Childhood memory of songs from my mom

Posted by Jakub

I always try to figure out why I listen to soo much music that has a soft flow to it, then I think about what songs I wanted to hear the most out of my mom’s music collection. She always seemed to have these great low key parties with close friends when we came to the States, I remember just laying there in the dark with the light and sounds coming from the cracked door, the tone was perfect, especially an uninterrupted front to back listen of The Police.

I really didn’t get to hear any Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Miles Davis, Fleetwood Mac, etc that I can remember, some would say I missed out but its okay with me, I just wanted to thank my mom real quick ha! it was mostly this. Maybe because we came from Poland and this is what was popular in the mid 80’s-early 90’s? What did your parents love that just gets you every time still? I’m not going to lie I think my play count of early Sting is in the 100’s on iTunes. On a side note on this Enya song, make fun of it all you want BUT what production, its maybe cheesy for most but thinking of it as a new song i’d be really impressed from a solo artist to get this sound out of them.

48 Comments Leave A Comment


RA_OUL says:

June 24, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Sade all the way. Every time I hear her voice it’s like a step back in time. Oh and I can’t forget about Marvin Gay. That’s funny you have that Enya song on there. I haven’t heard that song since I was a kid. I didn’t recognize it at first until she starts saying “sail away sail away sail away.” Hahaha! Love it. Great post.


Ian says:

June 24, 2010 at 11:09 pm

I used to love Orinoco Flow when I was 3-4, and I would dance in the middle of the living room when my parents played it. I remember not hearing it for a very long time, not until High School I think, but when I heard it again I was overwhelmed with memories of being little. The only song I think I’m more sentimental about is Chicago by Sufjan.


David says:

June 25, 2010 at 12:12 am

Oh boy….

Reminds me of the countless car rides I had with my parents at a young age, as this stuff was usually herd on the radio.

Phil Collins, hah.


Neil says:

June 25, 2010 at 1:21 am

Whoa – brave list there Jakub!

(I have occasionally wondered if my love of Cocteau Twins somehow stemmed from subliminally absorbing my mum’s Abba collection as a kid during the late 70s…)


NAVIS says:

June 25, 2010 at 1:30 am

Enya is insane. She does all the vocals on her tracks. On her Wiki page it says that she’ll use up to 100 vocal layers.


Scott says:

June 25, 2010 at 1:42 am

My parents mostly listened to the pack of records you were apparently issued by default when you applied for a California driver’s license in 1966 so it didn’t get very far off the beaten path. My mom listened to a lot of soul (wilson picket, aretha, and my dad listened to Doors, Stones, Creedence, Fleetwood and then a lot of latter-day clapton along with SRV and the other aging guitar gods in the coke-rock age.

They also dabbled in 80’s pop trendiness so I got my requisite dose of boy george, Eurythmics, Robert Palmer/Power station (heavy nova and riptide blew my mind back then), some supplemental yacht-rock, and of course all things MJ. I also have a super-8 of myself at age 3 in cowboy boots dancing/convulsing to Disco Inferno.

My godfather always gave me these huge sets of mixtapes for christmas so I got a lot that way. He introduced me to The Beatles and Zeppelin which were the first two times I can remember actively realizing I enjoyed music, like truly enjoyed it in a cerebral sense, not just something in the background that had a sort of instinctual pull going on.

Somehow that all devolved into me buying Megadeth, G’N’R, ST, Primus, and Rush (actually, Rush are awesome) throughout middle and high school. I didn’t find my way back until college and then I caught myself downloading Rumours last weekend. Full circle.

Robert Palmer R.I.P.-tide


Jakub says:

June 25, 2010 at 7:14 am

Thanks for sharing guys, I love reading what people actually listened to and not lying about it.

“i’ve been listening to John Cage since I was 3 and…”


Christina says:

June 25, 2010 at 7:56 am

Tears for Fears, YES, War, The Police. The first ones that come to mind. Totally brings back memories of growing up with my Dad in the mid-late 80’s; riding in his truck with the cassette deck, and hanging out with him in his studio coloring in my sketchbook while he worked on commercial illustrations (airbrush, french curves and masking film!). And I STILL love listening to them. I am always surprised that no matter how long it’s been since I’ve listened to one of their songs, I still know all the words by heart.

And hearing Enya, wow. I remember when I first discovered her when I was about 12, I think it was Memory of Trees. It was Christmas and I was at my grandparents’ house, my aunt put it on the stereo for me. I remember being totally blown away by it and saying, wow! I LOVE this, it’s gorgeous!!! My friends made fun of me, but I didn’t care. I had forgotten that I still love it. Thanks for the post :)

Oh, and @Scott “I also have a super-8 of myself at age 3 in cowboy boots dancing/convulsing to Disco Inferno.” Classic. This made me burst into laughter here in my office (I guess I should be working or something…).


JConda says:

June 25, 2010 at 8:09 am


One of the most beautiful Sting songs.

Sade is my ex-wife (not just for her beauty…her tone, her message, her peace)

Enya is the ish. Hands down. No one multi-tracks like her anymore. Shepherd Moons…what!? Un-freak-wit-able.

Everyone in our generation has a Phil Collins song (or two. or three) in their childhood soundtrack.

Thanks for sharing this.


Aaron says:

June 25, 2010 at 8:11 am

“i’ve been listening to John Cage since I was 3 and…”

There was a time around ages 6 through 8 when my musical tastes were formed around the soundtrack to Back to the Future. I gravitated away from Huey Lewis and towards Chuck Berry and other early rock n roll. I fact I just thought of a bunch of songs I liked as a kid that were all used in TV shows (21 Jump Street and Head of the Class) but I’ll stop now.


Jconda says:

June 25, 2010 at 8:12 am

…and LOL @ “i’ve been listening to John Cage since I was 3 and…”

Although I did start a Vangelis addiction when I was about 13 :)


rent says:

June 25, 2010 at 8:32 am

Did my mom help you with this playlist?

Sting, Phil Collins, Peter Cetera, Eric Clapton, and Michael Bolton were heavily frequented during my childhood drives with mom.


fr says:

June 25, 2010 at 8:33 am

I don’t see any reason to be embarrassed. You’ve posted far worse music before. :P


Carlos says:

June 25, 2010 at 8:39 am

This post really struck a chord with me! I have some really fond memories of listening to my dad’s copy of “Nothing Like the Sun”. I have these nostalgic memories of being a kid in Northeast Florida and listening to “Englishman In New York” or “Be Still My Beating Heart” when it was overcast.

Same with Enya and Orinco Flow. Say what you will, but she knows how to layer her vocals beautifully!


Junia says:

June 25, 2010 at 8:41 am

So much fun reading everyone’s responses! U2’s Joshua Tree was a must for every road trip my family took to Disneyland and Magic Mountain. And then there was Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, and The Best of the Eagles that my dad used to play while my mom was in the kitchen cooking dinner.

Just like Aaron mentioned above, the music I listened to was heavily inspired by 80’s movies. I became obsessed with The Psychedelic Furs, The Smiths, and New Order after hearing them in Pretty in Pink.

The funniest and probably most memorable phase I went through came in 6th grade when MTV consumed my life and listened to nothing but The Cranberries, The Breeders, Smashing Pumpkins and Dinosaur Jr. I had my Dr. Martins and everything. Funny times.

Great post!


Clayton says:

June 25, 2010 at 9:46 am

Oh man. This is an awesome post. I remember my Mom going bowling twice a week and she always played the album “The Cranberries – Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?”.

I’m surprised I didn’t read any mentions of The Mamas & The Papas. Their music was a staple in our summer vacations to my grandfather’s house. I still rock their Greatest Hits album to this day. It’s the perfect sunshine driving music. Best song has to be either the cliché-but-awesome ‘California Dreamin’: or ‘Look Through My Window’: Oh man…if you listen to that song, listen to the ramp from 53 seconds to when it resolves at 1 minute and 15 seconds… that part just oozes nostalgia (and super awesome vocal harmonies).

Another one that I actually just heard on the radio at work is ‘Supertramp – Breakfast In America’. This song still induces a great deal of head-nodding. I dug around and found this live video of them playing it 1979 and I must say, they sound spot on:

Thanks for a great post Jakub. I know you guys love music that bridges the gap between then and now, but sometimes you just have to go back to the real deal. Thanks for the reminder!


d|| says:

June 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

Born in 87.
Sade…Kenny G…Toni Braxton…Marvin Gaye…Prince…Maxwell…Kenny Lattimore…Oleta Adams…Erykah Badu…Patti LaBelle…Gladys Knight…P.M. Dawn…Teena Marie…Quincy Jones…Shalimar…Michael Jackson…etc.


Pablo says:

June 25, 2010 at 11:14 am

Everyone’s responses pretty much sum up how I also feel about childhood music. Interestingly enough, growing up in South America I had very similar musical influences. I remember soaking up my parents collection as well. The Police, Chicago, Peter Cetera and Phil Collins/Genesis were constantly playing in my house. In fact, when i moved to this country at the young age of 10, I used to tell kids who were into MC Hammer then, that I was into Phil Collins. You should have seen their faces. I was lucky not to get beat up. Later on, I went through a very similar phase as Junia did in 6th grade.

Thanks for sharing this post Jakub, the music definitely takes me back to being a happy 6 year old kid and it brings me a smile every time.


Whitneee says:

June 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Love this post. I have been listening to Depeche, the Police, the Cure, etc. since I was old enough for my brain to process music. My dad also tells me that I forced him to play a certain Milli Vanilli (sp?) cassette over and over and over…this site will definitely be the only place I ever share that one :-D


Anonymous says:

June 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

It’s funny, my dad used to play guitar for me all the time when I was a little boy and I loved it more than anything. He is a collector, and has a bunch of vintage Martin and National guitars. I have found recently that the majority of my favorite artists use Martins and Nationals. I’m left to wonder if my dads playing, and my exposure to the sounds of these guitars since I was a baby, is the reason I like these artists.


Jarson says:

June 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

It’s funny, my dad used to play guitar for me all the time when I was a little boy and I loved it more than anything. He is a collector, and has a bunch of vintage Martin and National guitars. I have found recently that the majority of my favorite artists use Martins and Nationals. I’m left to wonder if my dads playing, and my exposure to the sounds of these guitars since I was a baby, is the reason I like these artists.


Lucas says:

June 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Yes! I agree with all these folks. Great post! Enya was certainly someone I secretly listened to years back. I even remember trying to not be shy about it and not turning it off when a friend would come over and I would get the crazy looks from them. ha!

She was the artist who inspired the vocal layering I do in my music now… although I can only dream to have the talent and patience with it that she most certainly has.

I love it when these “taboo subjects” like this can really get everyone talking and reminiscing.


Adam says:

June 26, 2010 at 1:18 am

Some of my earliest memories are of dancing around the living room to Tangerine Dream, “Too Hot For My Chinchilla”. Other prominent members of my childhood included Thomas Dolby (Europa especially, as well as Gate to the Mind’s Eye), The Lovin’ Spoonful, James Taylor, lots and lots and lots of Beatles, and Brian Eno (mostly just the Apollo Soundtrack, which he’d put on while we were playing Asteroids).

Enya was my mom’s find I think. But my dad caught on quickly; he was always a step ahead of us in finding good music/ getting into the stuff we’d find. He told us who Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails were. He introduced me to my favorite bands in middle school (Meat Beat Manifesto and Front Line Assembly).

I think my dream may be to expose my kids to the same musical brevity my dad did. I don’t know if I’m up to the task. There’s been no time in my life when I’ve brought up a genre and he didn’t respond with at least a “yeah those guys have something really special going, have you listened to Paco de Lucia/The Red House Painters/Peaches/Debussy?”.


Justin says:

June 26, 2010 at 4:09 am

My parents used to play Enya when I was younger. Orinoco Flow is such a cool and chill song.


andrew says:

June 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm

my dad used to listen to big band jazz – he liked the bands with big rhythm sections. but one of my favourite records in my parent’s collection was ‘sergio mendes and brazil 66’. apart from that it was my brother’s music collection (he is 12 years older than me) that got into my subconscious. his favourite band was tangerine dream (plus the synth pop of depeche mode etc). i think this odd combination of jazz and electronic has definitely contributed to my musical tastes today.


Michael says:

June 27, 2010 at 2:55 am

My parents were a tad older than me..
They played Classical,Jazz,Broadway Show Tunes,Brazil 66 ,Frank Sinatra,Barbara Streisand, etc..
I was lucky..I was exposed to many types of great music..

And I don’t mean to weird you out but,she still looks alot like my late wife..
She was Polish & Italian..


Shadx says:

June 28, 2010 at 9:35 am

My mom listened to vinyl a lot, and many responses are similar.
A big nostalgic one for me is Joe Jackson – Stepping Out.
I used to request Genesis – Tonight, Tonight, Tonight a lot at the roller rink.


Warren Hildebrand says:

June 29, 2010 at 1:24 am

This is a great post.

My mom listened to a lot of Tears for Fears when I was a kid and some of my earliest memories of life are of listening to their tapes while driving to or from my cottage in my Moms old Nissan. They’re still one of my favourite bands.

As a really young kid, my Dad would drive my brother out to get McDonalds and then go to this small airport near our house and watch planes take off and he would play this oldies or classic rock station out of Toronto so there’s a lot of 50s an 60s music like the Righteous Brothers that I’m really sentimental about. For some reason “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes comes to mind too.


Ron says:

June 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm

U2 & Tears for Fears for some reason take me to my happy nostalgia zone even though no one in my family was really into either.. I think its just from the radio on car rides as a kid.


renzo says:

June 30, 2010 at 10:14 am

mmmh… ok, since everybody’s sharing what was the music that characterized their childhood, I’m adding to the list what I used to listen to while sitting on the backseat of my dad’s car as he was driving the family either to Ischia (the island) or as we were through the Dolomites. A premise: I was a kid in the early 80’s but my parents had a sweet tooth for Opera, therefore I used to listen over and over to “romanzas” from Traviata, Turandot, Bohéme and André Chénier. Any now and again I remember there were even some easier tunes, some Toquinho, Domenico Modugno, Adriano Celentano and rarely, but all for my mom’s pleasure, Julio Iglesias! This last one is quite embarrassing, isn’t it?


Jennifer says:

July 2, 2010 at 11:28 am

This is great! I love that you posted this playlist. SADE – I Couldn’t Love you More was actually my friend’s First Dance song at her wedding this year in May. And I’ll always love to hear Enya and Phil Collins. I can’t remember the majority of what my parent’s listened to but I do remember dancing around to their 12″ Culture Club – Karmachameleon single. Such wonderful memories.


Trog says:

July 6, 2010 at 7:58 pm

@Scott – Megadeth? Man, I love them, but who would’ve thought Mr. Tycho himself was into them at one time!


Ramune ( says:

July 22, 2010 at 5:40 am

A bit late to the party, but I love reading all these memories of music past. That Enya song totally just transported me to the back of my parents’ car on long road trips. I remember listening to it on my walkman, especially if I wanted to fall asleep. Because my parents lived in Saudi Arabia for 7 years (where I was born) I think the music they were exposed to was a bit behind the times. Back in the States I definitely remember hearing lots of Abba and Gypsy Kings with Rolling Stones and classical music peppered throughout. Although my parents were a bit of an influence on my musical taste, my sister was definitely key. I will always remember Depeche Mode as being the first band I considered “my favorite.”


Anonymous says:

September 18, 2010 at 4:16 am

That Sting track is BEAUTIFUL. You rehashed old memories of Sunday drives with my Dad. He would play a lot of Sting, and also a lot of TOTO. Hahaha. Toto. Ahh, carefree, relaxed drives on a Sunday. Nothing better.


Leslie A. Williams says:

November 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm

This is most definitely a playlist right out of my childhood. My mom would BLAST Orinoco Flow… I haven’t heard it in years, and now stumbling upon it, my day has been made. Thank you