Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Coincidence? Or music sprites playing with my mind?

There's no doubt that music is a powerful mood-altering force.

I still remember the opening song from childhood cartoon Ruff and Reddy.

I can't look at a box of Fig Newtons without hearing "Golden flaky tender cakey outside."

If someone tries to explain his side of a situation and begins by saying, "Here's the story.." doesn't your mind finish his sentence with "...of a lovely lady"?

How many times have you played a depressing song over and over because it seemed the artist was the only one who knew what you were going through at the time? ( I think I wore the grooves off my "Don't Speak" by No Doubt  CD as my marriage was ending years ago.)

Or have you been in a hopeless mood then hear a song that causes you to lift your head and smile again? (Yeah, Patti LaBelle and "New Attitude.")

Have you ever hated a song so much that the opening strains make you feel like you're getting attacked by a subcutaneous parasite?  (Once, there was this kid who, got into an accident...)  Daughter Em is laughing her butt off right now.

Have you ever heard a song so majestic that you wanted to pick up a sword and battle injustice? ( Lux Aeterna)

How about a song that makes you so happy that you want to hit the dance floor and leap for joy? (Love Story Meets Viva La Vida)

What about a song that brings you to tears because it reminds you of how fragile and fleeting life is? I get choked up at this song every time I hear it. (100 Years by Five for Fighting  )

Or a song that forever reminds you of a loved one? (Here's for you, daughter Kay)

Computer Geek and I have this strange bonding phenomenon that happens to us every once in a while. We can be in a particular place, or be doing a particular thing, and a song will come on that describes the very activity we were doing. It's become kind of eerie, but I still like when it happens. Don't we all love amazing coincidences?

1. In 2007, CG, Weston, and I were driving through Utah to eventually end up in Iowa. As we passed Robert Redford's ranch and resort, Sundance, "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" started playing. No lie.

2. Later on that same trip, we were driving through the Black Hills of South Dakota and were almost at Mount Rushmore. The song "Rocky Raccoon" by the Beatles came on, which says, "Now somewhere in the black mountain hills of Dakota..."

3. Oodaaq Island, off the coast of Greenland, is the northernmost island in the world. It is also the tiniest. CG had never heard of the island, so I was telling him how small it is--as in only one person can stand on it at a time small. Right then, on his random music player that has over 1000 songs on it, Jimi Hendrix came on and sang, "The tiny island sags downstream..."

4. CG's son and daughter, Neo and Gnome, are vacationing in Ireland. A few weeks ago, we were on Facebook, scrolling through Gnome's extensive photo album. We marveled at the beauty of a picture she had taken of some seabirds floating in the sunset. Instantly, Glen Campbell's "Galveston" came on the music player, and we heard, "Before I watch your seabirds flying in the sun..."

Oh. The freakiness of it all.

Do you have any musical coincidences? 
What about songs that alter your mood for better or for worse?

Photo Credit: The Gnome, who was never quite the same after seeing Eat, Pray, Love.


  1. Of course I do! I love my driving songs, which always pump me up on long trips, and must be played at 11, and sung along to (badly).

    Top Five:

    1) "Radar Love" - Golden Earring
    2) "Long Cool Woman" -The Hollies
    3) "Whole Lotta Love" - Led Zeppelin
    4) "School's Out" - Alice Cooper
    5) "Life in the Fast Lane" - The Eagles
    6) "Barracuda" - Heart
    7) "I Can't Drive 55" - Sammy Hagar
    8) "Won't Get Fooled Again" - The Who
    9) "Ballroom Blitz" - The Sweet
    10) "Born to be Wild" - Steppenwolf

    OK, so that was ten, sorry...

  2. I was in a store the other day and "Bye, Bye, American Pie" was playing. I was quietly singing along to it and then I noticed that a couple of other people were, too. Can't help it.

    I've noticed that almost always when I pull the car into the garage a song that I really like has just begun playing.

  3. Winston: I am here to testify that your songs are played at 23, not 11.

    Auntie M: You should have done an American Pie flashmob! I have that happen too when I reach my destination right as one of my favorites comes on. Always a dilemma--stay or go, stay or go...

  4. My favorite right now, because I'm so behind the curve, is Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) by Beyonce. I just love strong women telling men "You snooze, you lose."

  5. Jill @ Controlling: I love that song too because it is just so danceable!

  6. So many I couldnt mention them all

  7. kisatrtle: It's so hard to narrow down which songs have affected us, isn't it? By the way, I LOVE your gravatar picture! There's just something so cute about turtles.

  8. Randi, you know how music keeps me going! I'm a fan of "New Attitude" too. I also like "I Will Survive" lately. You'll catch me humming that one a lot. I will perk up when I hear Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield." I like your list and Winston's. Lots of good ones.

  9. septembermom: I can't tell you how many times I've come away from your blog with a song stuck in my head the rest of the day! Oh and Computer Geek LOVES Benatar.

  10. I love that you have blogged about this craziness! For many years now I have found it so fascinating how much music affects us. It makes me think of High Fidelity where John Cusak asks if it's the music that makes us depressed or do we listen to it because we are depressed? I think it's weird when I'm just happily doing my thing and then I hear a song that I listened to at a really rough time in my life and next thing I know I'm practically sobbing over my steering wheel, or just the opposite, really crappy day but I turn on a really great song like "Gives You Hell" by All-American Rejects and I am stoked and ready to conquer the world! Music, so influential, for good or for evil (dun dun dun!)

  11. Oh Juliegoose, how I love it when I come on my blog and see you have commented! I will have to Google All American Rejects because I am old and have never heard of them. :)


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