the lives of songs

She told me she tried to find this album I used to put on when we were huddled in the darkness. The problem was that she could only remember the cover, and it was after we stopped talking for the third time or something cause otherwise she would have asked.

Then she was in Chapters one day. This book of best albums of the 2000s fell down, and there it was, Ágætis byrjun, open at the page. “What are the chances?”, she asked me.

Sigur Rós Ágætis byrjun

I used to think of her listening to the songs I gave her with another guy and grow jealous. But I could never say I didn’t have my own memories associated with that album, lying between a wall and warm body on a bed swollen with covers in New Jersey. I watched Jón Þór Birgisson sing into the pickups of his guitar, his ethereal voice gently making the strings tremble, in a summer romance so long ago.

That was my introduction to Sigur Rós, and in the same way I passed this album on to her. It made me feel so vulnerable to be next to her in those moments (whether she realized it or not). Every time it came on was an emotional flashback, a short-circuit to this part of my past about which I’ve told so few.

I used to hope she kept the songs I gave her to herself, and that she didn’t use them to woo another guy the way I had always tried to with her. Perhaps I was a little possessive about my music and somewhat judgmental on who I deemed to be deserving enough to hear it. Eventually I realized that it’s not fair of me to feel that way. She had shared so many songs with me in turn, giving me as much as I’d given to her, and I’ve since passed those songs on to others.

Now I wonder who else will eventually experience these songs, and what memories of their own they’ll have when they hear them.

Leave a Reply