Apologies to Willie for the title of this post, but a recent road trip to visit my mother got me thinking about old boyfriends and songs that remind me of them. Maybe it was the “best of the 80s, 90s and now” radio that I listened to as I cruised along Highway 79 across east Texas. Or maybe it was the old familiar scenery of north Louisiana. Either way, I began to make this list in my head of songs that make me recall boys from my past.
There’s Lionel Richie’s “Hello” that I listened to many a night in Jr. High while I dreamed of my major crush, Cole. I took ballet with his sister and ached with all my tween-to-young-teen heart for me to be the one he was looking for.
Then, there was Simple Mind’s “Don’t You Forget About Me” that I deemed mine and Jason’s song. He was a senior. I was a freshman. I so wanted him not to forget me while off at college. We’ve stayed in touch occasionally over the years (our moms are good friends), so while we weren’t meant to be a couple, I guess at least I was not forgotten.
Next we move into college, where relationships took on a different dimension.
Sweet memories of one hot summer and a guy named Jobie come to mind whenever I hear Bob Seger’s “Night Moves“. And Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” makes me think of the brief something I had with a radio DJ named Terry who was much older than me.
Not all songs that remind me of guys bring up good memories. There’s the way I rewrote the “Love Shack” lyrics to say “If you see a Theta Xi on the side of the road, just open the door and kiiilllll hiiimmm!” I can laugh at that now, but back then it was more like one of my favorite lines from an Anne Rice book: “The love is equal to the hate.”
As I recount these tales, I realize something a little strange. None of the guys that I truly loved have songs related to them in my head. Crushes, infatuations, brief love affairs – these are the stuff of great songs. But, my three most-meaningful and longest-lasting relationships seem to defy easy classification by radio hits.
Maybe true love, like that I have for my husband of 12 years, is just too complex to be relayed to the world with “more cowbell“.