Without a trace

Heard about an old friend, sharing the stage with Billy Squier at our high school's send-off event (as another alum of some distinction noted, the building is being demolished).

Their performances got me thinking of a lot of the songs we practiced, growing up. And while I did say recently that music is "done" from the perspective that we can hear pretty much any song we'd ever want to hear, on demand, anywhere, the truth is there are some songs that seem lost to time.

If Google can't find a tune, does it really exist? There was some truly strange songs, burned into my head from repetition in middle school orchestra. From time to time, the tune or lyrics pop into my head -- but when I try to pin down that song -- Google's got nothing.

For instance, there was a whole awkward teen coming-of-age musical we put on. I think it was actually called Coming of Age. Songs included, "If I Had A Friend," "On the Outside, Looking In" and "Broken Home on the Range."

I want to know, were other middle schools forced to perform this, as well? Who wrote these songs? I'm not saying I'd be a fan, but I'm driven by a little nostalgia, plus the same kind of curiosity, I think, that drives people to hear Wesley Willis works.

Another example is a musical about singing troubadours -- this is the only reference I can find online. We praticed these songs on professional-looking sheet music, learning them by heart, just a few decades ago. Yet no trace of these songs seems to have made it into the digital era.

I suppose as every bit of trivia and ephemera from our lives makes its way onto the web, and we come to accept that no new experience will go undocumented, these last few holdouts will rankle, out of proportion to their significance.