Vacation 1984: New Song

Music always has inspired powerful memories for me, especially during vacations. On our first trip to Florida in 1982, the song-driven memories are thick. In 1984, the music doesn't take me back so intensely. Maybe because the trip wasn't as wondrous as two years earlier. Maybe because I had brought so many tapes to listen on my Walkman that I didn't pay as much attention to the radio. And maybe because the songs just weren't as good.

This isn't to say the songs from April 1984 mean nothing. They do. I distinctly remember hearing "Automatic" by the Pointer Sisters as we neared the Illinois/Indiana border and my mom and sisters had already fallen asleep. Besides my Walkman, I also brought my boombox and plugged headphones into it to listen to the radio stations I wanted to. In Orlando, I bought a cheap three-pack of cassettes and taped songs off the radio on the boombox without anyone else knowing what I was doing. And those are the songs that stuck.

Probably no other song reminds me of this trip than Howard Jones' "New Song." The little synth keyboard tune was catchy, and it was just unassuming and fun.

There were plenty of other songs, and I guess they weren't all bad. But they don't make me want to cheer, and that is what distinguishes the music on this trip with the tunes from 1982, or other vacations where the music embedded into my head (1979 to the Dells, 1998 to Texas, a few trips to California this millennium).

This post wouldn't be compete without a playlist.

New Song Howard Jones
They Don't Know Tracey Ullman
Girls Dwight Twilley
Got a Hold on Me Christine McVie
Show Me Pretenders
Footloose Kenny Loggins
Against All Odds Phil Collins
Runner Manfred Mann Band
It's a Fine Day Tony Carey
Leave It Yes
Time After Time Cyndi Lauper
The Authority Song John Mellencamp
Come Back and Stay Paul Young

A memory did just strike about "Leave It" -- I can remember it being on the radio as we were pulling into Orlando in the rain. And that makes me want to cheer a little.


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