I wonder what would the psychology behind what emotions and memories songs trigger and how divergent one from the other can be would look like.
"Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty always seemed such a poignant, bittersweet sad yet upbeat song. It reminds me powerfully of a story I read (and I also think I saw on "Twilight Zone") about a man in a room. He is looking at his duffle bag. His entire life is in that duffle bag. As the story progresses, you realize you're seeing the past and the present - the present contains a woman he loves, who loves him back. His past involves traveling, wandering - never staying in one place, seeing so many different things. He's not young, but he's not old.
As you read/watch, you realize that his past is longer than his age; that his age is indeterminate - in fact, he doesn't remember how old he is. He realizes that he's been wandering since.. before the Great War - no, that's now World War I. He looks at the mirror at a man who's too young to have lived through all that his memories show him. He remembers a young man - himself - packing that same duffle bag, shouting at his parents, telling them that he'll never come back home - he'd rather wander the earth. Wander the earth. He cursed himself; he'd never go home.
He realizes that he has started packing unconsciously. He tries to stop but can't; the urge to move on possesses him. He looks up to see the woman come in. She looks at the bag, looks at him, and nods - and goes to her closet, picks out a bag and starts packing essentials in it. She is not a prissy woman, but a strong woman, with a love strong enough to face a wandering future. He sobs, trying to tell her, but she says she already knew; she had known from the first day, when she realized he was nothing like anyone else she knew. And, she would follow him to the ends of the earth. She would be, in any way, his home, wherever that may be.
Every time I read the variants to this story (or it could have been the same story, I don't know; I've read it several times throughout my life) I cry. I want to be that man, or love a man like that enough to pull up roots and travel. And every time I hear "Baker's Street" it's as if it is a paean to that man, to the Wanderer.
Songs that are close to that theme are: Goodbye Stranger by Supertramp; Babe I'm Leaving, by Styx; Heard it in a Love Song by The Marshall Tucker Band; Sail On by The Commodores; Sailing by Christopher Cross; Cool Change by Little River Band; obviously The Wanderer by Donna Summer and many of the lonely city and streetwalker rock songs of the 60s - 90s. But none ever evoked so forcefully the loneliness and the hope of that story as did Baker Street.