I recently spoke to a fellow student here at Fort Lewis, Trevor Ogborn, about his top five songs that have had a major impact on his life.
This is what he had to say:
“When I was young my dad had a white Toyota Land cruiser and it was the family car for a while. During one long drive for a camping trip, he put on a Frank Zappa tape and played a song called ‘Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow.’ It was the only song on the tape suitable for kids and was the most bizarre thing I’d ever heard. It’s just a way to relive some of those old camping trips that were so awesome with my dad, really nostalgic. Because the rest of the tape was so bad, my dad actually “lost” it so I couldn’t listen to the rest of it. So years later, I found it and kept it around. The album opened me up to a lot of other strange music too. Then, when I was in high school, a group of friends and I would cruise around in my jeep and jam weird music like that. We’d TP houses and get into trouble. The song was also an escape out of all the seriousness of life and an outlet for me to have fun and be myself.
Another song and artist my dad introduced me to was ‘Goodbye Stranger’ by Supertramp. It was actually a song my dad could play in front of my mom and get away with. So when I was in middle school, I was a really self-cautious kid and was always concerned with what people thought of me. I was also kind of selfish and when I didn’t get my way I’d be upset. Then in eighth grade, I went on this backpacking trip through a part of New Mexico that totally changed this aspect of me. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done. It was a seventy-four mile trip and I had to carry a huge bag through a pretty harsh environment for a week. Towards the end, there was a mountain we had to reach, I think they called it ‘Red Mountain’ or something, and I was having a strange respiratory problem. I could hardly breathe and was pretty sure I couldn’t make it for the remainder of the journey, but then one of the adults of the program said to me, ‘hey, do you want to give up now and go home telling everyone you could have done this but you got sick and gave up, or do you want to go home and tell everyone that you completed this seventy-four mile trek?’ Somehow, after hearing this, I was able to move on and complete the adventure. I feel that ‘Goodbye Stranger’ is like me telling that old me “goodbye.” That song and that trek changed me for the better.
The next song is ‘Don’t Let the Bastards Grind you Down’ by The Toasters. It was definitely my pick-me-up song through high school. I was in marching band and not very athletic at all in a school where football was everything. Sometimes I got a lot of crap from some of the jocks and at the end of the day, after hearing this song, the title really summed it up. I just couldn’t let those bastards grind me down.
’Welcome Home’ by Radical Face really started to have a significant meaning to me after I left home for college and has evolved over the past four or five years. I was really comfortable at home. I had my family and a close group of friends so going away to college was really rough for me. For the first year or so of college, every time I’d drive home to see my family I’d play this song in my car when the drive was coming to an end and it would be really emotional. But now that I’m well into my college life, everything has been reversed. I feel like Durango is my home now so I play this song when I get back here.
The last one is a really sad one. It’s the only song I know that can actually make me cry. It’s about a girl and a guy and the girl has cancer. The girl ends up dying and the guy is left alone to cope. So when I was way younger my grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away. I was a bit too young to know exactly what was going on and just remember my mother being very emotional afterwards. Later, when I was a bit older, my grandfather remarried and a year after that, his new wife also got lung cancer. She passed away too and a few years after that, I heard this song called ‘Casimer Pulaski Day’ by Sufjan Stevens. In the song, the guy doesn’t understand that she’s gone and she’s not coming back. It reminds me of the grief I felt at those times but also helps me hold onto them. I can listen to this song, think about them and plan on what I’m going to do with my life to make them proud.”
That about sums it up. Just by picking out five of his top songs, Trevor has given us a lot of insight into his life and has explained how he has applied the lessons of these songs into it. From dear memories of riding in a car with his father on the way to a campsite to the coping of the deaths of loved ones, these songs have proven to have meaning to their listener.
“Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxAceec8Dx
“Goodbye Stranger”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsV-rQ23bus
“Don’t Let the Bastards Grind you Down”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx_dCxt7nXA
“Welcome Home”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8a4iiOnzsc
“Casimer Pulaski Day”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxMYqsvgX8c