The 7 Songs That Make Me Want to Eat Ice Cream Naked

Hey, guess what everyone? I finished a story!! YAY for ME!! It is pretty bad, but it is totally done, so I am feeling pretty good about myself right now.

To celebrate, I thought I would treat you to a little audio party that I put together for you. I have been thinking about it for a while, but thought I would do it as a podcast. Then I realized that “I’m lazy,” and “I’m not going to do that.”

So, here they are: all my memories distilled into the 7 most wonderful songs that make me feel like a kid again. I’m sure they are different for you than they are for me, but just go with it. You’ll feel better about indulging yourself if you indulge me first.

The 7 Songs that Make Me Want to Eat Ice Cream Naked

Now, you’re wondering, “Why would Willow ever eat ice cream naked?” Then you realized who you were talking about, didn’t you? When I think of being young, I think of a total absence of inhibitions. For the most part, I still eat ice cream naked, as long as a majority of the windows and doors are closed.

How this works is, I will turn a song on for you and then tell you a little about it. Your job is to hit play before you read my blurb, so that you and I can have a really intimate conversation. You and I are hearing the same thing at the same time, and I am telling you my most favorite memories.

1. Saturday in the Park – Chicago

The quintessential summer song. I remember things through the lens of this song not the way they actually happened, but the way I feel they might have happened. I remember going to baseball games when I hear this song, eating cotton candy, and shooting fireworks on the 4th of July. It makes me think of my father, singing guitar songs and making magic come out of the campfire with his rendition of the Irish folk song “As I Roved Out.”

I remember walking to the grocery store to buy my very first CD, a compilation of music from “My Girl” the movie.  This was the last song on the album, and I played it every day for at least 2 years. When it comes on the radio, I still roll down the window and sing along, immediately thinking about how watermelon feels when it is smeared across your face and the drops are rolling down your shirt.

2.  I Want You Back – Jackson 5

Yes, back in the day when Michael was still a pretty normal kid, this was the coolest song ever! I found this song out when I was in high school. I distinctly remember having the crappiest car in the universe, which had the pervasive odor of feet and old McDonald’s french fries in a fantastic aroma I call “Eau de Cheap.”

Anyway, I remember specifically turning up my horrible tape deck as high as it could go (that’s right, kiddos, audio cassettes!) and singing as loud as I could, just happy that school was out for another year. I would get all ramped up on my way to the movie theater where I worked picking up other people’s illicit beer cans from under rickety seat. Then, right towards the end, when Michael really wails on that high note? I would hit it so loud that people in the next car over would look at me like I was insane. Little did they know.

3.  Ventura Highway – America

Well, I have been in love with America since they did the music for my favorite movie ever, “The Last Unicorn.” This isn’t the most rockin’ out song ever, but there is a strange beauty about it, almost like when you have been talking with a friend in the dark and then all the sudden they look like a different person. It is the darker, quieter part of summer. The days are longer, the nights are stronger than moonshine.

It makes me think of driving down the road on those long road trips, the quiet of the back seat as everyone is sleeping except me. And I can sit and imagine all the amazing worlds out there in the universe. There is so much dark and dreamy possibility in this one. It is like the cooler side of the pillow, you know?

4.  Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly and the Family Stone

Another one from the “My Girl Soundtrack.” There is something so sweet and necessary about this song. I love the feeling that I get when I hear it, like my heart is searching for something. It has always made me think of sitting on fence posts and drinking soda out of bottles.

It now reminds me of the summer my brother and I spent riding bikes all over the place, chicken pox dotting our faces. I was 17, he was 13. We made cassette recordings of our talk shows and game shows. We got kicked out of the library for being too ugly. We wrote ghost stories and picked berries at the chemically altered waste pond by the apple orchard across the road. It was hot. It was fun. It was quintessentially summertime.

5.  Ruby Soho – Rancid

Okay, this is a decided difference from the rest of the list, obviously. This is a very specific memory, one that you may not be able to read unless you turn the music up VERY LOUDLY!! My friend Megan and I had graduated from high school, and she had made me a mix tape. This was one of the songs on it.

We were so young, planning on going to San Francisco: she to be an artist, me to become an actress. We had no clue that we had no clue. Every night after I got off of work at Golden Spike Pizzeria, we would pop in the tape and drive off into the night. Sometimes we would drive for hours, learning how to pee in the most unsavory places (like on the side of the high school). It didn’t matter where we went or how long it took us to get there, we just drove off into the dark woods between Medford and Jacksonville, hoping that we would eventually make it back home. Destination unknown?  Abso-fuggin-lutely.

6.  Bennie and the Jets – Elton John

This is strange for me to think about, really. When I purchased this album, finally, I was getting ready to go on my mission. I remember dancing around my apartment while my very Mormon roommates were out of town. It was an exciting time, both scary and exciting. There is a gritty element in this song that I love – a slithery sleek quality that gets up into your scalp and makes you tap your foot.

Recently, this memory was re-allocated. Of course, I think that is the best way to do it, really. Abigail and I were driving down the road in the July sunshine and she heard me singing along to the chorus. The next day, she asked her dad to turn off the new-agey alternative music that he had playing in his car. He asked why. She told him, “I only like Mom’s music. I only like ‘Benny and the Jets.’” Score one for oldies brain-washing, I thought. Score one for summer.

5.  Hey Jude

Here it is, the best song in the universe. How is it that something that is 7 minutes long feels so right? Yeah, there might be a double entendre there. Anyway, I don’t remember the first time that I ever heard this song. All I know is that I always feel like the world is in the right place whenever I hear it. When Kyle and I were on the cruise, the one where Abigail was conceived, I sang karaoke for the very first time. Guess what song I picked? Yup. It obviously was a great experience since Abigail is totally in existence.

I guess what I wanted to say to you is this: Music is the most important language that can be spoken. Regardless of who you are or where you live, no matter what kind of music you love or how old you are, music is something that we share together. It has the ability to reach across the oceans of time and space and connect us with each other.

Let’s sing some Na Nas, shall we? I’ll do the harmony at the end.

If you listen really close, I’ll bet you can hear me.

You Have Time for Just One More:

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6 responses to “The 7 Songs That Make Me Want to Eat Ice Cream Naked”

  1. I LOVE "Going the Distance." I actually thought about putting that one on here as a substitute for the one I REALLY should have put, "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails. I thought about it for, oh, a millionth of one second. Then I decided to avoid that particular genre of memories altogether. I'm not quite ready yet. I love your list, though. I should go hear that 5,000 miles song. Classic 1998.

  2. I love the last three songs the most. I would add to my list of memorable songs I need to sing along to at full volume: 99 red balloons (angry german version), 5,000 miles by the Proclaimers, Weezer-Undone (or the Sweater Song), She Don't Use Jelly-The Flaming Lips (that chorus that everything rhymes with tangerine..), The Distance-Cake, Anything from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, Whiney Houston-Greatest Love of All (my sister and I used to lip sync to this ALL OF THE TIME as little kids), and this is not an all inclusive list.. but now I am getting bored. I'm sure this list totally dates me, but I simply do not care.

    Also you remain one of my favorite people ever to sing along with. That was fun. Again, I don't see you enough in person.

  3. Two songs remind me of the summer of 1968, right after I graduated from high school, Hey Jude and McArthur's Park. You think Hey Jude is long listen to McArthur's Park sung by Richard Harris. Both these songs will always remind me of that summer, how I worked at Nellis Air Force base and dated a guy in the Air Force until I met Dean. Anyway this guy and I would sit and try to figure out what McAthur's Park meant, what it meant by "Someone left the cake out in the rain and I don't think that I can take it, cause it took so long to bake it and I'll never have that recipe again." I can't remember if we ever came to a decision. So many years ago.

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