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30 Day Song Challenge #6: A Song That Reminds You Of Somewhere

[Day 6: A Song That Reminds You Of Somewhere]

Barenaked Ladies – Pinch Me

About two years ago I went on a family trip to Europe. It was the first time I had been on a proper holiday in recent memory, and it would be impossible to state how excited I was about it.

At the time I was still underage, and obviously going on a trip with your family is different to going with mates. Meaning that we did a lot of touristy stuff and less of the partying and getting smashed in a foreign city stuff. Not that I’ve ever really understood the attraction of that anyway.

We went to Italy first, staying for a couple of weeks in Rome, followed by Florence and Venice. All three cities created wonderful memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was a real horizon-broadening experience, and some of the sights I witnessed were mindblowing to a teenager who hadn’t been outside of Australia for the better part of seven years.

We then headed to France, and I remember visiting this enormous record store on the Champs-Élysées that was pretty much a department store just for music. I spent more money than I care to admit there, especially considering that I obviously had much better things to spend money on at the time.

But one of the things I purchased was ‘Talk To The Hand’, a live DVD by the Barenaked Ladies. I had kind of listened to some of their stuff before, like many people, and I really appreciated how they didn’t seem to care at all about appearing ‘cool’ or fitting anyone’s expectations. They just made music.

We were staying at this really cool flat in France, with my brother and I sharing a kind of loft bedroom with the only television in the place. So I watched this DVD when we got a bit of spare time, and I was immediately completely taken by the band. They were so charming and funny, and I genuinely thought some of their music was fantastic.

None more so than this song, Pinch Me. It brought back so many memories of my childhood I didn’t even know I had. It captures what it is like to be a kid absolutely perfectly, and listening to it is still an amazingly powerful and nostalgic experience for me in ways that are impossible to describe.

Even more than this, the song would become increasingly associated with our Europe trip for me. I actually discovered that I already had the song on my iPod, and proceeded to listen to it on repeat for much of our trip around the next city we visited, London.

We had allowed more time for London, so had the luxury of just being able to relax and take in the experience rather than rushing to do all the touristy stuff (although we still did plenty of that as well of course). This song became associated with wandering the streets of London, not really caring if we were heading anywhere in particular, just taking in the sights and the atmosphere, shivering every now and then at the freezing weather.

In particular I remember Christmas day, which we spent in London. We had no family or friends over there, so instead of doing anything special for Christmas we just walked around. It was a surreal experience. The streets were pretty much deserted, with everyone either staying at home or already in a restaurant. The weather was particularly cold, there was frost everywhere, and I think we even noticed remnants of snow at one point.

It was a magical Christmas day, even though it was pretty much just like every other day we spent in London. There was just something about it, some sense of freedom that was impossible to place. I’ll never forget that Christmas day. Later on we returned to our hotel, had a nice dinner in the restaurant, and went back to our room to watch Top Gear and QI repeats on television.

And this song always reminds me of London on Christmas day, and also of our Europe trip more broadly, which was a fantastic experience for my whole family. The lyrics of Pinch Me have a way of making me incredibly nostalgic, more than any other song I’ve ever heard.

It’s like a dream you try to remember but it’s gone, then you
Try to scream but it only comes out as a yawn, when you
Try to see the world beyond your front door.

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