Something About Playlists…


If you clicked on this thinking it would be a sizzling summer playlist, you were wrong.

(but there will probably be one up later next week!)

Does music ever make you feel nostalgic?

In high school, when debate seemed to dominate my life, I would download new music right before every major tournament…there are playlists in my library whose titles share the name of the tournament I was about to attend.

Songs of every genre were clumped together in groups with no collective identity, their only similarity being where and when they just so happened to be relevant.

Last summer, the day after I got home from debate camp, I downloaded a playlist filled with 60 songs. If there’s no tournament approaching, I brainstorm in pursuit of a title for at most, four seconds. For this particular occasion, I hastily created the “roller coaster” playlist, unaware of how truly it fits its name, my roller coaster summer, full of ups and downs.

Since last summer, I have no doubt created about a dozen more playlists, each for its own special occasion. But the roller coaster playlist remains my most nostalgic, most influential playlist.

Of course, I’m the only judge for that.

Each song is vastly different from the next and there’s no unifying personality among them. The songs hold meaning mainly because of the time period in which they were discovered. Also highly relevant is who might have shown me the songs, where I listened to them, and in what mental state I was.

I keep forgetting the way it makes me feel, and so whenever it comes up, I am immediately thrown into a certain place, a certain time, surrounded by certain people. It evokes an atmosphere and each song individually reinforces the scene I remember so strikingly.

It’s rather difficult to articulate in words just how strongly this playlist affects me, and my question remains: does music ever make you feel nostalgic too?

The funny thing is, if I shared the playlist, no one would understand (but I decided to anyways). They’d just see a poorly combined list of songs ranging from last summer’s radio hits, indie pop songs, a few mildly offensive rap songs, etc.

Which it is.

But to me, it’s much more.


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