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  • Writer's pictureAnthony June-Dubois

Songs That Remind Me of Those I Love, and Songs That Saved Me

Updated: May 5, 2023

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After songs are recorded and released, they often take on lives of their own. Many times in my life I have had songs carry me through moments in my life, and other times they accompany experiences I have while I'm with others close to me. Here are just some of these songs...


 

Songs That Remind Me of Those I Love


Some of the songs that remind me of others are songs that they actually liked, while often they are songs that people may not like or even know but remind me of them.



The Cars - Let's Go

I want to start with a song that is part of one of my earliest memories. When I was 4 years old, I went with my Mom, Dad, and older brother down the street from our house to a barbecue place called Hickory Barn. And as we walked in, this song was playing on the jukebox. This moment, with this song as the soundtrack, is without a doubt one of the earliest happy memories of my life. A happy, pure, innocent, care-free day and time of my life.




 

Songs that remind me of Dad




Police - Wrapped Around Your Finger

Dad was a country boy through and through. So I'm honestly not sure why, but this song was completely stuck in my head when he passed away. This song didn't have any significance to him that I know of, but for some reason it looped in my head for months and well over a year as I mourned him. The words in the climax of the song:


"Devil and the deep blue sea behind me

Vanish in the air you'll never find me

I will turn your face to alabaster

When you'll find your servant is your master"

This part made me absolutely...


Country Road Songs


When we would take the road trip to Mamaw's (Dad's mom, my grandmother) for most of my childhood, Dad would have this same country music compilation tape in the tape deck of our blue custom Dodge Ram Elk van. We heard these same songs for about a decade, until of course I got a Sony Walkman for Christmas one year and listened to my own tapes. These are some of the songs I remember the most:


Tammy Wynette - Stand By Your Man

Mickey Gilley - Lonely Nights

Ferlin Husky - Waterloo

Johnny Paycheck - Take This Job and Shove It


Other songs that remind me of Dad:


Slim Whitman - Song of the Old Water Wheel - His favorite song as a little boy

Johnny Cash - I Walk the Line



 

Songs that remind me of Mom




Debussy - Clair de Lune

Mom would play this on the piano frequently from the time I was in high school and I could hear it throughout the house. She played it beautifully and flawlessly every time. She must have known it from when she played the piano as a child because I don't remember ever hearing her learning it or struggling with it. The song fits her beautifully and perfectly.





Michael Jackson - Rock With You

I remember this song in the car on the radio one day when Mom was bringing me along on her errands. It was 1979, a very sunny day, I was a 3 year old toddler, and she was this young, vivacious, en vogue mom sporting these (really loud) popular wooden clog shoes that were the hottest fashion at the time. Every time I've ever heard this song since I always have a fond snap shot of that day.





Billy Ocean - There'll Be Sad Songs

When I was in elementary school around 2nd or 3rd grade, this song was played quite a bit on the radio and would be stuck in my head. In the summer during this time, my Mom, Dad, little brother, sister and I went to our neighborhood pool what seemed like everyday. These were some of the fondest childhood memories for me, and this song made me think of my Mom a lot and was in my head on one of our trips to the pool. When I hear or think of this song now, I remember just how tender and sweet she was with me, and this song captures the tenderness so well.



Other songs that remind me of Mom:


Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata - Played beautifully on the piano

Marc Anthony - You Sang to Me


 

Songs that remind me of Papa

I had the privilege of being raised by 2 Dads. Here are some of the many songs that remind me of him.




Robert Plant - In the Mood

I would hear these songs a lot on the radio when we would be driving around town in Papa's truck. The Sting and Yes songs below in particular have an intelligence and quirkiness that remind me of the same qualities in him. In the Mood reminds me of him dropping me off on Sundays after our weekends together, which always made me feel sad and miss him instantly.





Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Papa would take me to Chinatown just outside of downtown Houston to roam around and eat at my favorite Chinese food restaurant of all time Lucky Inn. One time when I was around 8 or 9 years old, we went into a grocery store in Chinatown and this song was playing on the store speakers, and he picked me up and put my feet onto his and kept walking, and took my arms and bounced my arms to the beat of the song. We laughed and just had a good time. This memory always comes to mind whenever I hear this song.




Other songs that remind me of Papa (that I no doubt heard in his truck):


The Fixx - Stand or Fall

Pink Floyd - Have a Cigar - Heard this playing on a little radio at a visit to the auto parts shop

Rockford Files Theme Song (Explicit) - I always thought James Garner looked like Papa and always thought of him when this show came on TV


 

Songs that remind me of my big brother




KISS - Flaming Youth

My older brother was the reason I ever got into KISS, and many years later when I was in high-school I always slept in on weekends. He being the early bird he always was, he would come into my room, put this song on my record player, and just start talking and cutting up while I was dead tired and still sleeping.





Other songs that remind me of my big brother:


Who - Pinball Wizard - Loved to play the intro over and over really loud

Jefferson Starship - Jane - Brought home on 7" record when we were kids

Rush - Subdivisions

Led Zeppelin - Kashmir, Stairway to Heaven

Black Flag - Gimme Gimme Gimme

Weezer - Say it Ain't So


 

Songs that remind me of my little brother




LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out

My younger brother and I shared a room most of our years growing up, and when I was starting high school he was finishing up elementary school in the 5th grade. Our parents would occasionally take us to music stores like Sound Warehouse back then and by us a tape or 2, and he chose this tape by LL Cool J. He was trying to get into his own music without so much of my influence, and he played this tape all the time.




Other songs that remind me of my little brother:


Pantera - Cemetery Gates

Outkast - So Fresh and So Clean - Fond memories of jamming this during the college years

Doors - Riders on the Storm - Was playing in his black Impala SS one night on a joyride

Led Zeppelin - Going to California

Rolling Stones - Brown Sugar - Sang together at karaoke

LL Cool J - Around the Way Girl


 

Songs that remind me of my baby sister




KISS - Beth

I got Double Platinum by KISS on record at a flea market when I was about 6 years old, and I found Beth to be a sweet, beautiful song that made me think of and miss my 2 year old baby sister, even though she was in the house with me almost all the time. The lyrics are dedicated to a wife or girlfriend, but since I had no frame of reference for that as a 6 year old I related it to my sister because of the phrases like "just a few more hours and I'll be right home to you", and "our house just ain't a home". It's one of my earliest memories of feeling a sensitive side within myself, and a loving, brotherly affection towards my little sister that was different than the love I felt for my brothers.




Other songs that remind me of my little sister:


Scott Joplin - The Entertainer - Fond memories of hearing her play this on piano at home

Beatles - Black Bird

Mozart - Turkish March - Played this on piano flawlessly at around age 12

Boyz 2 Men - End of the Road


 

Songs that remind me of my Mamaw


Marty Robbins - El Paso



 

Songs that remind me of V




U2 - All I Want is You

There are many ways V has exorcized much of my past heartbreaks, and one major way she has done this is restored songs that I liked but were associated with some of these past heartbreaks. It takes someone incredible and indelible to take songs from my past and make it our songs without any reminiscing or longing for the past, other that the earliest memories with her and first associating these songs with her, but V has done just that without forcing it or even realizing it. Here are only some of the songs she has rescued and restored for me and others that remind me of her:


INXS - Don't Change

Flock of Seagulls - Space Age Love Song

Lionel Richie - Stuck on You

Crosby Stills and Nash - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Incubus - Echo

Bronsky Beat - Smalltown Boy

Ministry - Revenge

Psychedelic Furs - Heartbreak Beat



 

Songs that remind me of my homies


"Young Man" Songs

Black Sabbath - Trashed - Played in the background the first time we talked on the phone as kids

Ozzy Ozbourne - Mr. Crowley

LL Cool J - Bad (Explicit) - First heard in his older brother's system in his car

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

The Doors - Touch Me

Black Box - Everybody Everybody - Played on the radio in when his mom was driving us to somewhere in their family van

Candy Flip - Strawberry Fields Forever - Same as above!




"Texas Ranger" Songs

Alice in Chains - I Stay Away

Front 242 - Headhunter - Recorded from his 12" record onto my tape, changed my musical taste forever

Celebrate the Nun - Will You Be There - Would mix this song into Front 242 Headhunter

Die Warzau - Land of the Free

Nitzer Ebb - Join in the Chant

Umo Detic - Fahrenheit

Creedance Clearwater Revival - Lookin' Out My Backdoor

The Normal - Warm Leatherette




"Inday Badiday" Songs

Tears for Fears - Break it Down Again

Kool and the Gang - Get Down on It

Marvin Gaye - Mercy Mercy Me

New Order - Regret

Ralph Tresvant - Sensitivity



 

Songs That Saved Me


Heart - These Dreams

Growing up, my older brother and I had a sort of kindred relationship, with the two of us having the same last names while everyone else in the house had a different last name, going to our Dad's house on the weekends together, and he was the first hero I ever had. He is who first influenced me musically, and it was from this influence that I became an artist and musician.

When I was around 8 years old...



Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash

In my childhood home in Alief, a fabled area of southwest Houston, Texas, there where many nooks and crannies in our modest but comfy 2 story house. Some of the nooks were dark and down right scary for me at night as a very young boy. Fortunately for me, my older brother was a Rolling Stones fan and for some reason anytime I felt afraid going through the dark, the main riff of Jumpin' Jack Flash would automatically pop in my head while I would briskly get my butt through whatever hallway or place I had to get through to reach wherever I was headed. For this reason and more, this is my favorite Stones song by far.




Anything Box - World Without Love

This is a beautiful song I love that I can't bring myself to listen to due to one of the hardest nights of my life for my family that is too painful to talk about. This song happened to be in my head that day, and as it was still in my head that night, it consoled me when I truly needed it. I avoid listening to it now, only because it takes me right back to that night. I hope to heal enough to share with others its true meaning to me someday.




Genesis - Hold on My Heart

It was the summer after my sophomore year of high school, and I had just gained a huge amount of freedom with my first car that my mom bought from our neighbors across the street for $1000, a Taco Bell sauce colored 1980 Toyota Corolla. It blew extra cold AC and had a radio that worked, and if you yanked one of the radio station buttons out just right you could program the radio stations, or pull it out altogether if you pulled too hard.

I had been dating my first girlfriend...


Thank you for taking the time to read and share in these experiences with me, and I hope it brings inspiration to you.

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