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



12 thoughts on “I Remember Every Lyric To Songs From 50 Years Ago…

  1. I came here because I asked why I could remember the lyrics to almost every song I have ever heard only a couple of times. Songs I never think about, some I don’t even like,or realise that I know the words to until I hear them again, and then I sing along with almost perfect recall. And this goes back more than sixty years. My husband, on the other hand, hardly seems to remember any of them. I don’t think there’s an answer, I was just hoping. But it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  2. I always said if I could have had my lessons in school in music form, I’d have gotten MUCH better grades. The Oldies are so embedded in our brains, cause we were young and applied them to our lives. I can’t remember the last oldie I sang, but Skeeter Davis is one of my favorites. Also…I think Cindy Lauper is adorable. And “Crying Game” by Boy George is a favorite.

    1. Peg, agree! You and I listened to many a Saturday morning radio show full of songs together…I loved those days..

    1. Oh, bet that was a good concert too! I loved that song. And I am so glad I am not alone in this…Thanks Alana!

  3. i was just wondering why music from last decade is so embedded in my psyche. glad to know i’m not alone.

  4. I was in the middle of reading this blog & stopped to go write a check that I thought I had forgotten to mail out (I found I had done so) & was singing this song while I was investigating!! LOL It IS funny how we can remember certain things, particularly song lyrics but I know just what you’re talking about. & yes, I DO go through the alphabet. That comment really made me laugh. Never thought about it much but I do! 🙂 Fun blog, Renee! I love a lot of music although I’m a Country music lovin’ gal mostly. Still love those oldies, too!

  5. One reason is because those OLD songs had meanings to us and it was GOOD music, not like todays. Funny thing last nite I was at the club and they had an oldies station playing and the gal I was sitting next to, we both were singing along to some oldies but goodies. Can’t say I remember EVERY word, but I faked it pretty good, lol. We were laughing and enjoyng ourselves and thats what mattered. It is memories of a period in life we were young, carefree and happy. With todays world of hatred, bitterness and turmoil, we want to REMEMBER THE GOOD OLE DAYS more often. Hence, those old songs bring back those good memories. And Skeeter’s song was one of my all time favorites too. That one I do know all the words. 🙂 LOVE YA.

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