Age 4: "Straight Up" - Paula Abdul. I put on my big frilly dress-up dress, my mom does my make-up, and I perform this song for my family. In our living room. With a microphone hooked up to our stereo.
Age 9: "Mary Jane's Last Dance" - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I secretly watch MTV, and am scared shitless by the video for this song. I hold this against Tom Petty until I am 21 and realize that while I'm not yet over the creepiness of his dressing up a dead chick, I do sort of enjoy his music.
Age 11: "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog" - Three Dog Night. I am obsessed with the Forrest Gump soundtrack.
Age 12: "Ironic" - Alanis Morrisette. I listen to the entire album all the time, and sing it during sixth grade science class with one of my classmates. I get in trouble with my dad for this music and can't understand why, as it will be several more years until I realize what exactly it is Alanis is doing in the theater. I also listen to the 1996 Grammy Nominees cd constantly, and become strangely enamored with Coolio's "Gangster's Paradise." Clearly, I do not "get it." Luckily, I am only 12.
Age 13: "My Heart Will Go On" - Celine Dion. I spend a day home sick from school listening to the radio and recording this song each time it plays until I have an entire cassette filled with bad movie-clip-filled versions. I'm also a big fan of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day, and I secretly purchase Britney Spears' first album. Shhh.
Age 14: "Sheep Go To Heaven" - Cake. My friend goes to summer camp and comes home singing this song. We don't get it and tease her mercilessly, but in the future I will come to love Cake and think of her whenever I listen to this song.
Age 15: "Goodbye Earl" - The Dixie Chicks. I pride myself on enjoying different genres of music. I also begin to listen to the Guns 'n Roses album Appetite for Destruction over and over again, and feel like a bad ass because of it. This love for 80's rock will proliferate in a year or two.
Age 16: "Hey Jude" - The Beatles. I drive my 1987 Ford Ranger to my first boyfriend's house listening to The Beatles: One every weekend this winter. "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" still reminds me of that drive.
Age 17: "Still Loving You" - The Scorpions. The boys I hang out with encourage me to listen to more Motley Crue, Styx, and Lynrd Skynrd. I comply. We also listen to a lot of Billy Joel. I don't get it either, but who doesn't like "Only the Good Die Young"?
Age 18: "Come on Eileen" - Dexy's Midnight Runners. It's a long, long story, but suffice it to say, I have yet to shake that music taste from the year before. I also continue to allow people (read: my boyfriend and his friends) to tell me what to listen to. See also: "Cold as Ice" by Foreigner, which will forever remind me of high school.
Age 19: The entire Abbey Road album. I am in love, and have returned to that happier musical place I should have stayed when I was 16. I am also listening to Ben Folds and Pixies, as I have now become a college student.
Age 20: "There's No Home for You Here" - The White Stripes. I begin to realize that I really, really love rock music. I spend a summer being indoctrinated on the amazingness that is Jack White.
Age 21: "Room on Fire" - The Strokes. I listen to this album so often that my boyfriend has to ask me to please play something else. I say okay, but it has to be The White Stripes.
Age 22: "Intimate Secretary" - The Raconteurs. I spend an entire summer listening to this album, and see them in concert. It is the best concert I have ever seen, and I start to drool over the Ticketmaster website on a weekly basis. In addition, I have apparently found a new taste in music, as I now have no desire to listen to most of the songs