More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn hit shelves last Tuesday, June 21st, and if you’re a fan of music and analyzing lyrics and beat, you’re going to enjoy this one! Me? Well, no one, and I mean no one, enjoys an Adam Duritz mention more than this girl. (Except for the man himself, I’m guessing.) So I was thrilled to see his name pop up in conjunction with my favorite Counting Crows song. For those of you who don’t know, Adam is the front man for the band Counting Crows, and their CD August and Everything After was my everything freshman year of college. My buddy Angel is always quick to remind me that everyone wanted that CD until I owned it. I may have overplayed it a tad, but to this day, it’s still my favorite album of all time. So #sorrynotsorry. It got me thinking of other songs that were nostalgic for me, so I thought I’d share them here. I’d love to hear what songs hold nostalgia for you, so be sure to drop them in the comments once you’ve made it through my list!
I’ll Be There for You by Bon Jovi – I have a lot of history with this song, starting with a week at my grandparent’s house. We lived more than an hour from the nearest mall, so I didn’t get there often. But when I would stay with my grandparent’s, it was a special treat. I bought this on cassette single that week, and my grandmother ‘caught’ me in her entry area singing in front of the mirror into a hairbrush. I was so embarrassed, but I remember her telling me not to be, that everyone did things like that. It was the first time I ever remember thinking that maybe we’re all more alike than I thought. My Gram has since passed away, but this song always reminds me of her and that moment. (Also, this may have been the same week Grampie took me to get my cartilage pierced, and it got infected. I ended up with five ear piercings – one for each member of then named New Kids on the Block. Don’t judge!)
Blaze of Glory by Jon Bon Jovi – Technically I’m not repeating artists since Jon Bon Jovi recorded this song solo, but it’s not surprising that I can’t stay away from him or the band. They’ve always been one of my favorites. While I love Jon Bon Jovi, this song wouldn’t even make the top twenty of my favorites from him or the band. But I do have a fun memory attached to this one as well. I remember spending the night at my best friend’s house, and we were hanging out (as we did in those days, sans electronics) in her room. I said ‘Want to turn the radio on?’ She responded with ‘Sure, but Blaze of Glory is going to be on. I turned it on and we cracked up laughing, because SHE WAS RIGHT! We weren’t clairvoyant, it’s just that this song was so overplayed that it wasn’t hard to predict. It still gives me a chuckle whenever I hear it.
The Sign by Ace of Base – This is another song that I don’t necessarily love, but I have two friends that this song makes me think of. My senior year of high school, Missie, Jenn, and I were inseparable. And it never failed; whenever we were in the car together, that song came on. (Unless we were in Missie’s car, and she was make us suffer through the Sister Act 2 soundtrack.) Any time I hear The Sign, it brings on feelings of unfailing friendship and hope, because we were all getting ready to embark on new adventures. I love those feelings!
Anna Begins by Counting Crows – This is probably the least nostalgic nostalgic song on my list, because it’s for selfish reasons. It doesn’t remind me of anyone in particular, just a time in my life when I felt relaxed and free. The whole album was a part of my life back then, but Anna Begins was always my favorite song on the album. I loved the lyric ‘Her kindness bangs a gong,’ and with the soulful, longing way Adam sings it, I can listen to this song and be brought back to that period of relaxation in my life. Even if it’s only for 4 minutes and 33 seconds.
3 am by Matchbox 20 – Another song off one of my favorite albums of all time. Just like Anna Begins, I have a favorite lyric from this one – ‘she thinks that happiness is a mat that sits on her doorway.’ There’s something so insightful about this lyric. It could easily be swallowed up by the rest of the song, but life experience really makes it hit home. My friends and I always called Matchbox 20 the Matchbox Boys, and while they don’t come up in conversation nearly as often as they used to, we still do. This was a song that I loved during my early twenties when I was just having fun and living life, before responsibility really hit and sidelined some of that fun. I also remember seeing the band in concert just before they exploded – before Rob Thomas was ‘Smooth. ‘ I remember he was wearing a tattered sweater and ripped jeans when I saw him in concert – totally what I went for back then.
Overcomer by Mandisa – Priorities definitely change, and this song is a constant reminder of that for me. This is a song that the girls I babysit love to listen to, and I love to play it for them. In fact, I sing it to them at the top of my lungs, because I always want them to know they can overcome anything that life throws at them. I hope these lyrics stick with them always – ‘you’re an overcomer; stay in the fight ’til the final round, you’re not going under, ’cause God is holding you right now. You might be down for moment, feeling like it’s hopeless, that’s when he reminds you, you’re an overcomer.’ No matter how old they get, I will always have memories of us singing this song together (mostly in the car,) belting out the lyrics with absolute conviction that they are true.
This walk down memory lane with songs that conjure up so much nostalgia was exciting! Don’t forget to let me know which songs mean something to you! I’d also love to know why, if you’re comfortable sharing.
Don’t forget to read on for an excerpt from the book that inspired this post,
MORE THAN MAYBE.
More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 21st, 2020
| Excerpt |
Excerpt from More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn. Copyright 2020 by the author and reprinted by permission of Wednesday Books.
I slip my phone back in my pocket, and the door opens again, causing my heart to flip-flop in my chest. Luke Greenly walks in, looking wet and harried and straight from my nerdiest daydreams, carrying his longboard under his arm and a cardboard coffee cup in his hand. Luke and Cullen aren’t identical twins. Cullen is tall and wiry with dark hair. Luke’s broad shouldered and fair with longish pale blond hair, currently plastered to his forehead despite the hoodie under his black leather jacket. He’s also got light gray-blue eyes behind bold black frames, contrasting his twin’s un-spectacled dark brown ones. Yet somehow, when they’re together, they look the same. They move in a similar way. And, yeah, their accents are yummy.
(I would never, ever admit it, but I play their podcast recordings before bed. Luke’s voice is extra soothing. Deep, lyrical, and crisp.)
The owner of those golden vocals approaches, and I duck, prodding at my nearly empty cup in an effort to hide my flaming cheeks. The Loud Lizard is my territory, and I am cool and calm and not at all flustered by Luke Greenly. We’ve spoken exactly nine times since Christmas and I’m, regrettably, still nervous around him. Also, I’m still counting. So, that’s . . . annoying.
“Hey-hey, Vada.” Luke clears his throat.
“Thought we wouldn’t see you tonight. Didn’t you have plans?” Cullen asks.
“I did, yeah. But Kazi didn’t show.” Thank God Kazi is reliably unreliable. No need to mention my Marcus drama to the Greenly twins.
“Shocking,” Cullen says drolly.
“Yeah, so I’m here. For a little longer anyway.” “Well,” says Cullen, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. The music dies down as the band wraps up their set. Unless it’s a special occasion, our live music usually ends early on Sundays, which is convenient for the Greenlys. The sound booth isn’t exactly soundproof in this place. “D’you need a ride home?”
I shake my head and lean into him. “Nah, I brought my mom’s car since I planned to meet my dad. Wanted a quick getaway.” That part’s true anyway.
Luke’s full lips twist in a half grin, and he removes his frames to give them a swipe on the dry edge of his hoodie.
I pull out the keys Phil left me and lead Luke and Cullen down a dark hallway, away from the noise of glasses clinking and instruments being loaded up. I unlock the sound booth and flick on a light.
“All yours, boys.”
Cullen leans down and smacks a kiss on my cheek. “Thanks, doll.”
I don’t know the Greenly twins super well, but Cullen is definitely the outgoing one. He’s also very, very gay. He’s been with his boyfriend, Zack, for so long they won homecoming kings this past fall by a landslide. Maybe that’s why I can talk to him so easily. Or maybe that’s just Cullen. His superpower is making people comfortable.
But it’s rare for me to see Luke without headphones or even hear his voice in person. I give him my best smile, but he only nods shyly as they pass. I inwardly sigh, all lust and longing and whatever else alliterative pining I can come up with. You know it’s bad when I’m the social one. I wait for them to get hunkered down at the mics before I close the door with a soft click behind me.
Back on the floor, I fill another cup with cherries and settle in to people watch. We have the modern equivalent to a jukebox in the corner that can be fed off debit cards, and someone’s clearly coming off a bad break because a second loop of Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” has started. I skim the club for the culprit. My money’s on the black-haired beauty with Cover Girl’s Matte #5 stained on her one, two, three straws. “Get it, girl,” I mumble under my breath. Demi is a perfectly respectable breakup diva. See also: Sam Smith and Ray LaMontagne.
The door flings open with a gust of icy air, and Kazi appears in his pale, full-on dread-headed glory. I glance at my watch. Ohhhhh, he’s late. Or, later. Phil’s not gonna be happy.
I pass the keys to Kazi with a bored scowl. “You get to wake up Phil,” I say. He winces, and I don’t bother to hide my smile. “Also, he was expecting you half an hour ago, so.”
Grabbing my jacket from behind the bar and feeling for my keys, I wave goodbye to Ben and head out into the night. My breath huffs out in front of me. I unlock my door with a beep and immediately lock it behind me, turning on the heater and heated seats full blast and letting the ringing in my ears from an afternoon spent in a noisy club dissipate.
But I don’t like the silence. What I want is to walk back into the bar and perch on a stool and listen to breakup songs and banter with Cullen and let Phil preach at me. I want to help Ben pour drinks, cast dirty looks at Kazi, and wait for the moment Luke leaves and see if I can’t earn one last shy smile from him. I want to stay here. I want to delay the moment when I have to face my hurt feelings—or worse, my mom’s hurt feelings, because even after all this time, Marcus is still breaking two hearts with one drunken accusation.
After a minute, I release a slow breath and reluctantly pull my seat belt across my lap, backing out of my space to drive home. My real home, and not just the place that feels like it.
| about the author |
ERIN HAHN is the author of You’d Be Mine and More Than Maybe. She teaches elementary, would rather be outside and makes a lot of playlists. So many playlists in fact, that she decided to write books to match them! She married her very own YA love interest who she met on her first day of college and has two kids who are much, much cooler than she ever was at their age. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, aka the greenest place on earth and has a cat named Gus who plays fetch and a dog named June who doesn’t.
Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250231642