You may have found, like me, that listening to old songs can take you back in time. The music can trigger memories and emotions. Research shows that emotions increase memory processing and music can evoke strong emotions. Music could be used to help us create memories about music pieces or experiences with particular music.
This happened to me recently as I was going through my father’s records collection. It was amazing how it affected my emotions. It brought back memories from my childhood and helped me to understand the relationship between music and memory. I was able to see how these records shaped me into who I am today.
My father was the son of Dundee Pen preacher, a rural village in Hanover, Jamaica. He was part the second wave of Windrush generation. With a single goal and a Dulcimena (a type of luggage), he arrived in Britain. His goal was to one day return to Jamaica with his wife to build their dream home. In the 1960s, he worked hard. He started working shifts and then stayed up at night. We didn’t see him often except on weekends. This was also when the record collection was created.
Although he was a religious man, his record collection was diverse in that you could find Fats Domino and Jim Reeves as well as Elvis and The Grace Thrillers.
Sweet And Spiced Bread Memories
Fresh bun was a sweet and spiced bread that my dad would share with his friend. It also included coconut drops, hard dough bread and steamed rice. Callaloo is a Caribbean favorite vegetable dish. My father had a Grundig radiogram, which I inherited. This was his sophisticated sound system. My system is more expensive, but it’s too often overlook for Spotify and iPhone.
We loved the post-Jamaican independence songs from the 1970s and mid-1960s. These songs, such as Feel no Pain, 007 Shanty Town (1967), and You Can Get It if You Really Want (1970), were our favorites and stood for us at that time as the embodiment of resistance songs.
Because Jamaica was independent, we were able to sing, dance, and celebrate in the moment while also coping with the harsh realities of British society. We soon discovered that the British colonial connections to Jamaica could still be maintain through music.
Pirate Radio Music Memories
The popularity of pirate radio music was growing and songs such as Bob Marley’s Get Up Stand Up, (1973), and Linton Kwesi Johnson’s album Forces of Victory, (1978) became popular. These songs reflected the frustrations of racism and unfair stop-and-search laws.
My dad’s record collection is inspiring, but it was Herman, our family friend, who had a more extreme collection. After he retired from the army, he owned a 1970 BMW 02 E10. His record collection was vast and varied. He owned a 1970 BMW 02 E10 and had retired from the army.
The constant theme was self-empowerment, fighting for power in his choices. This was the subject of our argument: which approach to fighting racial injustice and social inequity was better, Malcolm X or Martin Luther King Jr. Both radical visionaries, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were often portray as nonviolent pacifists, while Malcolm X was view as a political renegade both stereotypes that weren’t necessarily accurate.
Pop Music Is Rebel Music
Pop music evolved in the 1960s and 70s. It often refer to as protest music. Many artists of that time were consider anti-establishment, including Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel and Joni Mitchell.
Many times, the protest rhetoric of Black musicians was what sparked this explosion in political and cultural expression in pop music culture. The emergence of teenager rebellion sparked a new wave of fashions, perspectives and ideas. This was in time with the US’ civil rights and Black Power movements, which, through Black music, articulated struggles and innovations as well as celebrations of Black lives.
Looking back at the music collection of my father, I can see how it has influenced my personality. It provided me with an emotional shield as well as an inner power that enabled me to cope with the challenges that Black people continue to face.
You might want to reflect on your own music listening experiences. What songs, albums, covers, concerts, or performances have impact your life and are still etched in your mind? Let me know which albums or tracks have influenced your life and why in the comments.