We humans have a knack for creating associations with significant events in our personal lives or in our society with music or other forms of art, or vice versa. I’m not going down the road of attempting to explain more scientifically why this is today, but I think pretty much everyone reading this can relate this to sentiment. We all have some songs or imagery that are etched deeply in our minds linked to certain events in our lives and/or vice versa. And if we are on the same page about this notion that’s good enough for the continued reading of this here piece.
Being the music nut that I’m I don’t just associate much of the history of my life to certain songs or albums, my mind is even using music as a crutch to organize and compartmentalize events both in my own life and of humanity circa post-World War 2.
More often than I care to admit when I want to recall when something of importance happened I find myself thinking in line of “well, this must have happened after year X because I distinctly remember that record Y wasn’t released yet”. And it’s not always so objective either as in definable milestone and years, sometime the connection is way more subjective. What I mean with that is stuff like “I know that the Fukushima disaster happen around winter 2011 because I way really into “Resolve” by the Foo Fighters at the time!”
Sometimes I wonder how I’m remembering all of these bits and the associations that keeps them together and even more how my mind is keeping all of these associations at least somewhat straight. For good or worse I couldn’t tell you.
Because I was thinking about these mental and emotional connections and the fact that it’s late October, I had to pull out of one of my more non-obvious musical associations that I have. The song is obviously the intoxicating blissful “Beautiful Day” by U2, of their hailed 2000 album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind“, but what do I so strongly associate it to?
Yes, you read that right. Baseball.
How would someone that isn’t an American link a song like this by a Irish Rock band to Baseball? I’m glad you asked.
I’m a strange creature in the sense that despite not living in either the Americas nor along the Pacific Rim of Asia I have an affinity for Baseball, partly passed down to me by my father and partly grown on my own. And for most of those that have an affinity for Baseball October is an exciting month. The reason for this is that Major League Baseball, the highest profile league in the world, typically has its playoffs during this month. So even if you know nothing else about Baseball you can understand that it’s kind of big deal for those who are invested in the game.
Going back to my aforementioned musical connection, it came to be for me during the playoff season of 2011. Already by the time the playoffs begun I was in a streak where “Beautiful Day” was played regularly on my playlists at the time. So it was a song that was near to my thoughts and to me it turned out to so exquisitely narrate the story that unfolded for me following the playoffs that year. You see the 2011 MLB post-season was something remarkable.
In order to not lose any of you who yawn at the mere thought of Baseball I’ll keep this real short. For those that don’t recall the 2011 turned out to be quite the Cinderella story. The St. Louis Cardinals, the team that eventually won it all, were so outruled from even making the playoffs with a month left of the 6 month regular season. Yet they manage to claw their way to final playoff spot by the final game of the season. Then they somehow managed to best 3 teams in elimination series that they were all poised to lose in the most spectacular fashion. Looking back of past season 2011 remain one of my favorite emotional rides as a fan, and I think a lot of fans of Baseball would agree with me regardless of their team affiliations.
Oh, the memories…
I didn’t get particular deep in to the subject of musical associations nor didn’t I really say much about U2 in this one. But it’s okay. There are surely more time for both in coming weeks. For now let’s just soak in “Beautiful Day” on his fine autumn day. And at least I will revel in the memories and the feelings it conjures.