My Musical Memory Lane

Songs played on the radio at any particular moment remind me of the days when they dominated the airwaves.

Just the first few sounds of a melody already brings back old memories. If the hit song was from the '90s, I remember my childhood; if it's from the noughties, I am taken back to my teenage and early adult years.


I was born in the late 1980s so this article does not feature songs from that era but the years 1991 and later are represented.


As they say, if you want to travel back in time, you'd have to read old books and other articles... but isn't it even more wonderful when you hear songs from way back in the past that give such periods in history some sort of jive and to some extent, soul?


Come and join me in my voyage to the past through hit songs that dominated the airwaves in yesteryears...



1991



The Prince of Pop's most upbeat song reminds me of 1991, the year when it was first released.



1992


In 1992, I was a little kid in kindergarten when I first heard the song "Heal the World" by Michael Jackson. Ever since, this song reminds me of my memories of the same year.


1994




1994 was a year of sunshine and biking. I was then a young kid who bikes every day on the street just beside our house so I chose a song that is both relaxing and reminiscent of those carefree days.


1995


1995 was a year of warm sunny afternoons and games played with classmates so I chose a song that features children playing and dancing against the backdrop of the golden sun. Though not released until the following year, Ang Huling El Bimbo was recorded in 1995.

1996


In 1996, our cousins from California flew to our hometown to attend our grandparents' golden wedding anniversary. It was one of the best summers of my life and the entire year was likewise joyful so this video perfectly fits the general mood of that year. It dominated the airwaves in December and even through the early parts of '97.

1997


The late 1990s saw the rise of songs with funny lyrics and melodies. Coincidentally, my sister entered high school in 1997, beginning a period where she would be talking about her funny anecdotes at school on a daily basis. My sister is a funny story-teller even up to now so 1997 had to be represented by a funny song.

1998


I had to choose this song for 1998 because of Titanic, the movie that inspired my siblings and I to play titanic-titanic in the early part of the year. In that game, we did reenactments of Titanic's sinking with a small table as the infamous ship and our toys as the characters of the movie. 

It was a morbid game but we have to accede to the known fact that kids of any generation play morbid games. I remember one time our mother complained about millennials playing "morbid" games like Counter Strike but when asked what games they played during childhood, her first response was a game known to them as Tirigbasan. If you're from Bicol, you'll find this hilarious.

My Heart Will Go On was released in late 1997 but was not played by local radio stations until early 1998.

Early 1999


Kiss Me was released in 1998 but dominated the airwaves in early 1999, especially the month of February, just in time for Valentine's. 

Mid 1999


After the turn of the millennium, I heard this song only once so it instantly brought memories of mid 1999, a period when the weather was alternating between warm and sunny afternoons and rainy but humid mornings so it seems that a song of psychedelic pop genre best describes the mood of the era.

Our grandfather died in August, bringing shock and sadness to the entire family. The rest of the year, however, picked up in September and I was generally happy all the way through until June 2001 when my sister had to leave for Manila to study.

2000


This song was played on the radio every day in September of 2000, but very rarely years after. I was not a fan so I didn't know who sang it or what the lyrics were - not until fifteen years later when I had to look it up because I was missing it.

I was literally disappointed with the lyrics because of too much hate but if I only had to listen to its melody, it brings back good memories of high school intramurals circa 2000.

Turn of 2001


2001 made a dramatic entrance with a relaxing melody. Cruisin' was one of the first few songs I heard on the radio in 2001, setting the tone for much of the first half of the year, one of the best periods in my life.

I remember some of my classmates singing in duos. Nothing but good memories.

Late 2001


The second half of 2001 was dominated by this song. I can't choose between saying that it's melancholic or that it's relaxing. Maybe both.

2002


I pick this song for 2002. The melody sounded cheerful - like many of the songs written by millennials such as Vanessa Carlton - until you read the lyrics. 

Turn of 2003


2003 likewise made a dramatic entrance. Its earliest days were cold so a relaxing song was a perfect choice for the mood of that era.

2004



I had to choose this song to represent the year - which was a breath of fresh air since I graduated from high school and went to a university where I met so many new friends and faces. 

The song was very spontaneous, like most of 2004. It's the official soundtrack of one of my favorite movies, Shrek 2. I'm just disappointed with the message of the music video.

Late 2005


In October 2005, my father and I went to Manila for a short trip. This song was played on the radio very often during that short trip such that it never left my mind ever since. I rarely hear this song nowadays so hearing it has become nostalgic.

My classmates might remember that I sang this song for my crush back then. 

2007


In March 2007, my friends and I watched Music & Lyrics so I chose this song because it reminds me of the good old days. 

2008


2008 was the peak of American Idol, one of my favorite shows on TV so I chose that iconic cover of Always Be My Baby by my most favorite contestant on that show ever, David Cook.

The year was a really good one - my classmates and I were reviewing for the board exams slated in October. I was mostly joyful throughout that period because the conversations I had with new friends coming from the rest of the country served as ice-breakers to my otherwise mundane and boring review period. 

The icing on top of the cake was me passing the examinations with 80+ rating despite enjoying my stay at the dorm in Manila.

Summer 2009


It had nothing to do with the lyrics. I chose this song merely for the reason that the melody seemed unique at that time. I still like listening to it even up to now despite its lack of relevance to my life or any part thereof.

Turn of 2011


One of those days in January 2011, somebody performed this song at a small event in law school. The women were raving about it - I think it empowers them for some reason.

Ever since, it reminds me of those jittery days of early 2011. I was unsure about my capabilities so this song somehow gave me hope.

Summer 2011


The only time I've ever watched Binibining Pilipinas was in 2011 because my classmate from grade school, Pamela, joined the competition. She was a stunning 5' 11" beauty queen who earlier won pageants.

This song was played during the competition and, ever since, I am reminded of that pageant whenever I hear this song.

Rest of 2011


I'm not a fan of Lady Gaga but I wanted to include this song merely for the message. God makes no mistakes.

2012


I didn't notice this song until late into the year 2012 as I was very busy with law school. Regardless, I love both its melody and the meaning of its lyrics.

2013


After five years of studying in Manila, I was asked by my parents to come home and transfer to a local university. I was against the idea as I was on a momentum at my current university - I was even admitted to intern at the Office of the Solicitor General.

Although against my wishes, I followed their insistence. Unbeknownst to me was a very happy year ahead - I gained many friends, both at our school and online. 2013 was one of the happiest years of my life so the perfect song to describe my general mood for that year is this.

Turn of 2014


One of the most inspirational and romantic songs ever recorded was this. 2014 had just begun when I first saw and heard it on TV. 

August/September 2014


By the time it was September, I had a romantic fling with somebody I almost had a serious relationship with. I told her that this was my favorite song.

We were born exactly three days apart and the funny thing is, her only ex-boyfriend was born on the same day as she was. I had to show her my driver's license to prove my birthdate.

My very birthday was the height of our romance and we thought we're going to be bf-gf by the time it was her birthday but I had a sudden flight to Manila that day for some emergency.

She was calling me almost everyday and asked me the why's. Things went out of control and the rest was history. Ever since, I didn't want to hear this song anymore.

October 2014


In the month of October, I had recurring sleepless nights due to my fear that I will not graduate from law school. I was taking a pill that induces insomnia and that makes me easily forget what I've earlier learned and memorized.

So my mom advised me to exercise in the early morning as a form of therapy. This was one of the songs I listened to every time I exercised. I love the song but not the memories.

Turn of 2015


My mom often sang this song as though she was also a millennial. I rarely hear it these days but whenever I do, I remember the jittery days of early 2015 when I wasn't sure if I was going to graduate from law school.

Summer 2015


I graduated from law school so I was at a party mood in the summer of 2015. This was the song I often heard back then, which perfectly captures the general vibe of that era.

The peak of that summer was me reaching Manila at around May 21st. The dormitel management was so gracious; they gave me the hotel room with a splendid view of a nearby resort for the same price as dorm rooms.

July/August 2015


The middle of 2015 was the most magical part of my life. I met many friends from all over the country, most of whom were from Iloilo. 

There was this girl I was most naturally attracted to. Every time she's around, I feel ahhhh... The day we were introduced to each other, we instantly became friends.

One of those nights, we played this song and danced. This happens to be one of my most favorite songs ever. And that moment? I will never forget.

September/October 2015


One of the best birthdays I've ever celebrated took place in 2015. It was the height of everything magical in that year. This song was oftentimes played on the radio back then and no matter how many times I hear it, I never get tired listening to it.

Turn of 2016


2016 had a cheerful start. This was one of the songs I often heard during that era. It's something unique and catchy. I miss this song as I no longer hear it anymore.

Early 2017


In early 2017, this was my favorite song. There were nights when I had difficulty getting to sleep as the song's chorus is stuck in my head as if I was listening to it.

I went to some late night gimmicks with some friends so this song somehow represents the general vibe of those days.

Mid 2017



By May 2017, I was very euphoric. Any new lawyer was. I finally achieved the dreams I was working very hard for since 2009. The upbeat melody of this song jives well with my general mood of those days. The lyrics were completely irrelevant but I wish to write a song with this music as its background.

December 2017



I never had luck with love. I want somebody who is genuine, humble, warm, not too emotional, simple, and candid. Everything that Camilla is. So I pick this song for late 2017. 

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I will write another article featuring what I consider as the best songs of the years before 1991, which do not bring back memories but induce me to imagine how life was before my existence on earth.

Comments

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  2. Truly, every song in our life is tied with our memories. Along with our memories, it does not age right? It brings us a vivid image of our past. Looking forward to your next article of backtracks because I really enjoyed this one. ☺️

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