As you may have read once (maybe twice) I've gotten very much into Green Day lately. I have Dookie, American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown in the car and listen to them all just about every time I drive somewhere. What is interesting is that, even after all this time, I still stumble over a lot of lyrics. I realized a very important reason why.
I'm not 11 or 12 anymore. Also, I'm not listening to records on a record player.
Not sure if this is a girl thing or a tween/teenage thing in general, but think back (those of you of a certain age) to when you were a tween/teenager and we had to listen mostly to records -- actual records. And this generally meant you loaded up the records and put the needle on and you listened to the whole side, then turned it over and listened to the other side. (Actually, even when cassette tapes came out there was a time before the "stop between songs" technology came about and you did the same thing.)
I remember spending what seemed like HOURS lying in my room, listening to music, writing in my diary journal, writing letters to family or my German pen pals or just studying the album covers -- inch by inch. I'm sure I also spent time copying the song lyrics into notebooks or on book covers. That connection of fairly focused listening for hours at a time and writing down the lyrics over and over made memorizing the words so ingrained. For example, I think I could still sing most of the way through most of the songs on this album:
For good or for ill, I could. Hey, if a picture paints a thousand words, then why can't I paint you? The world will never know the you I've come to know, etc. I can do the same with Jim Croce and John Denver and Carly Simon and Carole King and some (not all) of the Carpenters.
So I find myself frustrated that I don't know the lyrics to Green Day like I know the lyrics to any of the above. I'm a little nostalgic for that beautiful free time we had when we were able to just listen and take in all that music, getting to know the words like we had written them.
I'll keep working on my Green Day memorization. And I'll keep feeling 12 (which is a good thing on so many levels.)