Songs That Remind Me Of People/Times – “Paradise By The Dashboard Lights”

Have you ever had certain songs remind you of people or a time in your life because, for whatever reason, the song is so closely associated with that person and/or time?

Ok, maybe I’m the only weirdo, just indulge me.

Driving around Iowa I’ve had a lot of opportunities to listen to oldies stations on the radio (it seems like every city has such a station, which is great) and I found myself thinking back to times and people in my past that I associate with certain songs.

“Paradise By The Dashboard Lights” was released in 1977 by Meat Loaf on his “Bat Out of Hell” album (one of my favorite albums of all time), but it is an event that happened almost a quarter century later that forms the memory I have now every time I hear this song.

If, by some strange dissonance in the space-time continuum, you are not familiar with the song, there is an excellent explanation of the lyrics over here.

In 2000 Cindy and I attended the wedding of our friends, Jack and Marty. along with some of our mutual friends and some of Cindy’s that I had only met once or twice. At the reception, where the adult beverages were flowing freely, newly-met-friend-of-Cindy’s Heather Torrey and I got up, grabbed some microphones, and began to lip synch along with Meat Loaf and Ellen Foley when the DJ played “Paradise By The Dashboard Lights.”

We actually made it through the entire song, doing quite well with the back and forth lyrics, I think. It seems that I have a memory of Cindy videotaping us, but I’m not sure and now I can’t recall ever actually watching the antics on tape so I may be mistaken. In fact, my entire memory of the episode may be affected by the abundance of wine consumed.

Jack and Marty are still happily married, Heather and I are still friends (though by long distance as she and her husband and young daughter live in the Northeast these days), and now I can never hear “Paradise By The Dashboard Lights” without remembering the two of us pretending to be Orlando’s version of Milli Vanilli.

Paradise By The Dashboard Lights lyrics.

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