First Favorite Songs Are Like Sonic Baby Pictures

Logo The New York TimesThe New York Times
2023-06-09 18:00:06  • 8 mins

How a minor 1989 George Harrison single from the Lethal Weapon 2 soundtrack opened a young listeners ears.

By Lindsay Zoladz

Dear listeners,

What was your first favorite song?

Im not talking about that hip, semi-obscure tune around which you formulated your preteen identity the one you told everyone at school you loved because it made you seem mysterious and cool. Im talking about a time before all that, before you were conscious of taste, and all you knew about a song you loved was that it struck a resounding chord somewhere deep inside of you.

Heres what Im talking about:

Shortly after I turned 3, Lethal Weapon 2 came out on VHS. One night my dad was lucky enough to score this coveted Blockbuster rental, and because it was gasp! an R-rated movie, I was not allowed to go in the living room while he was watching it. Of course, for the next two hours there was nowhere in the universe that I wanted to be more desperately than the living room.

From my safe, G-rated perch upstairs, I strained to hear any sound I could make out from this tantalizingly forbidden flick. I was getting so cranky about it that my parents made me a compromise: They would let me watch the closing credits of Lethal Weapon 2 a black screen filled with a bunch of ascending white words and names I could not yet read. But it didnt matter, because the song that played while they scrolled was incredible. Again! I cried when it was over; they were kind and rewound. There I sat directly in front of the television, enraptured by what turned out to be a very minor 1989 George Harrison single, Cheer Down.

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Tell us which songs deliver sonic coziness for you. By Lindsay Zoladz Dear listeners, Im on vacation this week, so I wont be sending out any new playlists....
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