The Song that Came to Mind


Last night, I drew another prompt from the writing prompt box I recently created:

Write about the first song that comes to mind.

Music…a song…can take me back in time faster than almost anything, except perhaps a scent. So, I enjoyed this prompt.

I’m sure it will be obvious to you that I changed a name to protect the innocent. And, it’s funny how the mind fills in details that have been forgotten, so perhaps there are a couple of minor embellishments. But it’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Following is the song and the story that first came to mind. I would LOVE to hear about the story behind the first song that comes to your mind!


One of my most romantic moments came when I was in fourth grade. Back then, romance was made of fairy tales, of princes on white stallions and happily-ever-afters.

I was born in California, and in the next five years we moved to bases in Texas, where Cyndie was born; Georgia, where Kim was born; and Bermuda, where Tami was born. Finally, we returned to California again, where my brother, Chuck, was born. From then, I was lucky enough to be in one place from first through fourth grades, long enough to be lulled into a sense of getting to stay in one place.

But at the end of my fourth grade year, the fairy tales and happily-ever-afters faded away and the world became all-too-real again when I learned we’d be moving from the home I loved in California to a dusty Air Force Base in Altus, Oklahoma.

It was bad enough that I had to leave my friends, but move to Oklahoma? We were going to be Okies? Even in my pre-pre-teen years, I’d already decided I was much more suited to being a California girl than an Okie.

Not to mention I’d just learned that Billy Bobblehead, a boy I’d known since first grade, had a crush on me. Having just graduated from the “cooties” stage—when my friends and I wrote “C.V.” on our palms to vaccinate ourselves against catching “cooties” from the opposite sex—Billy Bobblehead was my first crush. Or, more accurately, he was the first boy to profess his crush on me. I’d had secret crushes on boys since kindergarten, but “C.V.” had prevented those crushes from coming to light. But this was fourth grade — serious stuff.

So, my heartache about leaving California was intensified by the fact I’d never see this love come to full bloom.

But it was after we moved that my first romantic moment—a memory that will live in infamy forever—happened. Maybe it’s because it happened at my saddest moment, when I missed my friends, missed being “crushed.” I learned about it in a letter I received from a very-missed friend:

Dear Jan,

You’ll never believe what Billy Bobblehead did after you left…

I hesitated to read on, dreading that Billy had already found himself another. But, with a lump in my throat, eyes burning with impending tears, I bravely read on.

Then, I smiled. Relieved, I floated on Cloud Nine.

Every day he sings this song. He says it’s for you. It’s by the Beatles and it’s called ‘Yesterday.’ It goes like this:

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now, it looks as though they’re here to stay.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Was this love? I only knew one thing for sure—even before I entered the fifth grade. Whatever it was, life would never be the same again.

jan upside down

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6 Responses to The Song that Came to Mind

  1. That’s an impressive fourth grade boy, just squeezes my heart to read this, Jan! I guess you both recovered okay. 🙂


  2. That was a sweet story 🙂 I’d always wished my dad had stayed in the Air Force so I could move from place to place like that, lol, but no one who’s done it seems to have liked it much. And then I met Rob who was already finished with all his moving around with the Air Force and I still think I would have liked it even as an adult. But not now… now I have entirely too much stuff to be toting around!


  3. Jan Morrill says:

    Reblogged this on Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen and commented:

    What song first comes to mind for you? What’s the story behind that song?


  4. Mustang.Koji says:

    What a cute story, Jan! Have you ever tried to contact him again?! Don’t you think YOU cross HIS mind when he recalls this song? 🙂


  5. Ruth says:

    Billy Bobblehead. Cute. Your story is so cute, so like you. My first crush? David in the third grade. The first song that comes to my mind is, The Red River Valley. Daddy played the guitar and sang it all the time. It was the first song I learned to play on the guitar and I practiced so much I know Mama could’ve screamed. And yes, the old tune constantly ran though my head last year when we went to Red River.


  6. rgayer55 says:

    The song that came to my mind was Three Blind Mice. There was one who sat on the curb at the corner with a cup and a sign that read “cheese, please.” The second mouse did Stevie Wonder impersonations at a local nightclub, and the third became the first mouse to graduate from the Hellen Keller School for Major League Umpires. Unfortunately, all three suffered serious injuries when a crazed farmer’s wife (i.e. – serial killer) broke out a carving knife and went postal.


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