There. It happened…again. That song. The one we always sang along with when it came on the car radio that made the kids laugh because it was so embarrassing and corny.
The one I had sung when we renewed our vows after five years of marriage. That song, Sonny and Cher singing, “I’ve Got You Babe.” Yeah, it’s silly, but that was “our song”. One of them, anyway.
It’s been 14 years since our divorce, but the song remembers even if I don’t want to. It doesn’t hurt as bad as it used to, but it still bothers me. Like an old wound that hasn’t quite healed. I wonder if he thinks of me when he hears that song. I wonder if it still hurts him, haunts him. Probably not. I guess he and his new wife have a song of their own.
Trisha Yearwood sang a song a few years ago, written by Hugh Prestwood, “The Song Remembers When.”
“I was standing at the counter
I was waiting for the change,
When I heard that old familiar music start.
It was like a lighted match
Had been tossed into my soul;
It was like a dam had broken in my heart…
…After I’d forgotten all about us,
The song remembers when.
When I hear the Carpenter’s sing, “We’ve Only Just Begun,” I remember my first husband, and that was a really long time ago. I guess songs have memories like elephants. John Denver songs always remind me of another ex-husband, Joe, my children’s father. “Barbara Ann” by the Beach Boys reminds me of him too because he used to constantly hum and sing that song – still does. That was more than 30 years ago, but again, the song always, always remembers. But those songs make me smile instead of cry.
…And though I have forgotten all about it
The song remembers when…
I asked the ladies in my office for love songs and break-up songs that remembered them. They were anxious to put in their two-cents worth. Here are some of their favorite and not so favorite songs:
“Crazy, “ by Patsy Cline;
“Cherish,” by the Association;
The Righteous Brothers, of course, “Unchained Melody” and “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling;”
Celine Dion, “Because You Loved Me,” and “My Heart Will Go On;”
Dolly Parton, “I Will Always Love You;”
“Evergreen” by Barbra Streisand, also “The Way We Were,” (that one will kill you!).
Tammy Wynette, the queen of broken hearts, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” and “Till I Get Over Losing You.”
How many countless people fell in love to Al Green, “Let’s Stay Together,” and Barry White, “You’re My First, My Last, My Everything”?
When Elvis sings, “I Can’t Help Falling in Love,” I still think there is hope.
“At This Moment,” by Billy Vera; Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers;” Eric Clapton, “The Way You Look Tonight;” Frank Sinatra (remember him? The songs do), “Strangers in the Night;”
Boys 2 Men, “I’ll Make Love to You;” Percy Sledge, “When a Man Loves a Woman;” Beyoncé, “Kissing You;” Lionel Ritchie, “Truly,” and “Lady” by Kenny Rogers; Adele singing, “You Make Me.”
When I hear Gladys Knight sing, “The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” and Ray Price, “For the Good Times,” my heart hurts good because those songs remember slow dancing with the great love of my life, and what wasn’t ever meant to be.
…And I hope my hasty heart
Will forgive me just this once
If I stop to wonder how on Earth you are…
Then there is the song that I turn off the radio at the first two notes. I hate that song. It reminds me of the guy (a creep) decades ago who took my virginity. Not a pleasant memory at all, unfortunately. But Roberta Flack’s, “The First Time Ever I saw Your Face,” is a good song memory; for Chuck, the wonderful man who has been in and out of my life for over 40 years – since the song first came out!
Divorce is hard enough without constant memories stirring up trouble. Sometimes I just stop and listen to the song, dwell in the memory for a few moments. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I smile, but whichever, it seems to help.
…Still I guess some things we bury
Are just bound to rise again,
For even if the whole world has forgotten
The song remembers when.”
Good memories and bad memories are part of life, love, and divorce. And even if I don’t want to, the song remembers everything.