I am one of many Americans that would pay good money if I could be guaranteed that I never again had to hear a song from the movie Frozen. Or Everything is Awesome from the Lego Movie. I've heard comedians make similar jokes about the songs from The Lion King.
And then I remember ET from my own childhood. You know, The Extra-Terrestrial? Reese's Pieces? Phone home, any one? The adults mocked us for our tears and devotion to the little creature, but I was profoundly moved by his journey. For months I would tear up just thinking about it. I feared the evil FBI and mean government goons long after the credits rolled.
And before that, it was Hans Christian Anderson's tales, with no moving pictures or sound track; and yet with a strong enough influence that it led to me writing my own tale, The Flying Whale. A single typed-page masterpiece inked straight from the mind of five-year-old Paloma.
Then, in my youth, I was smitten with J.R.R. Tolkien and can still recite to this day:
“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say"
Not to mention the absolutely seismic emotional shift of youth as I found myself identifying with the hopes, fears, and heart of young Ponyboy from the Outsiders by S.E. Hinton:
"I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house; I had two things on my mind, Paul Newman and a ride home."
What about you? What are the stories from your childhood or youth that stuck with you? Affected you in a way that was a revelation for that stage of life? What song is stuck in your head still today, even though all of the adults in your life at the time would have paid you to never sing it again?
In the comments section below, share your memory, quote, lyric, poem, plot, character, or story that changed you-either defined you at the time or influenced who you are.