Music-Evoked Nostalgia
Marc Gordon - March 30, 2018

Scatter Seeds Of Kindness

If you have a friend worth loving
Love him. Yes, and let him know
That you love him, ere life's evening
Tinge his brow with sunset glow
Why should good words ne'er be said
Of a friend till he is dead?

If you hear a song that thrills you
Sung by any child of song
Praise it. Do not let the singer
Wait deserved praises long
Why should one who thrills your heart
Lack the joy you may impart?

If you hear a prayer that moves you
By its humble, pleading tone
Join it. Do not let the seeker
Bow before his God alone
Why should not thy brother share
The strength of ‘two or three' in prayer?

If your work is made more easy
By a friendly, helping hand
Say so. Speak out brave and truly
Ere the darkness veil the land
Should a brother workman dear
Falter for a word of cheer?

Scatter thus your seeds of kindness
All enriching as you go
Leave them. Trust the Harvest-Giver
He will make each seed to grow
So, until the happy end
Your life shall never lack a friend

We all find ourselves falling through our memories after hearing a song from back in the day. One single song can make us feel like were so much younger, while at the same time remind us that we are so much older than we thought we were.  Music, for most, induces a deep feeling of nostalgia throughout our entire bodies, quickly and easily.


For others, different sensory experiences such as smell or a sight can induce nostalgia as well, but music appears to be a powerful memory cue for many. According to psychologists, the power of songs brings to mind previous time periods and events.  Researchers Schulkind, Hennis, and Rubin (1999) played hit songs from various eras for both adults and college students, and found that songs commonly evoked memories, or even a general recollection of a life period, or specific event.


The team of psychologists found that the more emotion a song generated for a specific person, the more likely the song would bring out a memory.  Older songs evoked more memories for the older participants, and the opposite was true as well.


What’s truly interesting about their findings is that songs frequently evoked general memories rather than a specific event.  Basically, the songs evoked nostalgia.  Not every song brought memories to mind of course, but a great deal of them.


But why do some songs evoke nostalgia and memories, while other do not? Well, sensations need precise connections. If you have never eaten a certain cookie, it will not spike feelings of nostalgia. A song however that you heard 30 years ago will evoke a sense of nostalgia for that lost adolescence.  The effect of nostalgia is proven to be more powerful when there has been few encounters with the memory.