the launch because it was so obvious. Yes, I associate my Bob Mould recording of “Hoover Dam” with, you know, being at the Hoover Dam, but, again, that’s because I made a point of playing the song as I drove through the parking garage at the dam.
(Disclosure: I also rejected the guilty pleasure of Britney Spear’s “Womanizer,” which I associate with a trip to San Francisco for random reasons, purely on the basis of the fact that I didn’t want to post the video on my blog.)
So that brings us to “Wonderwall.”
Rewind back to April 1996, my senior year at Ole Miss.
I was a few credits short of graduation, but I had unfinished business.
Two years earlier, I had run for editor of the Ole Miss student newspaper, “The Daily Mississippian.”
It was at the end of my sophomore year, which made me a little young, but I really felt I was qualified. In fact, technically speaking, I was the only qualified candidate. I’ve written before about the circumstances that led up to my not getting the position. Regardless of how I see them years later, at the time, it stung. I felt robbed.
I decided to strike out on my own, and start my own publication, and then sat out the second semester of my junior year, so I didn’t run for editor that year. By my senior year, however, I had begun working at The DM again, and decided to give it one last shot. It would have basically meant staying at Ole Miss another year, but I figured it was worth it to graduate with DM editor on my resumé.
Long story short, I lost again. I knew it was a long shot. There was someone who had been groomed for the position, directly by having served as managing editor for the past year, and, really, his whole life, as the son of two former editors-in-chief of the Mississippian. I knew Rob would do a good job, and had no objection at all to him beating me, I just figured it was worth a shot.
But, knowing it was a long shot didn’t mean that part of me didn’t feel like maybe, just maybe, the decision this time would redeem the perceived injustice from two years earlier.
It didn’t help that, driving over for the editor selection, the brothers Gallagher came on Rebel Radio and sang to me that “today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you.” All these years later, that song still takes me back to that moment.
And, you know, all the roads we have to walk are winding.