Every Time I Think of You, I Always Catch My Breath

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week's topic is 10 songs/pieces of music that changed me. And there's still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin.

Isn’t that the way with music, though?

It makes you catch your breath. That and scents, and while we live in a more fragrance-free world than I ever imagined lately, and growing, I personally don’t have trouble with perfumes and colognes. In fact, the right scent of a Bayberry candle or Shalimar perfume is all it takes to transport me to my Grandma Bella’s house. And if I kept a bottle of that perfume in my house, just to remember, I wouldn’t smell it often. Maybe only one or two times a year – a sort of bittersweet treat to myself – to be transported. To have so many memories bottled up in that.. bottle. Well, it’s as powerful as music, isn’t it?

And I don’t have to tell you that music brings about memories in the most heart-wrenching, knee-bending way, because you probably already know that. And I don’t have to tell you that it’s really hard to narrow it down to 10 songs, isn’t it?

Our lives are shaped, molded, changed, swept away, by more than 10 songs. I’ll try to cheat the system, though.

There. I already snuck one in and you didn’t notice, did you? Yay for me for sneaking in more! Now, let’s begin. Finish the Sentence Friday, those absolute linky pioneers, are challenging us to pick out 10 songs/pieces of music that changed us.

Oops, I did it again. (also, “Oops, I Did it Again” is NOT on this list, but A+ for music references thrown in there)

1 – “Missing You” – John Waite. It came out the summer my father died so my mom had to hear that over and over and over. You would think we would all hate it, but it’s a piece of him that I carry to this day. Quite literally, I catch my breath.

2 – “Learning to Fly” – Tom Petty. This song goes on every mix tape, cd, digital download, Pandora playlist, whatever. It’s one of my desert island songs. I never saw him sing it live, and it sucks to check an item off your bucket list because you’ll never do it, and not because you’ve done it. When I had the worst broken heart of my life, and it was quite literally chronic (still not over him, the punk), I drove alone to the middle of NOWHERE, Maine and made some heartbreak mixes to play on my way there and back. This was there for me. I always loved it, but after that, I loved it in ways I still can’t say.

3 – “Safe and Sound” – Capital Cities. I would hear it on the radio and think it was too cool for me. Too young. Too pop. Then I realized I was in love with it. I would use it to feel safe and sound when I was photographing my first wedding, and when my grandmother was dying and I knew it was getting close to the end. The lyrics. The melody. And the meaning. YES.

4 – “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – Eric Clapton. Yes, by Clapton! This was our wedding song. A few weeks ago we were on a date and it came on Cassidy’s Sirius Satellite Radio in the car. It’s not something you just hear, right? I couldn’t believe it.

5 – “Thriller” – Michael Jackson. If you’re a trooper, you’ll watch this video! I won’t. This was my first love, and the first time my heart was gripped by a man and by music. Other than my musical father, of course. Michael Jackson = first love.

6 – “Romeo and Juliet” (LIVE) – Dire Straits. Pick a version. Any version. My friend Sheila put this song on a mix cd for me before I went on the most life-changing trip of my life. It was a Sweet 16 birthday gift and I was on the precipice of.. everything. I listened to that song in many hotel room windows. Eight years later, it was the weekend I met Cassidy at JFK Airport, and we were driving from western Massachusetts to Maine to see moose. We had both made mixes for potential road trips, and we both had the live version on our own mixes. After we had broken up for two years, I thought the song might kill me. It didn’t. Our wedding rings are inscribed with its lyrics. Mine says, “You and Me, Babe.” And his says, “How About It?”

7 – “Cloud on My Tongue” – Tori Amos. This one, like “Learning to Fly”, might be my favorite song in the world. It was on that same road trip and that same mix cd from Sheila. This song brings me to my knees because it reminds me of shedding youthful innocence and finding your own brand of healing magic. I believed in everything after that trip. This song helped.

8 – “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey. I know, I know. Hear me out, though. I’ve been listening to this song since I was a young kid, and finding my own meaning. I always hear it exactly when I need to hear it. That’s not anything but magic.

9 – “Just Like Heaven” – The Cure. This was the first song, after “Eternal Flame” that I printed out the lyrics to so I could memorize them. I’m historically bad with remembering lyrics. This song overcomes such barriers. The lyrics are pure poetry.

10 – “Round Here” and “Murder of One” – Counting Crows. A tie! I love the way he mixes his words with his music, and all of his lyrics remind me of exactly what I’d write if I were a songwriter. I only know what they mean to me, and it’s lifelong.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “10 songs/pieces of music that changed me.” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE.

What songs would you pick?

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer, a mama of two, a Lifestyle Blogger/Social Media Influencer/Brand Ambassador, and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.


Every Time I Think of You, I Always Catch My Breath — 18 Comments

  1. I just couldn’t agree more with you about music and songs specifically as the ones that define me I can still practically taste and smell the moment they came into existence in my own life. That said, I love how you started this off as crazy as it sounds Eric Clapton happens to be one of my all-time favorite artists. This past week I have been streaming various albums and songs from him while working here. So, I couldn’t help but smile at the twin-ness of our thinking yet again ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I never was a big video watcher, so I enjoyed watching Missing You and Janet’s Come Back to Me. A few parts of Missing You made me laugh, like the payphone. And Janet’s video I wonder if that guy was one of her ex-husbands. He looked like him. Wow to Eric Clapton’s Somewhere over the Rainbow. That one gave me goosebumps. What a beautiful choice to be played at a wedding. And wow again to it coming on the Sirius radio on a date night! I don’t think I’ve ever watched the Thriller video from the beginning to end since the first time. It was a treat to us in our 7th grade music class and I never did like scary stuff and I was trapped there watching it and trying to appear “not scared”.

  3. This year Rebekah sang don’t Stop Believing as part of her grade music recital, and I almost died from the happy. Music is so important.

  4. You know we’ve been friends for awhile when I know most of these songs are on your list from past blog posts! That Thriller video is my all-time favorite, ever. And can I tell you at how many bat mitzvahs (as an adult) I have belted out Don’t Stop Believin’? But I love it still because it makes me feel like a kid again.

  5. You chose some great songs! Safe and Sound is one of my all time favorite s and quite honestly anything Michael Jackson makes my heart happy. Somehow I knew you would have some Tom Petty in there because I remembered your immense love for him.

  6. Maybe it’s because I think we’re close in age, but so many of these were pivotal for me, too! Michael Jackson, The Cure, the Counting Crows…they’re the story of growing up. This is a great curated list!

  7. Wow, great song choices here, Tamara. Thanks fro sharing all of your memories surrounding each one. I love all of them. Romeo & Juliet has a place in my heart above all of these though. It was a record I had when it was first released in 1981 and it was on the record player when the boy I was completely mad for, came over to my house for the first time. Also, he’s the boy (man) I’m now with today (I won’t say how many years later). I love that you and Cassidy have the lyric inscribed on your wedding bands!

  8. Oh those songs take me back. I remember Every Time I Think of You well and I think it was in several movies back in the day. I love that it means something so special to you!

  9. In fact, the right scent of a Bayberry candle or Shalimar perfume is all it takes to transport me to my Grandma Bellaโ€™s house.*
    I wish I had even a rudimentary vocabulary of smells, scents and fragrances. There are two (both from college years) scents that. for me, are remarkably potent. I’ve ‘run into them’ maybe 10 times in 30 years. One smells purple (I think it was an incense) and the other smells like a college girl. If you know what they are, let me know! lol l

    This topic is like post-theme over-load… so many ways to approach the topic, so many examples of music and so much fun just to listen. Not overly surprising, there is a higher than average confluence of musical tastes represented in this week’s FTSF. Like minds and all

    “I always hear it exactly when I need to hear it. Thatโ€™s not anything but magic.

    Thank you.
    I know that you know it, but maybe someone almost there will read this. Reading this particular line is a benefit to me. Not that it confirms or proves anything, it’s the power of identification, to know how a person feels, not matter how micro and fleeting the specific situation might be…very much a good thing.

    Enjoyable FTSF, yo

    *given that it’s a post about music, of course I’d start with the references to scents and fragrances lol

  10. How cool that we both used “music and scents” in our intros? Great minds! OMG Safe and Sound. I know that song but never was totally aware of who sings it or the name. It’s good. Dire Straights Romeo and Juliet – that should have been on my list. At my (first) wedding, my friend Sara sang it but changed the words a little bit to be about me. I love that song. I can’t believe I forgot about it when writing this post. Great song choices, friend. Truly. Thank you!

  11. Hearing a certain song can change my mood in an instant. Love the songs you picked and each one made me reminisce a little bit. I’d have to give some thought to picking ten songs – sometimes I’ll hear something on the radio that I haven’t heard in years and I think “that’s my favorite” – but they all can’t be, right?

  12. My favorite here is Eric Clapton singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
    I think I’m probably one of the oldest posting a FTSF post, so I feel like I am taking a music appreciation class and trying to catch up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Ok, I would have read that whole post just to read the line about the wedding rings being inscribed with lyrics. That is pure magic! There are so many songs on your list that evoke memories for me as well, it’s funny how reading these lists I’m like “yes! That one too!”

  14. Every song I listen to, I feel like – always sparks my memory! Well, that’s because I listen to the 90s on 9 in my car! Ha! I actually love it. Sometimes I will replay songs on YouTube (when I am in a mood) and uhhhhh once in awhile, I might even shed a tear or two!

  15. I had a long drive home yesterday and spent almost the whole drive on the 80s channel. I felt like I relived my teenage experience – very fun. It is amazing how a song takes you back to a specific moment!

  16. Oh, goodness… Tamara, this post today <3 <3 <3

    I love love love that you both have your rings personalized with "you and me babe" and "how about it" Oh, goodness… I love Dire Straits so much. They were the band that was always playing in the car because my dad was just obsessed with their music, and it left such an imprint on me. And that version of Romeo and Juliet? Yes.

    I've never seen the full video of "Learning to Fly" and listening to it again now. Such a great song and I'm still so sad that Tom Petty isn't with us anymore ๐Ÿ™ Also Tears in Heaven. I was just thinking about that song the other day. And I'm glad that the song that came out during the year of your father's passing doesn't hold bad memories, but that it brings you comfort when you hear it <3

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