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Shared Songs
Published on September 11, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about how music is one of those things you share with your friends, and how certain songs and bands are meaningful because they remind you of people you care about, and the fun times you had together. For instance, I will always love "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS, classic Prince, "Whenever God Shines His Light" by Van Morrison and the UB40 cover of "Fools Rush In."

Anyway, here's an excerpt from the column:

"My friends and I tend to have similar musical tastes.

This is a matter of personality, but also of shared experience: We’re drawn to the same stuff, which explains why we became friends, but we also spend a lot of time together, and the stuff we do when we’re hanging out often takes on special meaning.

My college roommate and I both arrived at our dormitory with boxes full of CDs and tapes, and one of the first things we did was compare our vast collections and make comments about our likes and dislikes; an early bonding experience involved recording snippets from favorite songs for our answering machine message. Much to my delight, my roommate possessed a lot of music that I had never heard before, and I soon found myself listening to a whole new set of bands. Her music eventually became my music, too.

I love different songs for different reasons, but there are a lot of songs I love simply because my friends love them, too.

They range from Van Morrison songs I listened to while working at camp to the raw, late 1990s punk songs that my roommate was so fond of, to the carefully selected pop and rock songs on a mix tape given to me by a friend in high school. I like Van Halen, because my high school boyfriend used to play them all the time, and I also have a secret fondness for Seal, because he was popular with the staff at one of my summer jobs."

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