Music transports a baby boomer back to her teens

Doreen Frick of Ord, Nebraska, might be turning 62, but music takes her back to being a teen. Read how this happens. It might take you back too.

Those who wish to sing always find a song.

Not everyone sings.

Most of us don’t relish the idea of singing in public, on a platform, alone. But despite our reservations, if we’re home in our kitchen, or in the shower, or driving, and the radio is on, sometimes we just can’t help singing along. It comes as natural as breathing.

Doreen Frick

Doreen Frick with the end-of-summer remnants of a Nebraska sunflower.

Why we don’t sing more, is personal. Perhaps someone once made fun of us, or a professional pointed out that we were a little off-key, or … and this is my husband’s memory … a music teacher singled him out and told him not to sing with the class. (I wonder, now, some 50 years later, was he really that bad? Or was she having a really bad afternoon?)

We laugh about it now, and he sings, especially when he’s alone in the truck. He’s probably making up for all those lost years of holding back the song.

What I’ve noticed about music is how much it moves us. To laughter, to joy, to dance, to tears. To memories. A song can take me back in time in a heartbeat. When I hear an old tune from the ’70s, instantly I’m holding hands in a station wagon, listening to my sweetheart croon with Neil Diamond, Jim Croce, or the Four Tops. If I hear a ’60s song, I’m in my childhood living room (with the brown walls and scratchy sofa) playing my records, learning love songs. (“Going to the Chapel and We’re Going to Get Married,” “Blue Velvet.”) I’m on the cusp of entering the endless summers of Beach Boys, Beatles, and Chicago.

John Denver

John Denver

I have found myself in various flavors of music. A co-worker brought in her cassette of the Phantom of the Opera and I was hooked. A documentary on John Denver‘s life introduced me to an unlikely duet between the folk singer and Luciano Pavarotti. It’s a hauntingly beautiful love song, which led me on a search for more duets (think Bee Gees and Celine Deion, Boccelli and Sarah Brighton, Marie Osmond and Dan Seals. The list is endless).


Jim Croce

Mozart enchanted me (watch Amadeus and become a fan), Rap took me under its wing when my kids introduced me to MTV, and, being Irish/Scottish, I am moved by the bagpipes and the clickety-clack of the Irish Dance. From acappella to a full choir, there’s a world of music I want to explore, and YouTube has become my search engine and new friend.

I revisited Tom Jones via that magical window. “Tom,” my first crush, mesmerized me with his ballad of the green green grass of home, and wooed my fourteen-year-old self when he ended his show with, “She’s a Lady.” There’s nothing quite like a man in a tux.

Oh the places a song can take you … but wait, I’ve saved the best for last. The other day while at a thrift store, I saw an old 8-track of Cliff Barrows and the Gang. I almost bought it (except I have no way of playing it), because as soon as I touched that worn piece of plastic I was back in the old car with Dad, singing along to the tape he popped into the player every Wednesday night after choir practice.

And I was sixteen again. And life was musical.


  1. As today is my seventieth birthday, these artists claim so much of my teen and formative years. How I miss the honesty, integrity, and convictions of their beginning music, and the choices and opportunities that they manifested. Although every generation has it’s upside, I truly feel such loss for the younger people coming up and the innocence that we experienced and reveled in over fifty years ago. Nothings changes and yet everything changes…

  2. Recalling and singing along with the lyrics often takes very little effort. Proves music promotes “happy moments”.

  3. Wonderful piece. Music takes you right back.

    Please tell your husband that I was one of three girls in my fourth grade class to NOT be allowed in the chorus. I’ve never quite recovered. Seems so cruel to me. Working on the recovery though…

  4. Chicago. Rare Earth. Jethro Tull. Fleetwood Mac. 5th Dimension. Phil Collins. The list goes on, each attached to it’s own set of memories, some overlapping, some not.

  5. Wonderful story. I haven’t used my solo voice in over 10 years (since my dad passed away)although I do sing with groups, in the car, while in an empty room, or in the shower when I know no one is listening. Your story is an encouragement. Thank you Doreen!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing. I also think it has to do with a feeling of how we are and can see how we have changed and how we HAVENT changed since then. I sing the same way you do and only my cat can hear!

  7. I just read all the stories I could find that you wrote on here and I loved them! I think this one is my favorite and it’s an interesting thought that some day I could hear one of these goofy songs I listen to and be transported back to this time in my life! Love you lots

    1. Thanks so much! Nothing we listen to that moves us is really all that goofy Skylar! Enjoy your world and your music, and introduce us older ones to it!

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