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What Memories Does this Song Trigger? “Beth” by KISS

I have read that the two predominant triggers for memories are smell and music. I have to agree with both. For quite a while after Mother died, anyone wearing her perfume would send me into a crying jag.

Nearly every song I know and love has an original memory attached to it. Many songs have a stack of memories now, but some, like this one below, primarily bring back my first memory of listening to it. This song just came on my computer music player (set on random), and the memories burst forth.

So, either where were you or what is your main memory from listening to the song “Beth” by Kiss? Great video btw… I have not seen this live version of the song.

I remember being a very young teen, perhaps a ‘tween, and sitting in a friend’s basement listening to music. I was either feeling puppy love for some boy I had a crush on or perhaps I was dreaming of finding a puppy love boyfriend who would sing this song to me and miss me like the words in this song tell.

Feel free to share in the comments.


Lyrics to “Beth” by KISS

Beth I hear you calling
But I can’t come home right now
Me and the boys are playing
And we just can’t find the sound

Just a few more hours
And I’ll be right home to you
I think I hear them calling
Oh Beth what can I do
Beth what can I do

You say you feel so empty
That our house just ain’t our home
I’m always somewhere else
And you’re always there alone

Just a few more hours
And I’ll be right home to you
I think I hear them calling
Oh Beth what can I do
Beth what can I do

Beth I know you’re lonely
And I hope you’ll be alright
‘Cause me and the boys will be playing all night


  1. I’ve never been much for “live” versions, but I remember clearly when I first heard the studio version of “Beth.” It was early 1977. I was driving to see my wife in an attempt to reunite after one of our many splits, and wanting badly to see our (first, less than a year old) son. At the time, this song seemed to express sentiments so similar to what she and I both thought was keeping us apart. But, mostly, I remember thinking, “Damn, I didn’t know KISS could rock the mellow sound like that!” 😀

    • Bohemian Rhapsody. I may have to do that one soon. I kinda like this idea, so I may do one once a week or so. So many of the older songs I grew up with bring back so many memories. And most are good ones.

  2. Okay, here is my main memory of the song “Beth”. It was a slow day at work, and I was kidding around with one of the women I work with. Not sure how we reached this point, but while engaged in some serious goofing off together, she gave me this list of seven question about her that I was supposed to guess the answers to. The questions were not easy, and she was impressed with me for getting 6 out of 7 of her questions right.

    But she was NOT at all impressed with me for getting wrong the one question that I did get wrong, because she insisted that it should have been the easiest question of all.

    The “easiest question of all” that I got wrong, was “What is my favorite Kiss song?” And why did she think it should have been the easiest question???

    Well, it probably had something to do with the correct answer being “Beth”.

    Anybody care to take a guess what my female friend’s name is?

      • Thanks for playing, but no, Maybelle is NOT her name. However, your name is now Wise Ass. Lol! 🙂

        Just funnin’ with ya, Michelle. I know that you know her name is BETH!!! But what I don’t know, is how on earth I couldn’t figure out that her favorite Kiss song would be… the one with HER name!

        My only excuse is that “Beth” is such an atypical song for Kiss, compared to the rest of their music, that I think I forgot that “Beth” was actually a Kiss song. Still is one of my more really dense moments though…

        • Well that makes me feel a little bit better… I do understand though, that the real point to your post is not the technical details, like which band did the song, but how evocative the music can be, as it transports you back to the thoughts and emotions of another place and time. I know that we all have songs that can do that to us…

        • My hunk-o-junk froze up on me before your last response came in Michelle. I decided to take a nap rather than restart it right away. Now that I’ve seen the new comments, it occurs to me that I couldn’t remember that ”Angie” was by The Rolling Stones for a long time because, like KISS and “Beth,” it seemed so different from their other music. Of course, my PC froze up again while I was creating that link… 🙄

        • Hey, your computer. Are you just using it for basic stuff? Internet, word docs, etc? Or do you have to use software that’s proprietary, i.e. Windows or Mac? If not, have you considered or familiar with Ubuntu? It is a Unix-based OS and is free. I actually prefer it to Windows, but I use Adobe products, so I have to go either Windows or Mac – and Mac isn’t in my budget. You’re freezing sounds like an OS issue, not hardware. So a new OS may be all you need. But if you need to use software that is not compatible with Ubuntu, then you can’t do it.

        • My son suggested that I try booting from an Ubuntu disc for awhile, just to see. Of course he didn’t explain how to go about getting my hands on one. Hell, I’ve never made a CD or DVD before, so I wouldn’t even know which to buy even if I understood his “download and burn” suggestion!

        • Ask and ye shall receive. Here is the Ubuntu page explaining how to try Ubu on a CD or USB drive (which I recommend getting a thumb drive and putting it on that – it’ll be faster).
          But… you’ll have to know how to go into your BIOS and change the boot order to boot from either the drive or USB first, depending upon which you create.

          If you have skype of a chat of some sort, I can help step you through everything. Or just call. Email me and I can email you my phone number. Unless you get your son to help. I love Ubuntu MUCH more than Windows… but I need Adobe products.

          It’s a bit different, but yet the same as windows. Once you learn where to find things, it’s easy as pie. And SO MUCH FASTER than windows (no bloat ware) and (I love this….) there are no viruses with Ubuntu OS’s. Gotta love that!

        • Thanks Michelle. I’ve actually been to that site before but simply didn’t get how to do the “disc burning” thing. I’m gonna see if my son can make one for me if I get him a blank. I think I can figure out switching the boot order by myself. I’ll get in touch if anything goes awry.

          For the moment though, I’m just too exhausted from the flood I had in my apartment this morning…

        • Oh, no! Sorry about the flood. Didn’t you just have one recently? Or was that someone else….

          Just thought I’d offer. I’ll leave you be about it. I’m here to help if you like. I know changing and trying a new OS and something technical can be intimidating. Been there many times myself.

  3. I can truly relate. I spent the whole morning writing and crying with memories of my mother. So strong and vivid and yes almost every song I hear ignites a memory. I remember this song by kiss but I don’t have any memories associated with it.

      • Oh it’ll be 10 years Monday. It has gotten better but I still have my moments. I just thought it was ironic that I just finished posting about my mom and the first line i read after is yours speaking about the your mother’s perfume. I kept an empty bottle of Anis Anis so I could always remember her smell.

        • The pain never truly goes away. I cannot remember when I’ve last cried about my mother’s death. She died 26 years ago, and I was 21 at the time. The memories have faded quite a bit, and I cannot remember the sound of her voice. I forgot that years ago. But doesn’t mean I have lost loving her, because I most certainly haven’t. In fact, the love is probably stronger.

          She wore a perfume that was not very common or popular. It was only available in one store in my hometown which was locally owned, but along the same level as a Dillard’s is now. It was rare to smell it on someone else. But I remember one day, about 4? 5? months after she passed. I was a student in college and working at a campus Arby’s. Was covering the counter and a woman came in wearing that perfume and when I smelled it, I completely broke down. I had to go the back in the dry food storage area and bawled and bawled and bawled until there was nothing left.

          I would smell it a few times after that but I never had that level of breakdown as I did at work that night. That store she bought it at eventually went out of business not too long after that thus taking that perfume with it.

        • I was 33 when my mother died. My mother had lupus, she was a private person even to her children. All I knew about lupus was that it made her hair fall out, she had joint pain and should stay out of the sun. I was diagnosed 3 years ago and I now know what my mother was going through and I didn’t know. So for the past 3 years I’ve been thinking about her more then I did in the previous years. Today when I was writing I wrote up all the old feelings when she died 19 years ago.

        • I read the Spoon Theory a few months back when I was told by the first neurologist that I had MS. I thought it was, and is, phenomenal! What an incredible way to describe to people what a typical day may be for those who have a chronic illness. Even though I may not have MS, there’s something… And that is how I live my day every day. Although not as severe as someone as yourself. But I used to have endless amounts of energy to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Now, I have to carefully plan a simple trip to the grocery store on one day. A different errand on another day. Basically, I can only do one errand a day outside of work and normal household duties.

        • I miss work. I keep pushing myself to do things and always end up over doing. So I don’t want to try and get a job. So I hope to one day finish my novel and get it published and get paid doing what I love. I think it was your post when you shared that you don’t have MS that I first comment on you blog. My brother had MS it debilitated him very quickly. That was back in 1987, there was no where near the treatments that are available today. Are they still trying to find out what’s wrong with you? That’s the hard part. I knew I had lupus since I was in my 20’s. It’s so hard to diagnosis because there isn’t a test that comes back positive. You have to meet the criteria. By the time I meet the criteria my lung and heart are affected. The doctors keep telling me I’m very sick. Eventually I started to believe them. With the Healthcare reform I received good medical treatment until medicare kicked in. November 2010 I was using oxygen, November 2011 I no longer carry oxygen everywhere I go. I’m doing well most days.

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