Andrea Mara

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Playlist of my Life

Can you chart your life in music? (Geddit?) That’s what Nicola from Simply Homemade asked and I kept thinking about it falling asleep every night, so now I’ve written it down. There’s no way to fit in all the songs that punctuated childhood, teen discos, college years, and moving in with a boy, but here are some of mine:

My earliest memory of music is a John Denver tape my parents used to play in the car – I didn’t even know radio existed until I was about eight. So my favourite song was You Fill Up My Senses and I thought country music was what every average six-year-old listened to. (It’s still one of my favourite songs.)

Then my friend Sarah took me under her wing – she told me about radio and Madonna and Smash Hits and Michael Jackson. We watched the Thriller video over and over, and marvelled at MTVUSA. We discovered U2 (like, not literally, or we’d be richer than we are today) and Dire Straits and the Eurythmics, and fell in love with Flashdance – What a Feeling, and best of all, Starship – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now (woah-woah).

(Side note: I’m paranoid after watching Black Mirror and right now I’m imagining someone spying on me through my laptop camera belting out Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now)

Special mention for my besties from St John’s GNS Carrigaline, and the dance routine we made up to go with The Jets – Crush on You (I can still remember the moves.)

For the tween years, it was all about Bon Jovi, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, and Madonna. Mostly Madonna. I wanted to be Madonna when I grew up. And hey – look at me now – you probably can’t tell us apart, right?

My cooler friends in secondary school (we lived in Dublin by then, but that’s not say that’s why they were cool, they were just cooler than I was) introduced me to proper music – The Stone Roses, The Charlatans and The Happy Mondays. We also went retro – we all had mix-tapes with Starry Starry Night, American Pie, and Fire and Rain.

We went to junior discos in Foxrock Church then older ones in Stradbrook and listened to The Bangles singing Eternal Flame and Cyndi Lauper’s True Colours. But my best memory is back to Madonna – Crazy For You.

Then came J1 summers filled with Greenday and The Offspring, and an Erasmus year spent listening to The Smashing Pumpkins, Ash, Blur, Oasis (I was nothing if not conventional), the Trainspotting soundtrack, and my favourite, Killing Me Softly by the Fugees.

Then after a few years of listening mostly to whatever was playing in Club 92 or Coppers, I met a boy, and we moved in together, and we merged our CD collections, and then we both pretty much stopped listening to music. I’m not sure how or why – maybe we spent too much time talking and listening to radio, but the CDs sat (nicely merged) in the corner gathering dust.

And now music has a new role – it’s mostly Spotify on shuffle when I go for a run or whatever the kids want to hear on You Tube. Which is mostly Can’t Stop That Feeling – and sure why not – but they’ve all got a thing for Green Day, so I’ll sign off with Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

This is part of a linky – check out Simply Homemade for loads more aural nostalgia (and lovely posts and amazing recipes!)

playlist - office mum





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