People’s Earliest Memories of Music

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Like all teenagers, I love listening to music. This made me curious to find out what people’s earliest memories of music were. My earliest memory of music was when I was five years old. My grandma showed me a film called, “Phantom of The Opera”. I was immediately drawn to it, despite only being five years old, I fell in love with the characters and of course, the music. I especially admired the fact that the female lead, Christine, had a very similar name to mine, Christina. I remember driving around in my parents’ car with the windows rolled all the way down, screaming the musical at the top of my lungs at 7 am. The stares of grumpy strangers did not bother my juvenile mind. And so the years passed, I grew older and I eventually fell out of the obsessive phase of binge-watching the musical over and over. However, like any nostalgic song from your childhood, I still know every word.

Jhozeil Comia, 15.
“The only thing I can remember is listening to that one Justin Bieber song. When I was young and first listened to music, I was more into the catchy beats. I wasn’t paying attention to the lyrics, or what they were saying to me. Even if it was a deep song.”, Jhozeil elaborated on how she would typically join bandwagons and follow the more favored crowds. She went on, “If it was a popular song, I liked it. That continued maybe up until 9th grade though. During my middle school years, I was obsessed with this one boy band called, Why Don’t We. But over the summer before high school, I went through a lot. One of my friends showed me this rap song, I listened to the lyrics and I understood the meaning. It made a deep connection to me. Eventually, I began to listen to music for its lyrics even if no one liked the song. And Khalid really do be hitting different though.”

Addison Chandler, 15.
“When I was from like the age of three, I spent all of my time in the theatres because my parents were doing all these shows in the Welk and Chicago. So, I was always in the theatres, everywhere. My earliest memory of music might’ve been the South Pacific. The first song I ever heard was “Bali Hai”. Bali Hali is a show tune from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical, South Pacific. On a volcanic island named Bali Hali during World War ll, an American station nurse falls in love with a middle-aged man. A French expatriate plantation owner who struggles accepting his mixed-raced children.”

Angela Kapitanyan, 66.
“I was about your age (15) maybe even younger when I heard my first song. It was 1968. I think maybe it was a Nina Simone song, it was so long ago it’s hard to remember the song. Maybe it was even a Beatles song. What I do remember was the joy that I had when the song first played. I remember I was in class one day when my friend told me about his new record he got for his birthday. It was interesting to me because I always wanted a record. Everyone was so fascinated by him. So, he invited us to his place where he promised that he would show us his new records. And I was stunned with joy, he put that record on and it just spun and music came from it. We were all so happy, we danced for the next few hours until we eventually all fell asleep. Well, that’s my earliest memory of music.”

Alina Gegamyan, 36.
“Oh my god, my earliest memory of music was in 1992. It was with [my husband], we were about nine years old. (What song would you listen to?) The song was “At Last” by Etta James. So, we met when we were three and we’d have this tradition where we’d buy ice cream on Sunday’s and meet on the balcony of my apartment. It was pretty high, it was on the fourth floor. (Was this in Armenia?) Yes, it was in Armenia. So, on the balcony we made a pretend house from blankets and chairs where we pretended we were married, had two kids, and a house. We’d play At Last on the cassette and dance like it was our wedding day. We carried on this balcony tradition until I was 11 and he was 12. I left Armenia and moved to America. That was so hard to just leave him like that. He was my first kiss, the only boy I loved from that small village. We did write letters to each other almost every other day. Especially when he was drafted into war. He was only 17. That broke my heart but he did it. Eventually, we lost touch. I moved on, had a boyfriend, and made new friends. Then one day, I received a letter out of the blue three years later. He said he wanted to see me. So, I saw him, I thought I moved on but once I saw him all those feelings came rushing back, it was so strange. And I married him that day. (What!) Yup, I married him in a day. We eloped but then we had an actual wedding. At my actual wedding, we danced to the song “At Last” like when we were nine. 16 years later, we’re happily married with two beautiful children.”