Did You Have A "Grown-Up Song"?

Or was I the only weirdo child who culled together an extremely dramatic soundtrack for adulthood?

Aug 16, 2013 at 10:00am | Leave a comment

As a little girl, I would listen to a nighttime radio show called Lovers & Other Strangers (which, apparently now can be found online all though I don't think the new podcast version would have the same early-90s nostalgic value for me.)

From what I remember, the host would tell intensely thoughtful stories of lost love peppered with soft rock from the era or a little earlier. I used to listen to this while falling asleep because I suppose I found it all very soothing, but naturally, as an impressionable child, the music and the words seeped into my subconscious and grew to shape what I expected out of my future as an adult woman.

Now as an actual adult woman I realize these expectations were hilariously off-base and just plain weird, and I also have to wonder where I got a lot of the visuals. Yes, there were the songs, but my incredibly active imagination was responsible for the majority of the imagery, too. 


The weirdo responsible for the following completely chaste visions of adulthood.

For example: I pictured my adult life to take place in a perma-moonlit apartment, with vertical blinds that looked out onto a balcony, black leather sofas, a glass coffee table, various pieces of sand art (?), and perhaps on the mantle of my white marble fireplace, a tiny statue of a saxophonist.

Surely this was influenced by the various saxophone solos I grew to love (and still do!). Adult me would have feathered hair, blue eye shadow, and would perpetually be dressed in gauzy white dresses. Basically, I would be Bonnie Tyler. Of course I would have a love interest too, but we would probably never interact outside of longing, "Romeo & Juliet"-style glances from the aforementioned balcony.

He would have a black motorcycle and maybe look like James from "Twin Peaks" (which is weird because he's such a terrible character and I had never seen "Twin Peaks" at that age because I was like, 6!). That's as far as I ever got.

Which brings me to the actual point of this article (even though I know you've been completely enthralled up until this point!), which is: what was the soundtrack to your imagined adulthood? Because for me there is one specific song, one song that when I imagine these scenarios, can be heard playing softly in the background. And it is this.

"Smalltown Boy" by Bronski Beat. I can't really explain why it feels so "grown-up" to me. The falsetto? Is that something adults do? Is that what I thought? I fell on my head a lot as a kid, so you're going to have to help me here.

There were a few other songs too, a couple notches below the above, that also elicited a similar emotional response from my tiny, freakish brain.

Are we on the same page here? Was I the only tiny, romantic insomniac? What was your song? Did I watch "Mannequin" too many times?