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Readers recommend: songs about nostalgia | Peter Kimpton


Looking back with a bittersweet melancholy? Suggest songs that hark back to the past using the five senses, musical echoes or any other trigger tricks of memory

“I don’t like nostalgia, unless it’s mine,” said Lou Reed, with a bad-tempered smirk. “It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia,” added Frank Zappa, with a humorous frown. But what is nostalgia, and is it good or bad? Well, of course, it’s a bittersweet both. And arguably grains of it run through all music where we cannot but hear inescapable echoes of the past. In fact it is all around us in every aspect of culture and surroundings, from photography to furniture, sounds to styles, food to cars, retro in retail, all in a constant recycling of roots and influences and recapturing of eras, but how does it work in song?

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