For example, Britney Spears's "Baby One More Time" will always make me think of the cringingly awkward Sadie Hawkins dance sophomore year, where my date was my crush. ABBA's "Dancing Queen" is turning seventeen and singing at the top of my lungs with my twin sister. "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns 'n Roses totally represents my first few months of college, savoring freedom with my new best friends. Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You" played during my first ever slow dance in sixth grade. (I wish I was lying.)*
But the all-time most nostalgic song of my teenage years has got to be "1979" by The Smashing Pumpkins. Between ages 12 and 15, I was obsessed with The Smashing Pumpkins. Super crazy obsessed. These were the mid/late 90s days of America Online chat rooms, and I was a regular in The Smashing Pumpkins chat. At one point – oh God – I even had a newsletter. Called Children of the Pumpkin Patch.**
Aaaaanyway. At the time, I considered "Disarm" my favorite song, and Siamese Dream my favorite album. But the song that has always brought me back the most is "1979". I so wanted to be those teens in the music video: wreaking good clean havoc, making out in swimming pools, ditching the cute jerks who trashed the convenience store. To me, "1979" defines the excitement of being a teenager -- the same excitement that makes me write YA.
What songs define your teenage years?
*okay seriously, what was the DJ thinking??
**not to be confused with Children of the Corn.