I Remember Every Lyric To Songs From 50 Years Ago…

But I can’t remember what I had for breakfast today.

Cyndi Lauper and Boy George

Cyndi Lauper and Boy George

Seriously, why can I remember every single word to a song from over 50 years ago, but not remember why I came in the dining room?

I went to a concert last night. Cyndi Lauper and Boy George. It was an amazing night of music and brought back a ton of memories from the 80’s. It was fantastic. But my favorite part of the night and the one I am writing about today is when Cyndi sang a song from my teenage years.

It was a great night to be at a concert, there was a cool breeze going and the music was amazing. I was having a great time! All of the sudden Cyndi starts a song that I couldn’t believe she was singing. Unbelievable, I recognized it from the first three cords. It was a song from 1962. “The End of the World” by Skeeter Davis. I was immediately taken back to my 13 year old broken hearted angst ridden days as a teenager as I sang along with Cyndi. I was truly was close to tears as I belted out every single word.

“The End of the World” ~ Skeeter Davis, Written by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee

“Why does the sun go on shining
Why does the sea rush to shore
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
‘Cause you don’t love me any more


Why do the birds go on singing
Why do the stars glow above
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when I lost your love

I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why everything’s the same as it was
I can’t understand, no, I can’t understand
How life goes on the way it does

Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye

Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye”

As I was singing along with the song I was thinking to myself, “how do I remember this”…It was over 50 years ago I heard this song and yet I knew each and every word like it was yesterday and I was playing my 45 on my little record player in my bedroom. I played that record until I wore the thing out and had to go buy another one. But really, how do we remember songs from back when we were teenagers and we can’t remember why we walked into a room? We stand there wondering why we’re there until we walk back out and suddenly it comes to you why you went in there in the first place.

Why do these words come so easily after so many years? Is it a  because a memory is attached? Not always. I have read studies where dementia patients respond to music from their youth and it may even help them regain some of their clarity. It triggers some lost part of the brain. So is that what happens when we hear a song from our younger days? We are triggering some lost part of our brain or are we triggering some lost part of our youth?

Music has always been important to me and I think it just stays in there until something “triggers” that memory. Case in point, when we hear a line from a song and can’t get the darn song out of our heads all day. And just how many of you can not remember what letter comes next in the alphabet until you sing the “Alphabet Song?”

Maybe it’s just repetition that makes us remember. I certainly played that record enough times. Or maybe it really is a memory of a lost love, a place or just a simpler time. We have so much going on in today’s world that is confusing and hard to understand. But music is simple and takes us to places that comforts us and soothes our soul.

“Music is what feelings sound like.” ~ Unknown

Perhaps the schools should start singing math to the students, I’m sure it would work better than some of the ways they are trying to teach it these days. I guess us old folks should make up songs about our grocery lists, daily chores and bills to be paid so we don’t forget these things. Do you think it would help? Ok, sorry but I just got a picture of myself going down the grocery aisle singing, “milk and coffee, toilet paper and tea.” Not too sure I’ll be doing that.

So I don’t have the answer as to why we remember these songs and we can’t remember what we need to get through the day. I don’t know, I’m just glad I do.

I leave you as usual with a question and a quote. Do you remember the lyrics to old songs? What was the last one you remembered and sang along to?

“Someone once asked me: Why do you love music so much? I replied: Because it’s the only thing that stays when everything and everyone is gone.” ~Unknown