I have a mean mom confession to make. Last week I threatened to remove the country music from my daughter’s Kindle because she was singing it so much and I really dislike country music. I want her to listen to the music that I listen to! After my gut reaction, I spent some time thinking about the music that I listened to as a teen. That music is the music that has stayed with me my whole life. I don’t get nostalgic thinking about what I listened to when I was 24. I don’t even remember what I listened to when I was 7. But those years between 12 and 19? Those are the songs that still can bring tears to my eyes or put me right back in the midst of teen angst.
I posed a question to my Facebook friends about the songs that remind them of their teen years. People were very quick to respond! They started engaging and “liking” the responses of other people that they do not even know. Clearly it’s something that strikes a chord with many of us.
Although I have friends on Facebook from age 20 to 85, the majority of the responses came from people around my demographic. We’ll politely call it “30-something.” Far and way Bon Jovi was a favorite. Specifically, “Livin’ on a Prayer” seems to be one of the songs that takes many of us back to our teen years. “Ice, Ice Baby” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me” also showed up a couple of times. A few mentioned mentioned Madonna, Billy Idol, and MC Hammer. One of the most surprising responses from more than one person was Nine Inch Nails!
More significant than the artists or the songs were people’s responses about how those songs still make them feel. Jen Goode said “[s]ome days going back to high school sounds like a heck of a lot more fun and sometimes it sounds like torture.” Another person who echoed the sentiment was Jo Martinez who said “[S]ometimes I feel nostalgic & sometimes I feel sad.” Most people mentioned “fond” memories and dances held long ago. When Anna Humnicky hears the song, she is reminded of her first love and feels “nostalgia mixed with a bittersweet tug at [her] heart.”
The music of our teen years is, indeed, music that will last a lifetime for us both in our memories and in our hearts. As parents we have to remember that and encourage our kids to find their own paths. Toby Keith may just be my daughter’s Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift may be her Joan Jett. Who am I to decide what music will last for HER lifetime?
I’ll leave you with a little Bon Jovi. Just in in case you are now feeling nostalgic yourself.