Do you have to let it linger?

I don’t often listen to the radio. The constant repetition on local stations is enough to cause road rage! How many times can you listen to Bieber sing about his baby before you just want to hit someone? Instead, when in my car, I listen to audible books; at home, it is almost always Pandora Radio. The other day though, something made me tune it in and turn it up.

There was a retro party playing and I drove along enjoying songs that were the soundtrack of my youth. These were songs that meant something to me. And while “Mmm Bop” may not be a shining example of literary or musical gold, it made me smile nonetheless.

Song after song filled the car. I sang along with them all. I mean really singing, too. I wasn’t just mouthing the words or humming with the music. I was belting them out like I was the front man for the best band in the world!

Then it happened.

But I’m in so deep, you know I’m such a fool for you
You got me wrapped around your finger
Do you have to let it linger?
Do you have to, do you have to
Do you have to let it linger?

The Cranberries took me back to an entirely different place and time. This wasn’t just simple memory. It wasn’t like I was watching the events of my life on a movie screen. This was powerful and almost overpowering.

I wasn’t just remembering the cold tiles of Moses Hall, room 402. I could actually feel them under my feet. I could smell the stale smell of too many guys living in a single place. I could hear my neighbors arguing about whether the crowd would be better at the Chicken or at Dudley’s.

I was there in one of the craziest, most difficult, and most amazing times of my life. In the span of a few moments I experienced coming out, my first love, my first heart break, and a true time of growing up.

And suddenly, the words meant something completely different to me. While I did have some hard times and a broken heart that I thought would never mend, these weren’t the things that came to mind.

In those few minutes of vivid recall, all I could think about was the good. The bad things were still there, of course but they were dim and faded. The good things shone as if they had been lovingly polished and put on a shelf for display.

Even now, I smile as I think about the happiest Burger Boy in the world riding through the rain.

No matter how bad it seems at the time, it gets better.

The pain and sorrow and tears and joy and laughter all pile together into an imperfectly perfect moment in the past.

So I finally have an answer.

Yes. You do have to let it linger.


82 thoughts on “Do you have to let it linger?

  1. I remember the happiest burger boy in the world!! :-). And yes Moses stunk!! It was never quite the same once you moved off-campus. But you certainly made my a first two years at A&M a great & wonderful experience!

    1. It’s funny how many things came back to me in those few minutes. TAMU was another time and another life, bit so many things there made me who I am today.

      I am glad that we have found a reconnection, even if it isn’t the strongest!

      1. Me too :-). Remember singing in the All Faiths’ Chapel at 2 in the morning? It does seem like another life or at least a lifetime ago. So much has happened to both of us.

  2. Music is such a powerful memory tool! When I need to change my mood, I carefully chose the music that I know will make the change for me. And yes, along life’s journey there are times when we have to “let it linger”.

  3. I agree with lifesjourney, (and this post lol) music is SO powerful. it’s amazing how much it can change you, help you, guide you. the cranberries are one of my favorite groups too . nice post, i really liked this: “The good things shone as if they had been lovingly polished and put on a shelf for display.” those moments when the good parts of your life shine out so clearly over everything, erasing the bad times, are just….well that’s what life is about i would say. helps you feel so positive and ready to create more great memories

  4. What a beautiful, honest reflection on life. I often find that I do the same thing: I’ll think back to a time in my life that had its own difficulties, but the happy moments shine so much brighter. I find I often can’t remember what I was worrying about at the time. Everything does certainly pass. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  5. There are two things that can make or break my day, (besides the amount of sleep I was able to achieve). Those two things are food, and music. I could definately base every mood I feel throughout a whole day soley on Morrissey, and The Smiths songs. About Bieber, I agree…

  6. I adore the Cranberries, particularly their song “Linger”. Their first three releases always take me back to my high school days, when a gaggle of us girls would be driving around the city because we had nothing else to do. The Cranberries were often our soundtrack.

  7. Following you now because of this post. You said it all so much better than I could have. Love the way you analyzed a song to do it. Love the song. And this post. Very reaffirming for anyone in the world on a healing journey of any sort. Thank you πŸ™‚

  8. Wow! I started this page just a few days ago and I am feeling such a tremendous (and a bit overwhelming!) sense of support! Thank you so much for the kind words and the comments! It’s good to know that I am not alone out there!

  9. All of this takes me down memory lane where things seemed simpler, more honest, and more hopeful. Time tends to dim the pain, but it is never forgotten. Having spent many decades in the radio biz, I understand why many feel radio has lost contact with its listeners. Yet, every once in a while, a song by the Cranberries or even by the Beatles (I’m showing my age) takes you back to an age of lost innocence. An enjoyable, touching post. I’m too old to cry, but I can relate. Thanks for the memory and for the thrill of just being alive. Aloha from the Island of Hawaii.

    1. Music is powerful no matter what generation! My mom and I used to clean the house every Saturday listening to an 8-track of Peter, Paul, and Mary. To this day, I can still see the orange shag carpet of our house when I hear “Blowing in the Wind” or “Puff the Magic Dragon”!

      1. The orange shag carpet was a long time ago. I haven’t thought about that is a while. I do remember you wanted the curtains closed so the neighbors couldn’t see us (me) dancing with the vacuum!

  10. I appreciated reading your thoughts on stuff like that just now. It helps.
    LOL also…Taylor Hanson sometimes comes into the place I work ..I think the last time I saw him was when he was buying one of our christmas trees and had his son there with him. He’s always extremely polite. His little son had his dad’s hat on and his cane and was acting like an old man. Was suuuper cute.

    1. That’s awesome! Do t get me wrong, Hanson is definitely part of my growing up, so I can appreciate them, even if others don’t! In fact, a friend gave me “A Hanson Christmas” CD a few years back! Don’t think it was meant as a gag gift, but I got hours of laughter out of that one!

    1. It is a shame! I remember listening to their CDs over and over and marveling at Dolores O’Riordon’s voice. To this day I think she has one of the most unique sounds!

  11. Music really is a powerful tool and it can evoke so many memories and emotions.

    You have a flair for writing. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. Nice to meet you, by the way πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you so much. I think it is more that I am writing about something that brings me joy. When you write with passion it shows. Or that what I have been told as I talk with friends about this amazing experience today.

      1. I was biomedical science there. Until the dean decided that I wasn’t pulling my weight and asked if a change of major (and maybe school?) wouldn’t be a good decision for me. πŸ˜‰

        It was a good time, though!

      2. No. I think it was BUAD that he suggested. Which worked out great in the end!

        I know what you mean. I would love to have mine!

        Class of ’96 here.

      3. hehehe.

        ’82 here. Mascot company. All those hours guarding ‘Rev’ killed my grades.

        What was BUAD?

        I was PetE – petroleum. Still love the smell of diesel in the morning over a breakfast coffee.

  12. I feel as though these were the same thoughts that run through my mind. Excellent job on this post. At times I believe I have this jute box planted inside my brain and have so many songs that turn on at the right moment, it’s strange.

      1. hahaha good point! Zevon said it best –
        “Albert Einstein was a ladies’ man
        While he was working on his universal plan
        He was making out like Charlie Sheen
        He was a genius”


  13. great post! and I can totally relate! πŸ™‚ sometimes it’s just nice to look back on those days and it surprises how painful or happy the memory is, you can’t help but smile and utter to yourself “I’m glad I’ve surpassed that.” πŸ™‚

  14. I LOVE this post! Music is a big part of me, it has the ability to unleash so many memories and emotions. I used to listen to music when I walked to keep up the pace, however now I listen to music to help me think through things, clear my head, and feel happiness in my heart. Thanks for lifting me up this morning, I believe a long walk with the iPod is in order today.

    And congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!!

  15. Music really IS so powerful. My favorite thing to do when I find life to be overwhelming is to get in the car, roll the windows down, turn on music from happy times in my life, and sing as loudly as possible. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being FP!

      1. Yes! I got a thumbs up from a guy at a red light last month when I was screeching out a terrible rendition of EnVogue’s Givin’ Him Something He Can Feel!!!

  16. I know the song! Just the chorus only. πŸ™‚ They always play it on MYX (a music channel here in the Philippines). I’m in my teenage age years right now, and got hooked with the modern music, but I so love the feeling, the beat, the rhythm of this song whenever it’s played. ^ ^

  17. Wonderful post! I was just listening to the Cranberries last night and I have to totally agree with you. They took me back also lol , not just them but other songs as well from my youth. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for Sharing! πŸ˜€

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