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Monday, September 14, 2009

Surprising trip down memory lane

Sometimes you hear a song where and when you don't expect it, and it teleports you straight into a different time and place before you even realize it. Like today, when I was trying to do some work in one of those Starbucks-lookalike cafes that have sprung up in Budapest like mushrooms in the last year.

There I was, happily immersed in web strategizing when I heard Freddy Mercury's voice in "Too much love will kill you" and, bang! off I go straight into early 1990s. That was the only time when I actively listened to Queen--it lasted for a year or two, not more--before I moved on to different stuff, but I always like to hear it again.

And it always brings the same memories: four people (my sister, my best friend, his younger brother and me) listening to Freddy Mercury ad nauseam, talking high school stuff, collectively adoring Michael Jordan, creating a makeshift campsite in the middle of their bedroom (no idea why), talking politics already, being silly but also very mature and serious.

It's a memory of an island of calm in the middle of madness--our country was disintegrating, the war was about to begin, we were sliding into poverty and hyperinflation and we knew what was ahead, we knew it would be years of despair but, at the same time, we just wanted to be teenagers and do what teenagers do. Queen always reminds me of that struggle to remain normal, against odds.

Plus "Too much love will kill you" is a wonderful song--check for yourself:

9 comments:

julochka said...

wow, that is some trip down memory lane, but i do believe in the depth and transformative power of queen. :-)

B said...

What an interesting insight into your memory! You're right, it doesn't matter the circumstances, sometimes, we all need to feel normal.

Lorac said...

Teenagers especially need to feel within the norm regardless of circumstances. Nice memories you have shared!

The Fragrant Muse said...

In the early 1990s I was in Rome and raising two very young kids. Oddly enough I don't remember this song. I loved reading your memories and yes, music will transport you to another time and place as if by magic.

MissBuckle said...

It´s amazing what music, and smells, can do to take us back in time. Love your insights.

Jelica said...

Anna, you're right about the smells-to this day, the smell of boiling carrots reminds me of the awful food we had to eat in the kindergarten :)

Fragrant muse--this particular song was first sung by Brian May in 1992 and they only released the Freddy version posthumously. It's not one of their most famous ones, that's why it was such a pleasant surprise to hear it again, out of nowhere.

Delwyn said...

Hi Jelica

I agree with the smell theory of memory triggers...smells can often provide an instantaneous jolt through time...

Happy days

spudballoo said...

Just for you, I listened the whole FIRST LINE of that song xx I hate Queen, absolutely hate it...! But I know what you mean how even the first few chords of something zoom you right back to a previous place in your life. I love that! x

Word veri is dicibles, how apt for a musical discussion!

Liss said...

What a memory, it makes you realise who powerful a medium like music and smell can be.