As I was visiting with a co-worker/friend at her house one evening, all of a sudden Alanis Morissette came blaring through her iPod Dock, flooding back mounds of memories from high school. Suddenly, and without warning, I was transported back to being sixteen.
I could feel myself wedged up in between the seats of the classic yellow school bus, knees above my head supporting me on the back of the seat in front of me. We were on our way home from a basketball game. My portable cd player was turned up as loud as it could possibly go and I was singing off-key (and loudly, I presume) together with three other girls in seats around me to Jagged Little Pill. “It’s like raaaiiiinnn…” we were shouting together in unison. We had all the self-confidence in the world. And at the same time we had none.
I was one of the first people in my class to get my license (back when you were happy to be the oldest in your class!) and we jumped out of the bus and into my car once we returned to the high school parking lot. With my mittens still on, I frantically switched the cd so it would play in my car, plugging in the adapter to the cassette tape player on my deck. We couldn’t go two minutes without having this cd playing. Our fingers were frozen because the heat took forever to kick in, but as long as we had Alanis playing we were happy.
I saw the actual cd on top of my co-workers microwave and asked if I could borrow it to make a copy. I was looking forward to being transported back to high school again. Fast forward to a few days ago when I slipped the cd into the player in my car. We were already two new musical devices beyond technology-wise since I was in high school. Nothing could make me feel old right now, though. I had my youth blaring out the speakers within a few seconds. I turned that thing up and sang my heart out the whole twenty minute drive home. It was glorious.
The interesting thing was, I don’t believe that I completely understood all of the lyrics when I was sixteen. I loved the angst and drama filled vibes, but at sixteen I had hardly experienced life. I had a vague understanding of what she was talking about, but I hadn’t seen first hand how a relationship with a boy can make you feel bitter. I hadn’t witnessed the true irony of life. I didn’t have any bills to pay. I wasn’t praying for answers. As I really listened to the lyrics while I drove, I fell in love with the music all over again, in a new way. Makes me want to go digging for my old No Doubt cd. I bet I would fall in love with that one again, too.
Have you ever listened to a song again and realized that you never really understood the lyrics?