My high school music preferences ran the spectrum from Contemporary Christian to grunge to top 40, with the occasional R&B song thrown in for good measure. I also went through a Motown/oldies phase, secretly thrilled I had found some music my parents would put up with in the car without having to listen to adult contemporary instrumental (read: pan flutes).
I could not tell you what our class song was (though I know my friend, Crista, could – she remembers everything, I’m much more selective with my memories, i.e., forgetful). But I do remember most of the concerts I went to: Nirvana (shortly before Kurt Cobain’s death); Cranberries; Lollapalooza; Smashing Pumpkins; REM; and Jars of Clay. And now that I try to remember them, I know there were more – I’ll have to do some recon work on that one…
Anywho… high school was really when I started to love music, listening to it all the time… finding personal meaning in the lyrics. Making cassette tapes of the same song, looped over and over on repeat so I didn’t have to rewind my tape at the end of my favorite song to hear it again. Dedicating songs to friends and boys I liked… hoping they’d read the secret meaning into that particular song. My goodness – how I loved music.
Here are some favorites… please enjoy the glimpse into my high school experience…
Linger by The Cranberries | Crista and I used to drive around in her car, maybe following boys we liked to lunch, listening to this song and belting out the lyrics. We especially emphasized “wrapped around my finger” with hand motions. I also saw The Cranberries twice in concert and Delores O’Riordan has one dance move – a little side-to-side shimmy that has a slightly possessed nature in its execution.
I’d Die Without You by PM Dawn | This was one of those often-dedicated-over-the-radio songs by everyone in my high school and one night, when I was laying around, depressed about my latest crush being in “love” with someone else, this song came on the radio with the dedication “To [crush’s name], I will always love you. Love, Michelle”. I took it as a sign that eventually we would be together, alas, that was not the case. Still love the song. I should also give an honorary mention to their song, “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss.”
Name by The Goo Goo Dolls | I interned at a local radio station my senior year and while it wasn’t the glamorous internship I was hoping it would be (we alphabetized and filed a backlog of ad agreements for weeks), I did get to meet the Goo Goo Dolls and be there when they performed an acoustic version of “Name.” It was awesome and they were very gracious and friendly. And somewhere, I still have a recording of that performance on a tiny handheld recorder.
Today by Smashing Pumpkins | While this version doesn’t quite have the perfect feel to it that I remember, the intro to the song was something I remember clearly from seeing them at Lollapalooza, sitting outside under the stars and the notes pierced through the air. Chills. (I’m pretty sure it was not from the contact buzz.)
Flood by Jars of Clay | Jars of Clay and DC Talk were my gateway into Christian Contemporary music, but this song was played at my senior prom and I remember being so happy that my public school was embracing a religious song. And the song still stands up – 15 years later, you can’t say that about every song, mainstream or Christian.