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2006 - International Communication Association Pages: 24 pages || Words: 7041 words || 
1. Klein, Bethany. "They’re Playing Our Song: Popular Music as a Marker of Shared Memory" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Dresden International Congress Centre, Dresden, Germany, Jun 16, 2006 Online <PDF>. 2019-10-16 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Popular music has been identified for its role as a carrier of embedded collective memory, but songwriters are not alone in their ability to insert memory into song: the openness of popular music texts also provides listeners the opportunity to invest their own shared memories into songs. The practice of song-sharing among romantic couples represents perhaps the most pervasive use of a popular cultural object to celebrate memories forged together. The presence of ‘our song’ is widely recognized as an aspect of romantic relationships, yet the process by which a song becomes ‘our song’ has not been systematically investigated. In this paper, I examine the ‘our song’ phenomenon through an analysis of stories shared by informants. Among the elements examined are the relevance of content versus context in the selection of a song, whether it was sought deliberately, and the perceived functionality of song-sharing.

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