Music and memories

Music and memories

We’ve been reviewing our Back Up Your Life collection, and have been thinking a lot about music and memories.

It reminded me how I drove my daughter down to see my parents in Cornwall during a relaxation in the lockdown rules last summer. They were desperate to see her, as she’d been studying in Australia for a year. So, after self-isolating, off we went. It was a loooong drive and after browsing Spotify playlists, we chose a ‘Born in the 60s’ list and spent a happy few hours listening to and chatting about the music. It was so interesting to see which songs had become classics that she recognised and which she’d never heard before. And it gave me a chance to tell her all sorts of stories from my teenage years that would never have come up in conversation otherwise.

 “Music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring with it memory… it brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.” Oliver Sacks

If you’re the kind of person who likes to know the why, the how and the science, you’ll love this excellent article. It explains how an event, an emotion and a song get bound together in the brain and how, when we hear the song later on, the memory is brought to the front of your mind.

Sharing your musical memories with your teens is a really great way to discuss emotions, life and how we navigate it.

The tracks of my teenage years

We like to practice what we preach… Louise has spent a few weeks in hospital lately but, when she felt up to it, she really enjoyed choosing the key tracks from her teen years and shares with us here the memories they spark every time she hears them. Here they are – the Equipp version of Desert Island Discs!

Kim Wilde – Kids in America

“My lovely Dad used to set up a disco in the garage. My best friend and I (alone ?) would dip T-shirts in bleach, wear RaRa skirts and ‘be Kim’. We’d do our hair and dance our hearts out. Such happy memories.”

Squeeze – Up the Junction and Nik Kershaw – I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me

“The recreation centre used to run social evenings on a Friday and these were our favourite tracks to dance to. I’d wear my favourite bright pink cashmere tube skirt, a belted white blouse and cowboy boots every week ?”

Whitney Houston – Saving All My Love for You

“This was my first slow dance at the school disco. That moment when you first get asked and you aren’t the one looking at your feet to avoid being noticed… After that feeling of acceptance and heady first love I would listen to both that and the B side (All at Once) everywhere I went on my red Walkman ❤️”

Phil Collins – Sussudio

“This was the song that started my lifelong love of his music. He became an artist that I would listen to often. I think it’s due to all the varied lyrics and the fact that they often followed his life journey – a bit like Adele today.”

Elton John – I’m Still Standing

“When I was a teenager, we spent some family holidays at Cromer Country Club. It was a safe environment where I could meet new people and have a break from my parents in the evenings. My fondest memory of those holidays was the year that Elton John had the hit ‘I’m Still Standing’ and it still instantly takes me back.”

Music and memories

Billy Ocean –  Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car

“This always reminds me of being 18 and starting a new chapter of my life, as I began a more independent life away from home. Such an emotional time and I love being reminded of the sense of adventure that I felt.”

Music and memories


We strongly recommend that you choose your top 6 tracks and play them to your teens, with a bit of background info. Sharing music and memories is a brilliant way to connect with them, especially on a journey. Let us know what they think of them!

Louise & Anna x

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