is a sentimentality for the past, typically it's a longing for a period or place with happy personal associations.
The word nostalgia is from Greek, consisting of nóstos meaning "homecoming", and álgos, meaning "pain, ache". It was coined to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home.
All together it forms a peculiar brand of melancholy.
The Guardian Weekly I bought recently had an interesting article on nostalgia being used as a therapy treatment for depression.
Interesting, because nostalgia is often thought of as a medical condition. Although it is often triggered by negative feelings, it can also result in increasing one's mood and heightening positive emotions.
Quite a complicated little beastie!
Recently, I thought about all this while listening to a CD I bought at JB HiFi: The Beach Boys Live 50th Anniversary Tour.
The songs are all there, and although Carl and Dennis Wilson are long gone, the voices are pretty much all there too (aside from Mike Love's - he seems to have suffered the ravages of time much more than Brian Wilson).
The whole tour is of course a nostagic exercise for the remaining Beach Boys AND the audience - reliving those songs from 50 years ago about surfing, life at school and hotrods must be a real strain.
I was kinda reflecting on that in a general way and then I got to Bruce Johnston's awesome Disney Girls.
Curiously, this song makes me melt every time!
My reflections on nostagia became suddenly clear at this point as I luxuriated in the warm glow of remembering hearing this song in 1971 and entered Bruce's American youth by proxy. This song is all about a nostalgic transportation to a fantasy world.
The boys (ha ha ha in a way, but they'll forever be remembered that way) do a good job of Disney Girls on their 50th Anniversary tour but for the real deal you need to hear the version off the Surf's Up album. Here it is and see if I ain't right!
Funny how those images evoke such emotional connections. Funnier still that they resonate with me given I was brought up in a 1960's New Zealand that knew nothing about Tootsie Rolls, Patti Page or summer days on old Cape Cod.
Ah but a fantasy world? Yeah I know about that.
Love and peace - Wozza