Very little ties us to our past like music. How often does a song come on the radio that brings up a very specific memory or time period in our lives? Music is the single most defining trigger of memories for me. And none are stronger than Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale!
I’m not really sure why, though — it was a favorite song of mine, for sure, but there were a lot of other more important songs and memories than this one.
From the very first note, I can physically feel my body relax, a sense of peace waves through me, and I am instantly swept back to dances at the bowling alley in Albion, NY in the early-mid 1970s! I can feel myself dancing with a date and find myself swaying as we dance in my mind. I remember going to the bowling alley a lot for dances and always having a good time, but wonder what makes this song stand out and why it has a much more instant and strong memory tie than any song that triggers memories for me. And it really does — every time I hear it — no matter where I am or what I’m doing — it instantly gives me an amazing inner peace and distinct physical feelings! It simply makes me happy — I only wish I could put together more of the context around what was so special about that particular memory!