That One Song

A short post for me this Memorial Day weekend.

I often mention music in my posts and writing because music is something we all relate to. Songs remind us of a time in our lives, a person, or maybe a place.  Markers engrained in our minds.

When I was young, the small town I grew up in had dances for kids all the time. The schools had dances, the Y had dances, the church had dances, and local organizations held dances. For adults, there were weddings, anniversaries, and bars.  There was a song that played at most very event I ever attended and it was somewhat unique to the culture I grew up with.

I left that town when I was sixteen and moved to the city. I returned once in the late eighties to attend my grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary. That song played and I danced with my grandmother. It was the  only time I had ever danced with my grandmother.  Years later, my grandfather’s brother celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary in Tucson. I was married then so my wife attended with me. When that song played, I jumped up and pulled her to the dance floor. It was the first time she had ever heard it, but knew by the look in my eyes what it meant to me. It didn’t take her long to look around the club and see what it meant to all my relatives. It’s our song, part of our culture and now by being married to me, part of hers.  She loved it.

There is a famous guitar player most of you know: Carlos Santana. What most of you don’t know is he has a brother who is also a gifted musician: Jorge Santana. Jorge played in a band from California and recorded a song that probably is still being played today at dances and family gatherings across the Southwest.

How about you, what is that one song?  As for that one song that means so much to me –  I’ll share it with you.




  1. Julie Durazo Nettling

    Thank you for the gift of memories from home. Yes, you have captured the essence of that wonderful, quirkly little town on the southeast edge of the state we grew up in. The time of our generation and culture is wrapped up in the music, for certain. There are only a handful of songs that take me home, as this one mentioned does. Again, thank you, friend, for sharing with us.

    • W.C. Cunningham

      It’s funny because there are literally hundreds of songs that take me back to some time and place throughout my life but this song captures so much for me: our town, our youth, our culture, and so many beautiful family memories.

  2. Georgia Rose

    Okay so this one I’m unfamiliar with but I must just tell you Bill that ‘Into the Mystic’ now forms part of my ‘I have to listen to this every day’ list and that is all thanks to you and your wonderful Uncle Charlie, who I didn’t know but whose gorgeous image and fabulous character are branded forever into my memory…so thank you for the introduction 🙂

    • W.C. Cunningham

      Well then I hope you liked this song. My uncle loved it. This song is very popular in Hispanic communities here in the U.S.

      Hope you are enjoying your weekend Georgia 🙂

  3. Lori Lesko (@LeskoLori)

    I love Conflake Girl by Tori Amos. It’s always been my favorite.

    • W.C. Cunningham

      I’ll have to look that one up.

  4. Robin

    I haven’t heard that song in forever. Thank you for sharing it, and your wonderful memories of it. I can’t think of one particular song that seems to run through my life as an all-occasion song. There seem to be many. Just to pick one or two: “Born to Run” because I’m originally a Jersey Girl, and it’s almost a requirement (the real reason is that it was getting lots of air time the summer I was dating the man I married, and well, because I’m from New Jersey where Springsteen is The Boss). “Hot Fun in the Summertime” (Sly & The Family Stone) is the summer soundtrack song for me, threading through long and dreamy summer days when I was young and reappearing during summer vacation days even now.

    • W.C. Cunningham

      I would imagine a Jersey Girl loves both Springsteen and Bon Jovi. Born to Run is a great song. As for Sly & The Family Stone, classic! I love that song and perfect song to have associated with summers. We listened to Sly & The Family Stone often during my youth.

  5. Charli Mills

    I did not know that! Thanks for sharing!

    • W.C. Cunningham

      Thanks for reading Charli!

  6. heyitsmejoy

    Pink Floyd’s Wish you were here.
    My parents listened to it when I was little. My husband and I connected with our love of Pink floyd. Our music choices differs. I like hard metal rock he likes the lighter stuff.
    Every postcard I have ever sent has the same verse,
    We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl year after year. Running over the same ole’ ground. What have we found? The same ole’ fear.
    Wish you were here.
    I’ve have sang it to my kids as I rocked them to sleep. (Maybe not the greatest lullaby)
    My family can sing the song in it’s entirety. It is also one of my go to shower songs.
    I loved this post. Thank you.

    • W.C. Cunningham

      I love that song and can easily imagine it being sang softly as a lullaby. I think children appreciate any song sang to them. It’s also one of those songs a solo guitar player can sing and have fun with.

      I’m with you on the hard rock. First concert I took my wife to was Iron Maiden. I tried (although she does love “Wasted Years”).

  7. Mary Rowen

    Thanks for this post, Bill, and the video. I’ve heard this song before, and can certainly understand how it could could be embraced by so many people. It’s great. Can’t say there’s a song with that much significance to me, but I can’t listen to “Freebird” or “Stairway to Heaven” without being teleported back to many sweaty junior high and high school dances.

    • W.C. Cunningham

      I think those two songs teleport most of us back. Freebird tends to be one of those songs a garage band learns first and rightfully requested their first time playing in front of a crowd. Great tunes!

  8. plaguedparents

    I love how you equate that song with some of the important woman in your life. So sweet!!

    • W.C. Cunningham

      Thanks! I loved introducing my wife to it.

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