November 19, 2022 – Memory

Recently I had a very interesting and enjoyable experience. Maybe you, the reader, have had the same experience.

While searching through the channels on Sirius XM, I found 1950s Gold which is a collection of recordings from the 1950s.

I haven’t heard any of this music in probably 50 or more years nor did I ever think about it.

Listening to this old music was absolutely great. Singing along was even better.

What I found was truly amazing.

I could remember every lyric of every song and mostly who the singers were.

Sometimes, I could even remember where I was when I first heard the song.

I was puzzled.

How did I easily remember the lyrics which I haven’t sang or even thought about in over 50 years?

I have had courses on memory and attention in my graduate training, but this experience was something more.

Not only did I remember the lyrics, but I also felt happy singing these songs.

So, this raised a number of questions for me.

How do these songs get stored in memory, not be used for decades, and then be immediately recalled once the music starts?

Is there other information that can be pulled up with the correct stimulus?

Is the music so associated with the lyrics that the sounds or rhythms of the music pull up the lyrics from memory?

In addition to Short Term Memory and Long-Term Memory, is there an easily accessible Very Long-Term Memory that stores this information?

Why did I feel good when hearing and singing to this music?

Or was it that life was so much simpler 60+ years ago?

In any event, if you listen and can remember the lyrics, sing along, and enjoy.